OK. I know that the best time to go fishing is when you can. Period. And yesterday I had a window of opportunity arise that looked like a good one to salve the hunger to wet a line. But the only way to describe what happened yesterday was … it was a bad fishing day.
First off, it was still cold. Oh, the temperature was a balmy 73, but the light wind was out of the north, and it still had some of that distinct bite to it. I knew the Norther had blown in because we enjoyed the cool the day before while doing yardwork. But the water seemed calm enough, so I gave it a go anyway. Oh, I didn’t mention that I was talking about wade fishing, did I? The kind where you actually get in the water and wade out to the first sandbar before casting. Now, the water felt really nice. Still somewhat cool, but not the icy grip like it was at the Easter sunrise service baptisms. But not ten minutes after I got in the water and began casting, the wind decided to pick up. That meant the waves responded in kind. The water began more of a churning, and what was already dirty became even worse.
Oh, I guess I did get one nibble. Two tiny legs of one shrimp were gone. The trauma didn’t even kill the shrimp, though. I tried one “regular sized” shrimp. He’s the one with the missing legs. I tried one of those super jumbo shrimp. Not a touch. I even tried a small one to no avail. It was just not a good day for fishing. So within an hour after my arrival, I was headed back to shore, empty-handed.
But all that was just what made it a bad day for fishing. There’s a little bit more. See, where I go wade fishing, I have to make my way across some large granite boulders placed to help the seawall protect the island. At the point where the boulders end and the sand begins, there is often a drop-off, a hole, that the current has formed in the sand. I know it’s there, so when I arrive I use my fishing pole as a sounding device and simply jump over it. I discovered yesterday, however, that reversing the process isn’t quite as easy as it once was. Oh, I found the hole easily enough. And I even distributed the weight of the bait bucket, catch well, dip net, and pole effectively. I stretched across the chasm with no difficulty. The problem came when I tried to complete the step back up onto the rocks. The old knee muscles just wouldn’t kick in and pull up the rest of me. I made several attempts, and even almost got there one time before completely losing my balance and falling backwards into the water. I am certain my struggles would have made a wonderful addition to any funny video TV show. I finally managed to drag my now-drenched from head to toe body back onto the rocks and back up to the truck. But the day wasn’t a complete loss, I guess. When I got home we cleaned and boiled up the bait, added it to some gumbo, and called it a day … a bad fishing day.
Numbers 14:18 says, “The Lord is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion.”
Father, thank you for chance to go fishing, even when the catch is … minimal. Amen.