Monday, April 24, 2017

Fish Story

Greetings, WYMOP readers!

A friend recently directed me to a submission call for an anthology to be titled Death by Water.
This should be an easy one, I thought. Sweat free. Zero perspiration. Hell, I live on the coast. I work on a peninsula, with water, water everywhere. I even love to fish, canoe, and kayak—but I’m not the best swimmer out there. Mix all this with the fact that I usually tend to consider the worst—I write horror, for Christ’s sake—and putting something together to submit for this anthology should have been a walk in the park.
Should have been.
I decided to try a fishing story. It’s spring, and I’ve been seeing folks out there, casting from shore or sitting in small boats, though I haven’t had time to wet my line myself. It’s been quite a while since I’ve had the chance to do any fishing, and I have to say I miss it, so what with seeing it happening all around me, it’s been on my mind a bit.
Fishing story. No problem. Sweat free.
. . . And right off the bat I ran into a problem. Fishing, just like anything else, has a lot of regional terms. For instance, the skipjack tuna is also known as the aku, arctic bonito, mushmouth, oceanic bonito, striped tuna, and victor fish. Which term is the most common? And if I refer to a particular fishing rig, or technique, am I just calling it what I call it? It seemed I’d have to do a little research and verify my terminology to give my story a wider appeal and maybe get it accepted for that book.
I started with a few actual articles on fishing terminology. Some of the techniques described, though, sounded like the kind of thing I’d like to incorporate into my story, but I’d have to see them in action first. A YouTube search on a few key terms turned up quite a few videos covering the techniques I was interested in—and, wonder of wonders, there in the sidebar was a list of clips showing people using these techniques to catch monster fish. Monster fish? This was perfect research for my story! How lucky could I be? I clicked into the first video.
There was a dude in sunglasses and hat, and he was fishing, though it was hard to make out exactly what he was doing since his buddy was making the recording with his phone. What with the rocking of the boat and—whoa! That fish was huge! I hadn’t seen the technique in action very well, but it had damn sure been effective. Maybe the next video would show what the fisherman was doing a little clearer?
No, this guy was fishing solo and using a tripod, but he kind of had his back to the—holy cow! That was the biggest striper I’ve ever seen! The fisherman kind of took it in stride, but I’d have been thrilled to catch something that big. I looked at the sidebar and saw the next video in line was titled “Ultimate Monster Striper,” but there was no way it was as large as the one I’d just seen. Just no way. I clicked into the video . . .
It’s three days later, and I’ve seen huge striped bass, giant tuna, leaping sailfish, what has to be the world’s ugliest wolffish, the catfish that ate Chicago, and, and . . . and I’ve not even started that fishing story yet. It occurred to me this morning that I needed a blog for today, and I need to write something from all this research . . . so guess what you’re getting?

Talk to you later!

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