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The story you are about to read is probably the greatest fishing experience of all time. So, sit back, grab a Scotch, get comfortable, and pay close attention.

My husband and I moved to Florida about 9 months ago. We had been fishing for years in various parts of the country from Maine to Virginia to Colorado to California to Arizona. We have fished the West Branch of the Penobscot river in Maine where the five pound Landlocked Salmon rose out of the waters in abundance. We have fished the rivers of the Rappahannock, Potomac and Shenandoah where the small and large mouth Bass simply succumbed to my husbands homemade flies. We have fished the Frying Pan and Crystal River in Colorado where the trout churned up the waters despite the pressure of too many fishermen. My artificial lures were of no help against these odds.

We have even fished the famous Lochs of Scotland to include, but not limited to Loch Lomond, Loch Eck, Loch Awe and Loch Ness. My husband's uncanny ability to match the hatch to the environment is most awesome. You know, there used to be a Loch Ness Monster. Well, guess what? Thirty Four years ago, my Husband, while stationed in Scotland, snagged The Monster and brought me home to the United States. Needless to say, there is no monster anymore. I am home and at peace with this beautiful country.

Please forgive me. I am getting off the subject here. My fishing experience from its genesis, whenever that might have been, is not really worth repeating until we moved to Florida. This is really where the story begins.

When the opportunity to move to Florida stared me right in the face,
I said to myself, "Self, now is my chance to get even for all those years that I had been subjected to fly fishing only. Now I can get even with those darn flies in the wonderful world of Florida Salt Water fishing. I was so excited about the prospects of fishing the inland lakes, Banana River, Mesquito Lagoon, Indian River, Turkey Creek, Lake Washington, Sebastian Inlet, etc., etc., that I
was simply beside myself.

Shortly after we moved from the Valley of the Sun to the Sunshine State, my Husband's Boss, JD, invited us out for a day of fishing on the Indian River. JD is a most fantastic individual who would do anything for anyone. He has a 17 foot Key West Florida boat that is very stable in the water and has sufficient room for four people, two of which are fly fishermen.

We left the boat launch ramp around six a.m. from the Cocoa Beach Marina and headed out into the river. My excitement rose with every channel marker that we passed at wake speed. Manatees and Porpoise' were everywhere. We had to be careful of the Manatee population as we slowly proceded toward our target fishing location. My light spinning rod and tackle were ready whenever we reached our destination.

It wasn't too long before we reached JD's secret area on the Indian River. My rod was quivering to be in motion, casting to those huge fish in this wonderful River. Once we stopped and dropped anchor, I went into action as did my husband and JD. I cast my chartreuse spinner bait well into the air. And then, nothing. Nothing for any of us. My Husband and JD were rocking the boat in a beautiful, balanced motion as their tight fly casting loops attempted to taunt the huge fish beneath the surface. Then, all of a sudden, out of nowhere, my line went taught. Then the line stretched tight and I set the hook. I had something big on my line. I began to reel it in as my excitement nearly overwhelmed me. I reeled my catch in for about a minute. When I brought my catch aboard, JD almost fell overboard laughing at what I had caught. I was clueless as to what it was all about. The one pound crab appeared above the water as I hauled him into the boat. Can you believe it? I caught a crab on a chartreuse Bass spinner bait. It was a most awesome eating.

That day, I had skunked to the two fly fishermen for the first time in my life!

Well, you probably think that this is the end of my story. Sorry, there is more. The preceding has only been a prelude to my most awesome fishing experience of all time.

My husband and JD were hard pressed to live with after I had skunked them so badly. And I didn't really think that it was too bad of a skunk. After all, I only caught one crab to their none of anything. How bad can that be?!!! But, nevertheless, they had to have a rematch. And so begins the saga of my most exciting fishing experience.

About two weeks later, subsequent to the Great Crab Disaster, my husband and I met JD at the boat ramp on Lake Washington. This lake is located near Cocoa Beach, Florida. When JD arrived shortly before dawn, we loaded the boat with our fishing gear and and launched the boat into the murky waters surrounding the dock. We motored out for a short while until we reached the leeward side of a small island. There was a slight ripple in the water caused by the wind. With weapon in hand, I cast my 3 inch light green minnow into the water. My Husband and JD were casting madly as if their lives depended on it. They were bound and determined to catch the first fish, not to mention letting me skunk them again.

I slowly reeled my minnow with periodic jerks to attract a fish. All of a sudden, I felt a huge strike. I though I had a whale. I set the hook so hard that I almost fell out of the boat. I lost my balance but my husband caught me. It happened so quickly that I hadn't lost tension on the line. The fished turned and headed away from me. I was glad that my drag had been set correctly, as the fish peeled off about 100 yards of line. Man, was I having fun as I thought to myself that once again, I might have skunked the two guys. I finally tightened the drag and started reeling in my fish. After about 5 minutes, I landed the biggest fish of my life. It was a 30 inch Mud Fish. I was simply ecstatic. We got the fish into the boat. It was at least 15 lbs. Not bad for using 12 lb. test if I do say so myself. My husband attempted to take the hook out of the fishes mouth and the fish chomped down hard on the steel pliers. That fish actually tried to bite my husband. Stupid fish. Well, we put the fish back into the lake and I turned around and said to my Husband and JD, "See ... You two are still the skunks ... hahahah!!!!".

We continued to fish while moving around to different areas of the lake. I caught two more fish, Bass this time and not of any consequence. However, and not to gloat too much, my husband and JD were still casting madly while I taunted them.

The morning wore on and we decided to move the boat into an area between the shore and a small island. The lily pads were everywhere. My Husband and JD
were constantly changing flies and casting into the pads with everything they had. They were simply frantic with determination that they would out do me. The score was 3 to 0. I changed my lure to a small treble hook with a small gold spoon and some palmered, red hackle surrounding it. I cast the lure into the water between two groups of lily pads. I reeled the lure in to me at medium speed a number of times before I felt a humongous snag. My first thoughts were that I had caught a log fish on the bottom. I was a little disappointed as I reeled the log very slowly back to the boat.

I pulled as hard as I could without braking my line. JD and my Husband stopped casting as if awestruck by the prospect that I might have another huge fish on my line. I pulled and pulled. It seemed that I was making progress as my line twitched periodically. I pulled for what seem like eternity. Then, suddenly, as if the world were closing in on me, my log surfaced!!!

Out of the depths of the pearly, green waters, came an 8 foot Alligator!!! My treble hook was embedded deep in his lower jaw lip. His huge eyes burned through me as he stared at me from about 10 feet away from the stern of the boat. He glared at me. I simply panicked. "Oh My God!!", I said. My Husband yelled at me, "Release the drag!!!". But it was too late. The Alligator lunged at the back of the boat with all of its force. He missed the stern by two feet. I threw my rod and reel at him in an attempt to rid us of this aggressive monster.

The waters calmed as the alligator submerged into the murky depths with my wonderful rod and reel that I had used to skunk my Husband and JD. I collapsed onto the deck chair and shook like a 9 point earthquake on the Richter scale. I I kept repeating over and over again, "Oh!!!, My God!!! ... what have I done???!!!", as my Husband and JD tried to calm me. After a few moments, JD said, "Let's use the oar and try to find your rod." I snapped at him in my stressed out state, "Forget the rod!!! ... Get me out of here!!!". So, we left.

In consolation, my Husband said, "Don't worry about the Rod. We are all safe. I will get you another rod and reel. The one that the alligator ate was just a cheapy.".

We motored back to the boat launch and pulled the boat out of the water. My thoughts were at that time that I had once again, won and skunked the two guys. But, it was almost anti-climatic. I was still shaking at the thought of that huge beast glaring at me with those huge eyes as he tried to attack his opponent.

The next time we all went fishing, I let the two guys skunk me. They both caught tons of trout on the Indian River while I caught nothing.

Since that most awesome experience, my husband has stuck my head inside a huge Canaan Crocodile head and passed it all over his work. This story has been shared all over the town of Melbourne for everyone's enjoyment but mine.

Smile ... I am still the Skunker ...

by jmast50 : Sunday 29 October, 2000

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thats an oldie but a goodie
Lookie See what the kids are up to.
Dave T. Clown