by Erik Deckers
American Reporter Humor Writer
SYRACUSE, Ind. -- As spring gets warmer, and the days grow longer, that can only mean one thing: Fishing!
I realize there are those people who argue that fishing is a
year round sport, and that they will fish during the winter, but these
people can only be described as weird. If the whole point of fishing is
to relax, why do I want to sit through bone-biting cold when everyone
knows the fish are at home drinking hot chocolate and watching "Jaws IV:
Every fisherman dreams of finally hooking the big one, like Fat
Cat, the 132-lb. catfish from the Tennessee Aquarium. Kathie Fulgham,
public relations manager for the Tennessee Aquarium, told me several
years ago she was the largest catfish on display in the world.
I thought it was rather odd that they would hire a catfish to
handle public relations, since that's usually a job for sharks, but
Kathie said no, Fat Cat was the largest catfish, not her.
But around the time the ice melts and the ice fisherman have
been pulled from the lake, the more sane fisherman twitch their arms and
flick their casting hand in anticipation of another season spent
trolling the world's lakes, oceans, rivers, and catfish tanks at state
aquariums. I myself take a 20 hour drive up to the wilds of Canada each
summer and spend a week on a remote lake.
So in the spirit of the renewed fishing season, I would like to
offer Erik's Commandments for Fishing, in case we ever end up in the
same fishing boat.
, Mocketh not the Man who requires a glove and a pair of
needlenose pliers for fish removal. It's not that he is a sissy so much
as he just doesn't want to get fish slime on his fingers. . . Okay, it's
because he's a sissy.
. Teaseth not the Man about being a sissy, because he is
mightier than you.
. Week-long fishing trips are for men only. No women are
allowed. Yea though women are wondrous in my sight, they want us to do
things, like bathe daily, and not smoke cigars in the cabin. Or on the
boat. Or outside.
. Verily I say unto thee, the fish was this big. . . actually
it was THIS big. And it weighed 12 pounds. Why would I lie about such
. Playeth not the practical jokes, like pulling on my fishing
line when I appear to be dozing in my seat. I do not sleep, but merely
resteth mine eyes.
. Hide not the Holy Needlenose Pliers either. It wasn't funny
the first eight times.
. Thou shalt have no other baits before artificial lures.
Minnows, worms, and other creatures of the sea and Earth are squishy and
unclean. Hast thou forgotten that we are a sissy?
. If thou disobey me, and insist on using creatures of the sea
and Earth, thou shalt bait mine hook, lest I become squeamish and drop
the bait in the boat.
. Expecteth not that I will fillet the fish. Oh sure, I'll try
it once, but do not make this a habit.
. Dispose of fish remains far away from camp across the lake.
It attracts bears and its day-old odor bringeth tears to mine eyes.
. Special commandments to wives: Washeth not the Holy Fishing
Vest. It is imbued with the smell of victory. And cigars. Hangeth it in
the garage for a week instead.
. Thou must resist the temptation to discard the fillet knife
just because "it's old." Scoff not at the Man's need for six fillet
knives -- they each serve a useful purpose.
. Yes, the Man understands the irony of owning six fillet
knives even though he does not like to fillet fish. The Man hath not
questioned your need for a doll collection you no longer play with.
. And while we dwell on the subject, scoff not at the Man's
need for eight fishing rods and reels either. This is how the Man moves
other, lesser fishermen to sing his praises.
. Verily I say that eating fried fish is healthy and good for
the Man. Worry not, for the Man hath eaten of vegetables on Wednesday.
Or was it Thursday?
. And on the eighth day, when the Man returneth home, keep the
day holy and silent. Verily, the man is tired from staying up late every
night playing poker and smoking cigars.