The Morn After Christmas

The Morn After Christmas

By Larry Bozka

 

‘Twas the morn after Christmas, where out on the lake,

Not a creature was stirring, not one fish awake.

The reels had been strung full of mono with care,

In hopes that a bigmouth would soon leave its lair.

 

With rubber-soled deck shoes on thick cotton socks,

He stepped to the bow for his new tackle box.

His rods had been strapped to the deck with great care.

And just to be sure, he’d included a spare.

 

His family still snuggled all warm in their beds,

He’d left before dawn with a kiss on their heads.

Now out on the water, the sun soon to rise,

He hoped for light wind and a haze in the skies.

 

The boat slowly drifted in wisps of dense fog,

Toward a spot in the cove where he knew laid a log.

The outboard was silent; the hull drifted in.

To a cove that held water that looked clear as gin.

 

For many a year he had come to this spot,

Where once a great trophy it’s said had been caught.

A largemouth so grand that the folks prone to prattle,

Said it carried a tail twice as wide as a paddle.

 

Its mouth was so big, some people persist,

It could easily swallow a man’s entire fist.

This bass was in no way just run-of-the mill,

But a two-foot-long lunker with switchblades for gills.

 

 

Its dorsal fin stood like the rack on a buck,

And to catch it the angler would need more than luck.

Somewhere between all the force and the stress,

He had to know something of fishing finesse.

 

A sport where the quarry has tricks all its own.

And the angler who hunts it is bad to the bone.

This bass was no rookie, far back in the pines.

Where time and again it had broken men’s lines.

 

The fish had it figured when the next guy arrived,

It didn’t much matter what the angler contrived.

Assuming she’d answer the great urge to strike,

That bass was dead certain all lures are alike.

 

The hook called a “circle” was only a rumor.

Its alleged advantage made the fish shake with humor.

“How silly,” it thought, “Now they’re at it again.

These fishermen know, in the end I will win.”

 

“Yet another new angler comes out Christmas day,

With lures that are new and all rigged a new way.

I’m supposed to believe that a hook meant for tuna,

Will catch ME the Great Bass, this lake’s Grand Kahuna?”

 

So certain it was that the fish left its lair.

The angler looked on; his boat was right there.

The sight of this beast made his mind reconsider,

Perhaps it was folly to take on this critter.

 

Still, he’d sharpened his hooks and he’d rigged all the gear.

And when the big bass ‘neath the boat did appear,

He hastily cast a fresh Roadrunner lure,

Its curly tail held by a hook red and sure.

 

Its shape was as round as the big basses’ eyes.

And when it was set, to the fish’s surprise.

The strike didn’t end with a free-flying hook.

Instead with a shudder, the rod bucked and shook.

 

Tight as a string on a brand-new guitar,

The line it held fast, so the fish had to spar.

It leapt and it dived and it twirled all about.

But when it was done it was just flat played out.

 

The angler reached down, and grabbed by the lip,

This gargantuan bass, on a scale that it tipped,

“12 pounds, 7 ounces!” the hand-held did say.

Of all Christmas brought, that fish made the day.

 

He took just a moment to admire the bright sheen.

The eyes big as quarters and the scales a deep green.

Then he lowered it back into waters so clear.

That two sweeps of its tail and that bass disappeared.

 

No longer a rumor, but a story to tell,

His kids and his grandkids they all know it well.

At the time when we pray for a world cloaked in peace.

The best gift of all is a trophy released.

 

Happy Fishing to all,

And to all, a good bite.



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