Friday, November 16, 2012

And now, your local fishing forecast


I have this ongoing beef with weather forecasters, and having actually met a real, live, on-tv-everyday weatherman, I still continue to have issues with the things they tell us.  I fully understand that weather prediction is not an exact science, and that the plethora of factors that go into a single sunny day is enough to give anyone a 50% chance of accuracy, but really.  C’mon.
Originally, my question was this: if they announce a 30% chance of rain, does that mean that it will definitely rain in 30% of the area?  Or does it mean that there is a 30% chance that rain will fall?  Will it rain 30% of the time?  (This is really a legitimate question.  I promise.) I have since learned that, by definition, 30% chance of rain means that “30% of the viewing area will see rain.”
OH I AM HAVING SO MUCH FUN.
So that USED to be my beef.  Now my biggest question is: Have you ever been on Lake Erie?  Do you know what a “wave” is?  What about a “ruler?”
As it happens, our family booked ourselves a perch charter on the mighty lake to the north.  Anyone who has a memory of perch fishing knows how great it is.  Two hooks at a time, hitting the hot spot, hitting your limit, and fresh perch for dinner.  It’s enough to make even a non-fisherman want to give it a go.
But perhaps not a young girl.
Our daughter was not thrilled about going, having only experienced the boring side of fishing hours for very little fish.  She was also concerned about the weather, knowing that a cold front had come through and the whole trip would be potentially canceled due to rocky seas.  So when the night before the forecast was suddenly changed to one-foot waves, we still had to convince her.  And perhaps bribe her, but that’s not really important at this point.
As most fishing days go, we were up way before the sun and heading north with warm weather gear and a cooler of sandwiches and water.  The boat was beautiful, the captain was fantastic.  The lake was neither.
Coming around the breakwall, we were greeted by nothing like a one-foot wave.  More like 5 foot rolling swells, and even thinking about them as I write this my body starts rocking back and forth and my dinner sits a little lighter in my stomach.  It didn’t help that we had forgotten to all take our motion sickness medicine before leaving home.
But still we fished, as true fishermen and fisherwomen do.  After a bit of searching, we hit the “honey hole” and started pulling them in pretty quickly, which was a great distraction from trying our best not to toss our cookies.  The entire trip was in full motion, to the left, to the right, and back again.  For five hours we endured a ride that would rival the Tilt-o-Whirl at any amusement park.  
The thoughts running through my head were unstoppable.  I knew that if someone was sick, I’d be sick, and then the whole boat would be heaving over the side.  For that reason I completely ignored my upside down stomach and avoided all eye contact with my husband, except for the one dirty look I gave him while trying to calm my frantic kid and holding on for dear life.
Towards the end of the day, not a word was spoken until we hit land with our own feet.
“That.  Was.  Horrible,” said someone.
“But we caught almost 100 perch,” said another.
“I’m never fishing with mom again,” said another child who was not pleased that his mom was a perching machine and was on fishy fire out there.
“I’m just happy to be on shore,” said I, wobble walking in attempt at my losing my sea legs and dreaming of the upcoming fish fry, and just how sweet they would taste.

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