Are all fishermen liars, except you and me? That's something many of us wonder from time to time.
I was reminded of that recently, when an area fisherman sent this note:
"Everybody believed that I lost my Bomber lure because a monster bass inhaled it and stripped my reel clean of line. But I think the part about the fish leaping out of the water and jumping over a boat dock might have been a little much. Surprising enough, nobody questioned the 1,200-pound blue catfish I said I landed."
There was a time when everyone fished and few, if any, would have believed a leaping bass and 1,200-pound catfish tale.
But in today's world, the closest some people ever get to seeing a giant fish is in a computer-enhanced Internet picture. Big fish aren't as common in Lake Norman as they once were, so those who can't catch them often create stories to promote their prowess.
If you look and listen, you'll quickly learn there are many ways to make a fish appear bigger than it is. One popular way is to spread the hands apart to show the length of the fish, all the while slowly moving the hands farther and farther apart. This gesture could easily turn a 12-inch fish into a trophy-size one.
Someone once said, "A picture is worth a thousand words," but I don't think fishermen believe it. That's why many fish tales are often prefaced by, "I wish I had brought a camera so I could show you how big the fish really was." Others say, "The fish was so big that the picture weighed 10 pounds." Isn't it odd that most big fish tales never have a picture or a witness to prove that a fish was even caught?
It's not always the size of the fish that is exaggerated. Excuses about temperature, rough seas or rain are also factors.
When one angler was asked where he was catching fish, he said, "Way up the river, but it's so muddy that you can't get up there by boat unless it has four-wheel drive." Now that's a muddy river!
Another said, "It was so cold while walking to the dock, I stepped on something that snapped like a stick. Upon closer inspection, I realized it was a frozen snake and each step I took was breaking its back." Now that's cold!
If you have a good fish tale, send it to me. It may end up in a future column.
Light House Marine Services will offer an eight-hour class in boater and personal watercraft safety starting at 9 a.m. Saturday at North Point Watersports, off I-77 Exit 36, Mooresville. The $49 course meets the requirements for those 25 or younger who want to operate a boat on N.C. waters. To register or for details call Scott Spivey, 704-587-0325, or visit www.lmservice.org. (Last Sunday we gave the wrong day for the class, due to an editing error.)
The 31st annual Lake Norman Shrine Club Dogwood Bass Tournament is scheduled for 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday at Midway Marina. First prize for the charity event is $2,500. Details: www.lakenormanshrineclub.org.