What Kinda Deal is This???
(The further adventures of me and Buddy)
by Jim Porter
(Sometimes it’s necessary to just have fun. These two seem to have it all together; the problem is that neither one can remember where they put it!) For you all that don't know us two guys yet, me and Buddy ARE NOT any kin to those two degenerated, halfway excuses for bassers, Harry and Charlie, over in BassMaster magazine. We are refined Weekend Semi-Pro gentlemen of the World who just happen to like chasin' them old bucket-mouthed fish. That's about the only thing we have in common with them. Well, maybe getting into a few odd predicaments is one other similarity.
Buddy has been my best friend ever since High School and we've been fishin' together for a long time. He's pretty good at it, too. Only problem is that boy's lack of self-confidence. He usually places in the money in our little club tournaments, but every time I try to get him to fish a 'bring your own partner' contest with me, he'll mumble and hedge around and usually find some excuse not to go. I suppose he's just afraid of lookin' bad in front of friends if he don't do well. Anyway, one weekend when Buddy’s old boat was down at Earl's Fix-it shop for a new lower unit, I surprised him by payin' our entries to the local 'bring your own partner' tournament. When I sprung it on him, he couldn't hardly hold back his excitement. He acted like he didn't want to go at all, but I could tell different. Buddy wanted to hug my neck so bad, but I managed to fight him off.
Once I got Buddy settled down and he quit mumblin' under her breath, I told him that I didn't expect him to catch no fish, but to treat it like one of them therapy sessions his cousin had gone to last Fall and try to overcome that lack of self-confidence. He frothed at the mouth a bit over that and tried to hug my neck again, but I wasn't expecting no miracles too soon anyway. Tell you one thing for sure, that boy needs to change that deodorant. Smell like Power Worms.
The big morning came and me and Buddy got checked in smooth as silk. We got a flight number and launched my boat with hardly a hitch. Confidence really makes things go right. We DID have to dredge his lunch up after I kicked it off the dock, but that was easy. I didn’t know Spam floated until then! I tell you what, if you ain't never seen the blast-off in a big time tournament, you have missed a most exciting event. Looks a lot like store opening time at 50 per cent-off day, with a mad dash for the sale tables. 150 horsepower motors blast out and there ain't nuthin' to see but spray and prop blades. My old 14 foot boat handles that rough water in the blast-off area pretty good, though. I put the vintage 18 horse Scott Attwater motor in 'go' and climbed up on top of the biggest wave. It made the rig sort of slip and slide around, but it was a lot like surfin', too. Fun!! I check Buddy between swells and really felt bad for him. Hisconfidence hadn't improved much and I know them hands was hurtin' the way those white knuckles was grippin' the sides of that boat. Well, after he got to bailing, I'm sure that took his mind off maybe not catchin' no bass.
We finally got down the lake to my favorite Hawg Hole and, believe it or not, there wasn't another boat in sight. We had it all to ourselves. Well, we spinner baited it, and we crank baited it, and we wormed it, and we jigged it, and even tried a little topwater. Nothing seemed to work. We were so snake-bit we couldn't have caught them bass on a DuPont spinner. (That's big time Pro talk for 'hand grenade', in case you're not up on them sayings).
About the time we'd hauled up the trolling motor and zipped on our Maidenform Everfloats, this little kid comes walking down the bank. He took a big gob of red worms (yech!!), hooked 'em on a cane pole and tossed them right out where me and Buddy had just finished flailing the water to a foamy froth for an hour. Needless to say, we was surprised as hell when he didn't catch nuthin', either.
I fired up the old outboard and hollered, "Comin' hot!", which is more of that bass Pro slang meaning "we's fixing to hit the big motor and make it on down the duck pond." That is supposed to warn the back-of-the-boat partner to latch onto his Mac Diesel Power hat and hold tight. That dang Buddy was holdin' tight, all right. His South end was facing North and he had his head in the cooler after a beer. By the time I managed to back off the motor, he and that cooler was both up under the rear deck and all I could see was legs flailin' and tennis shoes bouncing. By the time I managed to get that guy out from under there, I'd swear his right leg was two inches longer than his left. He hollered like it was comin' off, but if you'd ever seen Buddy drink beer, you'd know why I didn't want him under there too long by himself. Heck, half them brews was mine, even if Buddy did buy 'em.
Betcha didn't know one of them fancy Sears ice-maker ice cubes outa that cooler would fit up a guy's nose. Couldn't get the thing out either. I tried my Super Cricket lighter to heat it a bit and speed the melting, but Buddy got to screaming and wiggling around and it caugh his genuine Sonny Bono-style mustache on fire. He started hollering louder and jumping up and down and I tried to beat out the flames with the paddle. Knocked him right over the side of the boat, too. He sure was happy about me gettin' that flame out and tried to hug my neck again. I fought the scoundrel off, trying to tell him to look at the bright side. His morning shaving was cut in half and that was a real time-saver, you betcha. (Not much sense of humor sometimes, that Buddy. You try and help and look what thanks you get. Dang!!) We worked our way around what other bassin' spots we knew and onlymanaged to pick up two little bank runners. Buddy wormed most of the time so he could shake the lure a little with one hand and hold an ice cube on that upper lip with the other. About the time even I was getting discouraged, Buddy whispered that he had a good hit. Dropping the ice cube, he reached out towards the bass and gave one of them 'yank him over the boat' hook sets.
That ding-dong had been so intent on that 'ice cube on the lip' bit that he'd clean forgot to engage the reel gears after the cast. What a 'professional overrun' bird nest he came up with! Hit himself on the mouth with the rod as it came back, too, and busted the big old blister that was forming. Somehow, though, he had managed to get enough pressure to hook that old sow bass and she came dancing and prancing up on top of the water. Looked like a good 11 or 12 pounds. Buddy retained enough smarts to hang on and finally engage them gears, but it didn't do much good. Mama Bass made her big run for the deep, a loop of the backlash settled nicely over the free spool button, the drag slipped a bit and 'bing' went the old line. I had reacted in my usual efficient manner and was right there with the net. As the line broke, Buddy fell backwards, got his foot tangled up in the net, and went over the side again.
He climbed back in the boat, sans one Loomis rod and very expensive reel, and proceeded to heave over two of my rods, an Umco Possum Belly and the beer cooler before I could get a grip around his old neck and stop him. About that time, two other contestants came fishin' around the near point, saw us in what looked obviously like a tight embrace and sorta smiled and started whispering to one another. I swallowed my Red Man and Buddy passed gas.
We wound up back at the weigh-in standing with the other also-rans, watching bag after bag of lunkers goin' across the scales. I suppose the other contestants knew we hadn't done so good 'cause they was whisperin' and lookin' at us kinda funny and keepin' their distance. I started to tell Buddy not to worry and that we'd get 'em next time, but he had slipped off to get more ice, I guess.
Now, I know I parked that old truck up here in the parking lot somewhere. It was right here by this big tree, but now I can't find it. What's worse, Buddy's done wandered off and got lost 'cause I can't find him, either. Well, I'll look for them some more in a minute. Right now there's a ruckus down at the dock about some feller's boat being on fire and I want to get mine out of the way!
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