Thursday, March 8, 2012

Local angler hooks a whopper

This incident happened to my friend's husband many years ago. I don't know if I'd have been more afraid of what was in the bucket or the car.

Typically, Missouri anglers display trophy-sized large-mouth bass and whiskered catfish on their den walls. The late Mr. Lawrence Cain, Sr. made a whopper of a catch one fine summer day. His trophy mount was barely seven inches long, but his story is one that will be passed down to future generations.

The Big River rises swiftly and floods frequently. Mr. Cain and his son, Larry, meandered to the dock equipped with new tackle and high hopes. It wasn't long before Mr. Cain shouted, "I've hooked a lunker!" The drag of his line whirred through the reel as he tried to out-maneuver the fish. He imagined a good-sized bass. He played his catch until the line slackened, then reeled frantically. He couldn't believe his eyes. Thrashing on the hook was a spiny piranha, native to South America.

"Get the bucket!" Mr. Cain shouted. Larry dunked the bucket and came running.
Mr. Cain sliced the line, unhooked the gnashing fish which had razor sharp teeth. Larry, an enthusiastic environmentalist and avid naturalist, ran to telephone the Department of Conservation. Breathlessly he announced, "My dad just caught a piranha in the Big River!"

"Nonsense!" said the conservation agent. "Missouri doesn't have piranha. You must have misidentified your catch."

Larry insisted the man take a look. The agent agreed, and Larry drove ten miles
to the office with the fish sloshing in a bucket in the front seat. Larry was so excited when he reached Rockwood's Reservation, he left the car door ajar and darted inside to get the ranger.

"Okay, buddy, let's go see this so-called piranha." The ranger led the way as they headed out the door. Twenty yards from the car, he halted abruptly in his tracks, threw out an arm to stop Larry, and whispered, "Stand back! Don't move!"

There in the front seat, a bobcat bobbed for the toothy fish, then lunged
out and darted into the woods. Certain that the bobcat had devoured the fish, Larry dejectedly said, "It really was a piranha."

As they looked into the bucket, the conservation agent chuckled, "Well, I'll be! Our winters are much too harsh for this piranha to survive here. Someone must have dumped him. The bobcat sure didn't want any part of him; I guess he's all yours."

Larry returned to the cabin with the exotic fish and a tale that will be passed on to his son and his son's children. Folks will just have to take his word about the bobcat, but he has proof of the piranha. It hangs on the den wall.

Writers tip: Hook your reader with engaging tales.


Sioux Roslawski said...

What an interesting tail...I mean, tale.

Susan said...

Hi Linda...That was definitely an engaging topic. Great read. Loved it. Susan (p.s. I'm not exactly a woman of leisure....still work two part-time jobs!) Susan

Bookie said...

What a story! The bobcat in the car is as much a scare as the fish. There are more and more wild things being found about us...
Now that bears are being seen locally I am not to excited to meet up with any of Smokey's smaller relatives out in the Ozarks!

Southhamsdarling said...

A great fishy tale to greet me on my return to the blogging world, Linda! I am so glad to be back with you all again.

Lynn said...

Truth is crazier than fiction.

Anonymous said...

Great story. First the piranha....but then the bobcat??!

Joanne Noragon said...

A great story. Thanks.

Pat Wahler said...

Could that possibly be a fish story, Linda?

Critter Alley

Tammy said...

Fish story or not, it is just that kind of tale I wonder about on the few occasions I've gone swimming in a lake or river!

Chatty Crone said...

Sounds a little fishy - lol sandie