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A Fish on a Bare Hook
06-06-2019, 09:30 PM,
A Fish on a Bare Hook
Years ago when I was 8 years old or so, my brother bet that I could not catch a fish on a bare hook. We were at the banks of an Eastern Shore mill pond way back in the woods behind a local canning company. I really did not conceive the idea behind a bet except that it meant it was a challenge that I could not do it, I knew I could.
With my past fishing experience I knew that sunfish liked to eat bugs from the waters surface. Near where we were, there was a wide low tree branch that reached out over the water. Below the water, there were craters of Sunfish sandy beds with the slender fish hovering over them. With my pole in my hand, and a bare hook at the end of the line, I shimmied half way out onto the branch trying not to spook the fish.
My brother watched on as I teetered on the springy branch keeping myself from not falling in the water. I was at a place on the branch that my Zebco 202's pole and arm's reach was above the Sunfish was time.

I lowered the hook and line until the hook just laid on the skin of the water. The hook broke through the skin and I lightly shook the rod to give the appearance that the hook on the surface was a carpenter ant that had dropped from the tree. As fast as this happened three Sunfish left their beds and soldiered up facing the hook. Slowly I continued to taunt the fish with the bronze hook until the biggest one hit it and swam down with such force that line tightened and my rod tip bowed and dipped below the water's surface.
I pulled up on the rod, I didn't have to reel and wallah...a sunfish hanging on a bare hook! I excitedly shimmied to the shore and held up my prize! My brother and I shared words of enthusiasm before we released it back into the pond.
I won the bet, nothing material, just my older brother's admiration for his younger brother's mini goal to catch a fish on a bare hook.
For years my brother told many of his friends and acquaintances of that moment...I am glad that he did. In a strange way it made me feel like I had a place in the world.

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