My Amazingly True Fishing Excursion

In my late teen years living in the Tidewater area of Virginia, with the James River easily accessible, there was a small group of us that hung out together quite often and loved to go fishing on the river from a very popular pier where we would dive, fish and just listen to music most of the day and dance at different places in the evening. There was always something to do.

On a Friday evening after being at the pier, we decided to go fishing the next morning bright and early that Saturday and rent a boat and would travel a bit further than we usually did up the James River. Exhausted from the night before, we all met at a designated place with coolers full of drinks and snacks, fishing poles, bait bought at the boat rental facility and ready for a very hot fishing day (young and lacking sunscreen, of course) and finally ready to go .

Being a fishing enthusiast then (not as much now), I still required help in baiting at times and hated the scaling and cleaning of the fish, although I did it. There were four of us including two of the three guys that agreed to go and my older sister and myself. My sister and I had no poles so one of the guys brought two extras with one being a newer one his father had recently bought. We were warned from the beginning that this pole better come back in the same shape or his father would be furious. He was terribly fanatical about everything anyway dusting and cleaning everywhere we went.

So out we went and farther up the river than I had anticipated,  but was not playing Captain that day. Everyone baited, we casted out and sat and waited although not for long. A few blow toads and smaller fish were caught at first and then a few flounder which we fought tremendously to get into the boat and then it happened.

My sister got this huge tug on our friends father's pole and had no clue what to do as she liked sun bathing but not fishing particularly fishing. Everyone pitched in to help pull and no matter how much we tugged, whatever it was did not want to be caught. The guys were ready to give up and hoped the line would just break and soon half exhausted were able to pull it at least to the top of the water. To our amazement, it was a small shark and did in fact jerk back with hook in mouth and enough pull to take the pole with him. Our friend was furious due to the fact that he would go without his Father's new pole and sat and sulked and cursed for what seemed an eternity and my sister cried. The other guy was determined to fish some more although I felt sorry for my sister and was ready to go home, but we finally ate something and traveled further up the river. We sat getting more sunburned by the minute for what seemed to be another few hours when after catching a few small flounder and I can't remember what or how many others, but all of a sudden it happened again. In the back of my head now, I can almost hear the drumbeat to the movie "Jaws".

Again, we all pulled and pulled and so very excited about what it might be and what was so funny was that we had traveled about a mile up from where we originally were, and we just continued tugging. Were we going to lose our other friends pole as well? We wanted to just bail out and let the guys fish as we were burned to a crisp and worn out. I was more used to catching blow toads (not sure if real fish name or what, but normally we let them go, the ugly little suckers they were and not very good to eat I was told) and they just continued to pull and again almost worn out. We thought the fish got caught up in something that would not let it come up and actually we didn't care anymore, but the guy who had been sulking for so long did and was determined to get this fish. After a long time of switching people and tugging, it finally came to the surface and we were somehow (and I don't even remember how) able to get him out of the water and again to our amazement, it was the same small shark around a mile or so up from where we were originally.........with the pole still dangling from its mouth. When we finally got it into the boat and saw the pole and that it was in fact the same pole, was still pretty much in tact and a small shark to brag about as well, our friend was elated and everyone in shock that this could have even happened.

Everyone now exhausted, our fishing excursion ended as we headed back with a great big grin on our friends face while talking about it all the way. I haven't been fishing in a long time and don't even know if I have the courage to clean and do all we did with the fish and then fish fry afterwords, but my sister and I still talk about that trip to this day. Nobody that we have ever told this story to actually believed it happened, but we know!
ru4real2 ru4real2
56-60, F
5 Responses Sep 2, 2012

As usual, you never cease to amaze me! This is what life is all about. Building others up and loving unconditionally. Great reminder and thanks as usual. Thrilled to have you in my circle.

What a captivating story, beautifully told, Toni: I pray God gives you many more<br />
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In my lateral thinking butterfly mind, your concern for your sister & your friends sure fits this Word 4 Today<br />
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Love One Another - Living Free - Sept. 11, 2012<br />
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Living Free Every Day®<br />
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Love One Another<br />
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Today's sc<x>ripture<br />
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"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." John 13:34-35 NIV<br />
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Thoughts for Today<br />
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The sc<x>riptures offer a multitude of "one another" commands concerning relationships among believers … encourage one another, be devoted to one another, honor one another, live in harmony with one another, accept one another, instruct one another, serve one another, forgive one another … and on and on. <br />
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"Love one another" is at the core of all of them.<br />
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In today's sc<x>ripture, Jesus tells us to love one another as he has loved us. Of course, Jesus' love is greater than we can even imagine … but he is telling us to follow his example. <br />
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Jesus loves us unconditionally. He wants us to love others unconditionally—not ba<x>sed on personality or looks or behavior or even our feelings. Unconditionally.<br />
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Jesus loved with his actions. He humbled himself, coming to earth as a baby and growing and living among us. Suffering the indignities and torture of the cross. His actions demonstrate the depth of his love in ways words could not begin to explain.<br />
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Consider this …<br />
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We tend to view love as a feeling, but sometimes the action must come first. Is there someone in your family … your church … your workplace … who just rubs you the wrong way? <br />
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You know you should love this person, but it would be so much easier if their attitude would change.<br />
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Jesus wants us to love unconditionally. To demonstrate love through action—even when we don't "feel" like it.<br />
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Ask him to help you see this person through his eyes. Ask him to help you love this person even if he or she doesn't "deserve" it. <br />
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And then step out in faith and love through your actions. As we in the family of God demonstrate our love for each other, even as Jesus demonstrated his love for us, others will "know we are his disciples." <br />
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Our love for one another can help draw them to the perfect love of Jesus.<br />
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Prayer<br />
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Lord, help me to love others in the way you love me. Help me to love unconditionally. Help me to demonstrate my love with action—even when I don't feel like it. Thank you for loving me unconditionally. Thank you for demonstrating your love in such marvelous ways. In Jesus' name …<br />
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These thoughts were drawn from …<br />
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Understanding Depression: Overcoming Despair through Christ by Donald G. Miles, Ed.D. This study deals with depression, a condition common throughout the world, and is suggested for use in support groups and Christian counseling.<br />
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• Understanding what depression is and how it affects relationships<br />
• Understanding the relationship between depression and spiritual warfare<br />
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• How to pray for healing and what to expect<br />
• Serves as a powerful evangelistic tool by providing a way to minister to people's felt needs and then lead them to Christ<br />
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I loved this story! and I believe it, I have experienced the weirdest of things while out fishing, and can really relate to your story, thank you so much for sharing.

I was hoping you would as I promised it to you long enough ago. Thanks so much for your response and hope you are doing o.k. You are a very kind and sincere man.

There's a moral here somewhere, but I haven't got the words for it yet ... when the shark bites ... hmm. Thank you, T!

I'm not sure about the moral unless....expect the unexpected! I thank you for your response and if you think of one, let me know! Take care Windlion and stay in touch. I haven't heard from you in a while.

That's crazy. I mean....what are the chances? Now that's an awesome fish story! Thanks for sharing Typi.

It was crazy and a certain member has asked for this story over and over but hasn't seen it yet. It was a long time coming out because of so much going on at the present. I am still going to post a few excerpts from my poetry book.
Thanks for responding, Grover!