Posts Tagged ‘Humor?’

Do you know what these three things have in common: Lindsay Lohan, Christmas Morning, and Saltwater Fishing? Give up? Each of them are rife with opportunity to surprise, delight, and disappoint, all at the same time. Who knows what that formerly attractive and modestly talented girl will do next to end up on the cover of a magazine. She collects mugshots like I collect hook wounds, and I hope that she’s able to redeem those Frequent Rehabber miles for something nice, but not too outlandish. As for Christmas Morning, it’s a real crap shoot sometimes. How many camouflaged Snuggies can a guy really use? Yes, I’m talking to you Mom.

On the other hand, being on, around, or within sniffing distance of saltwater can be one of the most exhilarating, frustrating, bewildering, and awe inspiring experiences ever. Take for example these two very quick videos I found on the web. Apparently (I read it on the interweb so it has to be true) the fish in the videos were filmed inside Dana Point Harbor, a So Cal boat basin near my home, this week and posted to Youtube by user MrScrabbe. Thank you MrScrabbe for inspiration and blog fodder.

In case you couldn’t identify the critter, that is an Isurus Oxyrinchus, or Shortfin Mako shark. And, in case you don’t know a whole lot about Shortfin Mako sharks, you can learn a bunch of stuff about them on Wikipedia, my reliable source for questionable information of unknown origins, and the occasional provider of a bet winning answer. In this case, it seems the Wiki army of fact-phobic friends have it more or less right. At least that’s my recollection from my brief stint as a Marine Biology major.

Wikipedia – Shortfin Mako Shark

These animals range the deepest, wildest, openest (I know, it’s not a word) oceans searching for the fastest movingest foods like mackerels, tunas, bonitos, and swordfish (thank you team Wiki). That’s the reason they exist; to chase down and eat stuff that swims faster than most land-based animals can ever hope to run. Some say that the Mako is the fastest shark of them all. If true, this puts them on in the company of the fastest land predators. You could think of that fish as the Cheetah of Dana Point Harbor. I’m not saying people wouldn’t mock you, or question your once great ability to draw comparative analogies, or leave rude and insulting comments on your blog if you did, but you could think of it that way. OK, a balanced and rational person like you wouldn’t, but you could.

Anyway, from the reports of this incident I’ve read on various forum sites, it sounds like this mighty quick predator was either sick, injured, or both. It was said to be lethargically bumping into objects in it’s path, and swimming erratically. Maybe it’s GPS was not synched with it’s rudder, or maybe it got into Charlie Sheen’s private stash? Who knows. It was obviously not in it’s preferred habitat, and not doing what it was purpose built to do. Where I’m going is this:  Even the most casual saltwater enthusiast can get a sudden surprise, thrill, and head scratching moment if you are paying attention. A Mako shark swimming inside Dana Point Harbor makes about as much sense as Lindsay Lohan being spotted in a camo Snuggie. But then again, that was my point all along. Some things are just too weird and random to make sense of. I can’t wait for the next time.

UPDATE (5/30/11): You can read how this story ended for the shark here.


Friends, especially mine, can be all shapes, ages, colors, and sizes, and with titles to match:  Amigo, Homie, Compadre, Buddy, Associate, Brother From Another Mother, Partner, Bro, Cell Mate… you get the point. My closest, and most valued friends have one common trait. No, despite what my wife says, they’re not all borderline lunatics, they’re all fishermen of one type or other. So in fact, they are full-blown lunatics.

"Fishing Wife" Charlie

I have learned many, many things in the last 23 years that I’ve known the smart, beautiful, and sarcastically gifted woman I call my wife. One of the most important, was how she defined the word “like”. Upon meeting her, it took roughly 19 minutes for me to ask Janet if she “liked” fishing. (Yes, I am a born romantic.) I must have been terribly cute back then, because she didn’t get up and walk away. On the contrary, she admitted that she did actually “like” fishing. My heart lept as I gazed into her pretty green eyes and she told me about fondly remembered trips to the Oregon coast, and lakes high in the Cascades. She shared tales of her father teaching her to tie knots, bait hooks, cast, fight, and clean her catch. She recounted, somewhat enthusiastically, that her older sister also “loved” to fish. She also told me in great detail how her Dad would catch a few trout on a fly rod, then cook them up for dinner over a roaring campfire for the girls to share. She even showed me a bunch of well-worn gear, and seemed to know her way around the nomenclature. I took this as evidence that I had found the total package; a hot, young, intelligent girl, who liked to fish, and who could tolerate me.

"Fishing Wife" Kevin

Well, I imagine with a build up like that, you can already smell where this is going to end up, so I won’t bore you with the long version. Let’s just say that Janet is a lot of things, very attractive, fit, health-conscious, disciplined, and driven, but an angler she is not. As it turns out, she puts up with my fishing, and most of the time she “likes” me.

As I have continued to imbibe in my chosen recreational vice, and test her patience, I have encountered some people who ARE equally addicted to the sport. While this was initially disconcerting to Janet, as I imagine she was alarmed that there were others similar to me in mental defectiveness, she has grown to accept my hobby as a means for me to chill-the-hell-out with the boys. She also understands that the time I spend fishing is an investment in my own sanity.

As part of her acceptance process, which for many years resembled a lot of kicking and screaming, she has come to accept my absence as a positive. Nonetheless, she is one to make a point, so she gave my fishing chums the name “Fishing Wives.” This was clearly her way of making it clear that she did not approve of the number of hours spent with these boys in  man-sized meat suits. She’s over it now, but for a little while there (20 or so years) it was touch and go.

"Fishing Wife" Oklahoma Joe

The term Fishing Wife is, to me, an endearing one, bequeathed upon a super-select group of guys who not only share my most favorite of pastimes, they also have a little “something or other” that makes them special. Not just any dude with a fishing rod and reel qualifies. (I’m no fishing whore. OK, so I might be a fishing whore.) You’ll hear me refer to each of them in posts by name, size, age, fishing ability, idiosyncrasy, smell, flatulence level, or an affectionate pseudonym. No matter how I describe them, they each hold a special place in my heart because they have, and do, share my #1 passion. That, and they put up with me for hours at a time.

"Fishing Wife" Matt

Some, like my dearly missed Oregon wives, brother-in-law Charlie (who married the sister who REALLY does LOVE to fish), and best man Arik (my first fishing wife – swoon…), will be rare guest stars of the blog, as they live more than 1,000 miles North, and we get to fish maybe once or twice a year. (In truth, their fishing agents are difficult to deal with and demand too much money for use of their likenesses.) Others you’ll become very familiar with as Hook Ideas regulars. For example you’ve already met Matt, and you’ll soon know way too much about Kevin, and Oklahoma Joe, all of whom live, work and play with me here in Orange County. If you pay attention, you might catch a sighting of more well known fishing friends of mine like TV’s Dan Hernandez (, and blogging sensation SoCalSalty (, who I recently eloped with after a 35 minute courtship on an overnight boat to San Clemente Island.

I’ll wrap up this entry by saying there’s a lot of love in this blog, for my wives (the wedded kind, and fishing types) and legion of fan (thanks for reading Mom). Of course, I mean that I love these guys in a strictly platonic, non-gay way (not that there’s anything wrong with THAT). I’m very grateful to you also, my reader, who apparently shares my love of fishing. Either that, or you just can’t get enough heartfelt, albeit mediocre prose. Whatever your reason for visiting, thanks for spending the time to get through this. Perhaps I’ll see you on the water. In which case, be warned… Fishing with me can sometimes come with a lifelong commitment.