My Side of the Plate: Flatlander flunks fishing

For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of being a reporter, a newsroom can get crazy on occasion.

Fortunately, there is always somebody setting off an air bomb or pulling some weird item, usually of a musical nature, off the Internet to break the tension and keep people from throwing computers against the wall when deadline is approaching and the server is slow.

Then there is the playful back and forth bantering that gets a bit intense from time to time.

Everyone in the newsroom gets picked on, most of the time deservedly so, and with me it goes with being the new kid.

Still, I have been forced on several occasions to draw the Scottish mole dirk I have hanging on the wall of my cubicle from its scabbard and make threatening gestures.

Having spent a long time in Eastern Oregon, I am still in the process of making a complete adjustment to life on Whidbey Island.

One of the big problems I’m dealing with is I know next to nothing about fishing.

To quote the Bard of Avon, “Therein lies the rub.”

I can give you all the information on duck hunting and how it makes no difference what a decoy spread looks like either in a hook, a J, or a T, depending on the location of your blind. Just gauge the direction of the wind, leave plenty of space for the “landers” and make sure not to overcall.

But sport fishing leaves me scratching my head.

Fishing is the major outdoor activity around these parts and as sports editor, it is my obligation to keep people informed.

Ed Oldham gives me a hand, but his Fish, Fur and Fowl columns appear just twice a month so much of the load falls on me.

I’m pretty sure I know what a downrigger is, but don’t ask me how the thing works.

As far as glow/bead combos or green spatterback hoochies are concerned, forget it!

I make it a point when wandering around the sporting goods departments at Wal-Mart or Kmart to check out the fishing lures so as to familiarize myself.

“Oh, so that’s what a hoochie looks like. What do you do, affix a worm to the hook?” You got me.

Roland Martin sure makes it look easy catching large-mouth bass. “Lookit that big-gutted rascal,” he remarks, hauling another one out of Lake of the Ozarks or at Table Rock. But I’ve been told bass are contrary critters and will hit the heck out of one kind of bait on a particular day and the next day you might just as well have stayed in bed.

To me, fishing has always been sitting on the bank of a slow-moving river with a cane pole and a bobber while humming Stephen Foster tunes.

A point in my favor is I’m a good listener and I have this little tape recorder I carry around to keep from forgetting vital information.

Still, I feel doggone stupid when people get rattling on about fishing topics and I have no idea what they are talking about. Hurts my ego.

Perhaps I should take our ace photographer, Jim Woolbright, up on his offer for a day out on the salt.

On another point, I’m also not very good on repairing things — a condition I blame entirely on my father.

I’m totally unmechanically inclined but that, as they say, is another story.

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