Jim might not think this was funny, but it was more than funny.
It was fall-down-on-the-floor-and roll funny.
We were fishing on a weed line in about 12 feet of water, catching bass after bass, all
around 1/2 to 1-1/2 lbs, and had caught about 20 of the little buggers. I saw that Jim was getting a
bit unattentive and a bit bored, and was just about to comment on that when he made another half-hearted
hook set on a fish in the edge of the channel.
Simply put, the fish took the rod and reel right out of his hands. It was one of those "what in the HELL was that!!" fish.
Yup, he had the drag cranked down all the way, and was asleep at the wheel, when a big dude wandered by. It was a "one lb"
hook set, on a 20 lb fish. (prolly a big catfish or a black drum)
Anyhow, his brand spankin' new Lake King graphite rod and Shakespeare President reel departed for parts unknown,
trailing behind it a wake and a stream of bubbles.
Next thing I knew, in the water he went. Too late, he never recovered it. We drug the bottom there
Fast forward ahead a few months.
Jim has now managed to save enough money for a new reel. His wife kicked in a bought him a new graphite rod for his birthday. First fishing trip with the new rod. Got the picture?
We are drifting across a stump bed in 6 feet of water, in a stiff October breeze. I say "Jim, maybe you ought to sit down before we hit one of these stumps." He turns around and gives me a disgusted, patronizing look. BOOM! We hit a stump. SPLASH! Jim falls in. And comes up without his new rod and reel.
This time, I managed to snag the line, and we recovered the rod and reel. Jim just about froze before we got him home and dry. I gave him a nice lecture about boating safety on the way. Our other buddy Bruce just kept telling him how funny he looked falling in the water.
(Bruce later fell out on another trip, and when he saw it was going to happen he just hopped over the gunnel and went in feet first. He held up both hands as he went down, one holding a Cold Busch beer and the other a lit cigarette. He went down until his hat floated off and came back up with his beer untouched and his cigarette still lit. All I could see was his two hands sticking out of the water and his cap floating.)
Fast forward to the next spring.
Jim and I are fishing for trophy bass on Lake Jackson near Tallahassee, Florida, 4 days into a 1 week trip. We have caught many bass, but no real big ones. By the 4th morning we know EXACTLY where we are going, and have lost our fear of running wide open on this lake. There is nothing to hit with the prop, just weeds and water.
As we head out just at sunrise, Jim plops his butt in the front swivel seat, knowing that we NEVER sit in the swivel seat when we run the outboard. I just shake my head and head out on the lake.
Never was there a more beautiful sunrise. The water was crystal clear, it was a balmy 79 degrees,
and the water was flat and smooth. The old outboard was singing it's song and we were probably doing at least 25 mph.
Off to the left, 2 Canada geese lifted off the water and were flying right along beside us into the morning stillness.
I grabbed my camera and focused with one hand, framing both geese perfectly in the viewfinder.
At that perfect moment, we ran aground. GRANNGGGKKKKDUUUDUUUU!!! The Boat stopped DEAD! Jim
Demonstrated one method of "walking on water" as he flew out the front of the boat, until his momentum
overcame his ability to run and balance, and then BOOM! he went down face first on a shallow sandbar.
No major harm done, we laughed it off and continued on fishing. A while later, we went in for breakfast and his wife took one look at him with the "green-slime-clothes-look", and said "Uh-oh. He fell out of the boat AGAIN!"