by C.D. Dollar
Imposing Order on Chaos
Youd never know it by looking at the current state of my fishing gear, but Im quite an organized angler. Really, I am. My excuse for the disarray is massive home renovations, which, quite pleasantly, have provided surprisingly blanket coverage for many other aspects of my discombobulated existence.
Early in the month, I reckoned I better get my gear right, particularly with the flood of 2004 reels, rods and tackle arriving at my door daily with the slightly unnerving efficiency of Jehovah Witnesses making their anointed rounds. (It is amazing to me that I can call a manufacturer, give the person on the other end of the phone random numbers and an expiration date like a carton of milk, and mere days later, glow in the euphoria of opening a package. Its the little things in life, you know?)
So back to the quagmire that had consumed my gear. I know, I know, these are the chores that should be done on chilly Chesapeake winters eves, but that Bachelorette show just has a way of sucking you in, you know? Like The Donald who-knew-he-was-so-charismatic with a natural set of hair to die for.
The first job I tackled was straightening the lure box. I pride myself on having only about 20 distinct varieties of Chesapeake spinning lures. Of course, Ive got them in six colors; you do the math. Im a big believer in learning to fish several lures effectively and working them until the paint and plastic eyes fall off.
Besides, Im lean and mean compared to the rest of the fishing world in piscatorial hardware. According to industry standards, the number of different species of lures in the average Americans fishing box is 133. Bass fishermen the fresh water variety, who are close cousins to the NASCAR fanatics carry 321 types of lures.
I opened the plastic bins and to my horror found that several of my light-tackle top-water plugs had mysteriously migrated into the spoon box. Can you imagine? Popping floaters Stillwaters and Chug Bugs, as I recall in the same vicinity as Tonys, Yo-Zuri and Drones? Heartbreaking.
As if that menagerie of metal mingling with composite plastic werent disconcerting enough, upon opening the second box I discovered my feather jig box had kidnapped my flies. Half n Halfs dangled openly with bullet-head jigs. A large, olive-and-white Deceiver lay prostrate on a chartreuse bucktail.
It was a struggle to smooth out the rough alignment, especially in dealing with those riotous treble hooks, even sans that instigating third hook. Several hours and as many red cans later, the mess was untangled. There was again peace in the region, and each fish enticer lay comfortably in quiet anticipation of performing its anointed task.
I admit that I felt a sense of fulfillment, as if Id negotiated a hard-won peace, such as the Treaty of Ghent, perhaps. I wonder if Paul Bremer fishes.
Fish Are Biting
Spring is taking its own sweet time blossoming, and the damp chill is getting on my nerves. The fickle temperature is affecting the fishing on the Flats, with spotty catches reported. But the class of fish does get better each day. Freshwater anglers are taking advantage of the states trout stocking program, and farm ponds are a good bet for sunnies and largemouth bass.