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Fishermen are a unique breed

One more cast.

I have found this statement, in relation to time, to be anywhere from five minutes to an hour. The reasoning is simple, though the angler may be a bit more complex. Just any old cast won't do, it has to be perfect in every sense of the word. The lure has to land exactly where you hoped it would, with a minimal splash, followed by the perfect retrieve. Everything is based on the right speed and imparting just enough action to make your presentation as real as possible. And, of course, this one last cast has to produce the right result.

It's true that fishermen are a unique breed and that the majority do not understand the mind-set of a true angler. Granted, there have been a few attempts to glamorize the sport and its participants. "A River Runs Through It" will always be one of my favorites.

But the image of fishermen has lost much in the translation.

If you were to ask the guy standing next to you at the coffee shop what he thought of the sport you would get an array of answers. Everything from burning up in summer, freezing in winter, too expensive, and the stale answer many of the less adventureous folks seem to rely on -- the bugs keep them from enjoying the outdoors.

All this sounds too much like an excuse to sit on your butt in front of the tube and watch your assets spread, as well as your lack of imagination. To the average non-fishing type, I guess fishing sounds a bit boring.

I'm all too happy to propagate the same image, because our waters are far to crowded already without inviting more people to join the sport. So for the average non-fishing type, stick to golf or lawn darts -- fishing is a complete waste of time.

Back to the one last cast. My wife, Jean, loves to fish and is far more patient than me, a trait all anglers must have. I simply desire more action earlier than most. On a recent trip we were running a bit late and needed to be somewhere else very soon. She had topped my stringer and I refused to return second-best.

"One more cast and we will leave."

I suppose it was about the fourth or fifth time this was announced that she realized my determination and resigned herself to a more positive approach. She was preparing our departure, pulling the anchor and stowing gear. During this time I continued to cast and hope, the futile efforts of a desperate man. Nonetheless the day ended. She won, and she wasn't even keeping score.

At home rushing to meet our dinner guests, I urged her to hurry every chance she got. To which she replied, "Just one more minute, and we can leave."

You would think there was a lesson to be learned from all this, but then again, I'm one of those unique individuals some call a fisherman.

Food and Beverage Tournament Results

With 62 boats entered, there were 34 cobia and three king mackerel showing at the scales after the Hilton Head Island Food and Beverage Tournament. Boat winners were:

  • Main event (two fish combined) -- "True Grits" with 112.6 pounds
  • Big cobia -- "Rusty Tuna" with 65.45 pounds
  • Female angler -- "Mister Wiggle" with 48 pounds
  • Big king mackerel -- "Top Shot" with 24.10 pounds
  • The total weight of fish weighed was 1,501 pounds, with the average cobia coming in at 44.15 pounds. "True Grits" also weighed in a 32-pound king mackerel but could only win in one category.

    Tackle Tip

    Always try the different, experiment, plot a different course. Remember, amateurs built the ark, professionals built the Titanic.