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Fishing

It all started for me back when I was just a tad of a boy -- my father was a fisherman like his father before him, and he'd take me to the pond just down the trail from our farm every chance we got to slip away from Mam and my sisters. We'd sit there for hours, talkin' or not as the mood took us, and takin' the fish home to Mam so she couldn't be mad at the time wasted. As I've got older, I sometimes think she knew where we were the whole time, but Mam was a smart woman and she kept her knowin's to herself -- and got fish out of it and a happy home.

But fish're strange critters, wily and cautious. To get one to throw itself on a hook you're holdin' the other end of takes brains and patience. You've got to learn to think like that fish, lyin' out there in a world where going straight up overhead's as easy as walking 'cross a room, and swimmin's more like flyin'.

But first things first. You need four things to catch yourself a fish: a pole, some line, a hook, and some bait. The pole don't need to be anything fancy, though some folk go in for poles with gold and jewels and all kinds of stuff that looks like it belongs 'round a lady's neck 'stead of on a pole. But any old pole will do, really. The heavier it is, the less likely it is to break under the strain of a really big 'un, but then you got the pain of totin' it around, too. So just choose what suits you.

Most poles come with lines and hooks already, but sometimes a fish might snap your line and make off with it and the hook, too. You can buy replacements that come in different sizes and strengths. Line comes from type 1 up to type 9. If you're fishin' in a creek or pond you want the lower numbers, but if you're goin' after a giant sturgeon or a Rathan bluefish, get the stronger, higher numbers. Hooks're the same way. They come in sizes 1 up to who knows what, but you want to be matchin' the size to the fish. Too big and the fish can't really get hooked even if he's tryin' -- too small and he won't even notice it.

Then there's bait. I suppose every fisherman has his own secrets, but here's the key: different fish like different food. Some fish like bait that's still squirmin' and kickin', others want to make sure it's good and dead. Some fish like little bitty bait, others want to bite off a chunk of somethin' bigger. Bait comes in boxes, and how much you get depends on how much they can wedge in there. If it's somethin' little like fish eggs, you get a whole bunch, but if it's somethin' big like slabs of meat, you don't.

So, now you're at a spot that looks like it ought to have fish in it. Get your pole out and OPEN it up, if it's one of the fancy foldin' ones. If you LOOK at your pole, you can see if it's got a hook and line. If it don't, or if you want to change them, hold your pole in your right hand, put the envelope with the new line or hook either in an open container you're wearing or drop it, and then GET the line or hook in the envelope. You'll put it on the pole all ready to use. Unfortunately, there ain't no way to save the old line or hook.

LOOK at your pole again and see if it's baited. If it's not, just hold the pole in your right hand and make sure the bait's somewhere handy, like in an open container you're wearing or on the ground, and GET the bait from the box. There's some skill to baiting a hook, but keep at it, you'll get it eventually.

Once you're all set, CAST your pole. You've got to be at a good fishin' spot to do this -- fish don't live on land, and some water's just too shallow or too nasty to have fish. Once your hook's in the water, what you do next depends what you want to catch. Some fish like bait that just sits there, beggin' to be eaten. Some fish like bait that's swimmin' around, or looks like it. You can YANK or WAVE your pole to make the bait move around a little. You can PUSH your pole to feed out more line so it sinks deeper or gets out further from shore, or you can PULL your pole to bring the bait closer to the surface. If you LOOK at the pole, you can see how much line you've got out. If the line gets tangled up, just UNTANGLE the pole to get it fixed.

Sooner or later you're going to get a fish to take an interest and nibble your bait. PULL your pole to set the hook and reel in the line, and hope the pole and the line stand up to the strain!

Once you've got a fish, you've got some choices. You can eat it -- though raw fish don't appeal to me, I hear some people like it. You can sell it to a fish buyer, if there's one nearby. If you think it might be a record breaker, you can weigh it at one of the places that keeps track of such things -- just PUT the fish on the scale -- and if it's the biggest one of that variety caught so far, your name goes up on the board for everyone to gawk at. They pay more for record fish, too, something to keep in mind if the coin for supplies is short.

But in the end, it's you and the fish. There's somethin' almost mystical about fishin'. Fish live in the most beautiful places in the world, soaring up or down with the flick of a tail. Part of the water, they're born from stones, hatched from the gravel of the sea bottom, and soaring through their universe with almost no effort. The only things they need to watch out for are bigger fish -- and a hidden hook.

So go match your wits against that monster lurking out there in Lake Gwenalion or in the middle of the Reshalian Sea. You'll come back a humbler and better person.

 

 
Rated E: Everyone Interactive -- The content of this site may change due to interactive exchanges.  Mild Violence.
Simutronics Corporation


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