I was sitting on the beach a couple of days ago reading a book and working on my tan (I look marvelous…actually stunning, but that’s another story), when this young father appears to the right of me with his 4-year old son and a fishing pole. I’m thinking this guy is doing the fatherly thing by teaching his toddler how to fish. I examine his fishing pole a little closer and notice it is one of those 6 foot pre-packaged rigs with the bright yellow fishing line that can be bought at Ace Hardware for $19.99…certainly sufficient for doing a bit of surf fishing. After looking a little closer I notice he is using a whole fish about 5-6 inches in length for bait and has two of them hooked through the mid-section on a double rig. I wouldn’t classify myself as an expert fisherman, but this is not the normal bloodworm or squid bait that one uses to catch spot, croakers, flounder or the occasional small shark.
I knew things were a little off, but really had my doubts when the first cast traveled about 10 feet and barely made it to the crashing surf. At this point he handed the pole to his young son and opened the bale so the line would get pulled out and down the shoreline by the current. While the boy is standing there letting his line disappear into the surf, Dad leaves and returns moments later with an identical pole that is rigged the exact same way. He proceeds to cast this pole so that it crosses the line of his son’s pole. Things are really getting interesting (who needs reality TV?)!
There is a big burly guy staying in a cottage across the street this week that we have affectionately named the “plumber”…probably TMI, but he has earned the nickname by showing everyone on the beach a little more than they bargained for. After watching Dad try to untangle the lines for 15 minutes, the “plumber” decides enough is enough and starts pulling the fishing line from the young boy’s pole out of the surf by the handful. At this point at least ¾ of the line from his reel is in the water and the “plumber” has an enormous amount of yellow line in his hand that he promptly hands to Dad.
Dad finally retreats to the beach with both poles, sits down and starts to work on untangling the two lines. I left the beach an hour later and the pole surgery was still in progress. It has been several days since this incident. I’ve seen Dad and the boy on the beach every day (and unfortunately the “plumber”), but no fishing poles. I think it is a good thing the lad is so young; he will have no memory of this debacle. Nice try Dad, you get an “A” for doing the fatherly thing, but building sand castles gives you the same father-son beach bonding experience and is much easier on the ego.