Need worms?

I stopped on my way home from work last night to get some gas. As I was standing outside in the 18 degree weather, wearing a heavy coat, hat and gloves, I glanced over and saw the above sign displayed proudly in a snow bank in front of the gas station… “FISHING WORMS SOLD HERE”.

WTF? That’s a sign that I would fully expect to see in front of a gas station/convenience store in the middle of the summer, when most sane people go fishing. But in the second week of January? Who in their right mind would want to go fishing in the middle of the winter?

Then I thought of my brother. He lives in Wisconsin. He goes ice fishing. Yep, he’s one of those guys who has his own little hut that he sets up out on some frozen lake. He drills a hole in the ice, sets up a stool, drops his line through the little hole in the ice, and hopes that a fish will come along and maybe figure that being yanked out of the water with a hook through your mouth is better than staying in a cold freakin’ lake in Wisconsin.

I have to admit that I know nothing about ice fishing. In fact, the reason the above sign was so confusing to me was that I didn’t really think people used live bait for ice fishing. I would think that a worm would freeze immediately upon being submerged in the icy water, and what fish likes frozen food…especially since most fish end up that way anyway? Wouldn’t they have a natural aversion to it?

I don’t like to fish…there, I’ve said it. It sounds almost un-American, especially in my family. My uncle and aunt used to take my brother and I fishing all the time. My grandfather used to take me fishing all the time. My brother loves to fish. My wife loves to fish. My kids love to fish. Me? Sorry…not a fisherman. In fact, when my kids want me to take them fishing in the summertime, you can almost hear me groan no matter where you are located geographically. You know why? Because when I take my kids fishing, I’M the one getting everything together, I’M the one putting on all the tackle, I’M the one baiting the hooks, getting all the worm poop all over me, I’M the one making sure they don’t get their lines snagged on anything, I’M the one that has to take the fish off the hook when they reel one in, and I’M the one that ends up smelling fishy for the rest of the day, no matter how many times I wash my hands. And I’ve NEVER eaten anything that I’ve caught, so what’s the point?

There are dangers, too. Ever try to take a bullhead off a hook? They have little stingers that you have to watch out for. And have you ever stuck yourself with a hook while trying to remove a fish? My old roommate did one time. He came home from fishing, said he had stuck himself with a hook, and said “do you think I should have this checked out” as he showed me two yellow streaks running up his arm. He spent the next two days in the hospital with an IV in his arm.

Now get this…I’m doing all this bitching about fishing in the SUMMERTIME when the weather is nice. WHY on EARTH would I want to go through all of that and FREEZE MY ASS OFF at the same time? First off, I’m not even cool walking on a frozen lake…I broke through the ice on a frozen creek once, and was lectured numerous times on how I could have died from it. And you know how most people deal with being out in the cold by moving around a lot to create body heat? You’re not going to be doing that in a ice hut…you’re going to be sitting on your ass, most likely drinking cold beer, which will slow down your blood flow even more.

There. That’s my rant. Go buy your worms and sit in your little ice hut and freeze while enjoying the SPORT of fishing. And why do they even call it a sport? Fishing is about as much of a sport as farting in the bathtub.

However…if you must go…you can get worms at the Casey’s on Morrissey at Lincoln in Bloomington. And pick up a lotto ticket for me while you’re there.


About groovyrick

I live in a small town in Illinois with my wife and three kids. I am a part-time musician, part-time writer, and full-time dreamer.
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