Craig's humorous fish story, as related by email March 9, 2003:
This is the story of two Tennessee fishermen. The names have been changed to protect the actual rednecks.
One wintery morning with the temperature around 28 degrees, "Joe" called and said that the fish were sure to be biting this morning and he knew where they could be caught. Being a fair weather fisherman "Bob" did some questioning, but finally agreed to meet Joe. The two rednecks went and picked up a flat bottom boat from Joe's father-in-law. The two stopped by Hookers, the local bait shop, and picked up minnows and many smart ass remarks from other fishermen. Off to the river they went with snow coming down. When they got to the river, which was extremely swollen because of all the rain we have had this Winter, the two fishermen had to carry the boat through the woods to a launching spot. As they look across the extremely fast moving river, Joe showed Bob a tree out in the center that was the goal to tie off to. Bob, looking at the two paddles and the current, wasn't as confident as Joe was. After questioning Joe one more time, the two pushed off and the paddling began. After an extreme battle the two fishermen made it to the tree and tied off. Let the fishing begin.
In two hours the fishermen went through the six dozen minnows and had twenty eight keepers. The Crappie were biting like never before. They had already caught over 100 of them. Well it was time for more minnows. After a very furious battle they made it back to shore about 100 yards down stream, but they made it. You should have seen the faces on these two proud fishermen as they walked back into Hookers with the stringer of fish. There was much bragging to do over lunch. The fish were biting so, with a few more dozen minnows, off to the river they went.
The snow had turned to sleet, but the action would keep them warm. The battle was a little harder this time, but the two made it to the tree and tied off. As planned the fish began to bite. Joe went to measure his fish when he realized that the measuring tool was left in the truck. Joe and Bob looked at each other. They looked at each other hard. I'll tell you right now that Bob can come up with two thousand other ways to measure fish. Joe was nervous about game wardens and insisted that they go back for the measurer.
After one hell of a battle, Joe won and the paddling began. They were making extremely fast time across the river this time. There was a bush that they were well downstream of last time, but this time they were already a good way across the river and after a quick thought they went for it. The current, I must remind you, is like that you see on movies where people drown. Surely the two fishermen could make it in front of this bush and to the shore a few yards beyond at just about the same location that they had launched out at--Surely wasn't in the boat. As the boat slammed into the bush Joe was most certain that life as he knew it was over. You see there is a few twists to this story. Joe cannot swim. Bob would have to hold up Joe and swim across the river. Bob could see the head lines now: "Two firefighters drown in river." Well much to Bob's surprise the boat did not flip. As he did a heavy exhale he noticed a minor problem. The water was coming over the top of the boat. In a matter of seconds Bob knew he had a problem. Most of you have probably seen the movie Titanic. Yes, the boat was going down. Bob just stood there. It wasn't because the captain was suppose to go down with the ship. It was because Bob was in shock! Headlines were reading: "Boat sunk in river, two firefighters drown." Just as Bob was to have his heart attack, something happened. Something very important happened. Bob felt the bottom of the boat hit the bottom of the river. The water had just gotten to his chest. Yes, dear lord, I will be in church this Sunday. Bob turned and looked at Joe. He remembered the last thing he told Joe just before they hit the bush, "Paddle Joe, Paddle!" Joe was still paddling. You have to give it to Joe. He never gave up. I had to tell him to quit paddling and get out of the boat. The water was up to our chest and he was still paddling. We grabbed the boat and pulled it to shore.
We only lost our drinks and about half the minnows. The other half were still swimming in the bottom of the boat filled with water. The fishing poles had fallen out, but were recovered. Too bad for the headlines--the old cell phone in the leg pocket of my pants was the only fatality. We fished out the minnows and put them back in the bucket. Since we weren't cold, Joe made the suggestion that we go back and catch some more fish. When I finally got off the ground after the laughing fit, he actually talked me into it. After a safe trip we ended up catching over 200 Crappie and bring home 30 of them. Needless to say the fishing story is still being told at Hookers.
Hope you enjoyed this little tale. You would have to be crazy to try anything like this.
Craig and Hunter