Fishheads Night Fishing Story
Many years ago I lived in New England. There was one summer my nephew (17) and I (22) were hunting for a trophy largemouth in some of the lakes, ponds and swamps that surround the Quabbin Reservoir area of Massachusetts. Now most of these lakes did not allow any boats at all on them (therefore the lack of reference to a boat ramp, still funny though), therefore my nephew and myself were restricted to shore fishing and wading. Well during one of our day outings we spotted a truly giant largemouth, at least for our area, best guess back then was 8-9 pounds, (in hindsight it was probably 4-5). We decided to fish this swampy little pond the following Friday but we would go at night and we would wade. Friday afternoon I met my nephew about 7:00 PM and we head out to the pond, about a 1.5 hour drive. By the time we stop for drinks and snacks we arrive at the lake a little after 9:00 PM. It was pitch black, no light anywhere, you could see all the stars in the heavens. We were armed against the dark with flashlights and green glow sticks on strings wrapped around our necks. Along with all the night sounds of tree frogs, crickets, owls and the occasional coyote howl, the glow sticks gave off an eerie glow to everything. We start fishing in this little cove and catch a few decent bass on crazy crawlers and jitterbugs. Further down the bank is a long stand of cattails following a point that that stretches out about 30-40 yards from the shore. I suggest to my nephew, remember him, that we fish the outside edge of these cattails. My nephew is feeling a little shaky about the whole thing so I tell him I will go first and fish the front edge of the cattails and he would follow and fish the deeper water. After fishing about 50-60 ft down the cattails we start to here a rustling sound coming from inside the cattails that seems to start and stop with our own movements. This goes on for almost the entire stand of cattails. Now my nephew is really spooked and wants to go back. In hushed whispers he keeps asking me what on earth it could be, “Could be gators“ I joke with him, “Cut it out, there’s no gators in New England” I tell him its probably deer but I don’t think he believed me. We are nearly to the end of the cattails and have not caught a fish, probably due to the attention that this noise in the cattails is taking from both of us. Were pretty far out in the lake by now and the noise is still with us. “Lets stop at the end of the cattails and fish the area thoroughly, should be a point dropping into deeper water there.” I whisper, reluctantly my nephew agrees. Just as we approach the end of the cattails the rustling sound abruptly stops. We stop also and are peering into the cattails to try to see what was making the noise, my nephew takes out his flashlight and shines it into the cattails. Suddenly the night silence explodes as a large flock of ducks spook no more than 5 ft into the cattails. Both fisherman rear backwards with shrieks of horror and fall abruptly on our butts into the lake, fortunately it was only about 3ft deep. After all the excitement is over, I am LMAO, soaking wet but alive and well. My nephew isn’t laughing at all, I ask if he is alright and he says “No, dxxx it! I’ve stuck my jitterbug in the back of my head!” I take out my flashlight and sure enough he has embedded the black jitterbug in the back of his head, not bleeding much but deep enough that a doctor will be necessary. “Sure you don’t want to fish a little longer?” “NO!” “I can probably get them out with the needle nose pliers?” “TAKE ME TO THE DXXX HOSPITAL!!!” So we left and spent the next 4 hours in the hospital, the Doctor strained to keep a straight face when we told him how it happened. Some Novocain and a few stitches later we were on our way, my nephew no worse for wear and tear. It was a quiet ride home, when we arrived at my nephews house I said “How about next Friday night at the same place?” “Okay, but no more cattail wading!”
Fished that swampy pond about 10 times that year and never did catch the big one though.