One of the great sights when fishing is seeing a fish walking on top of the water.
I know, you might ask how does a fish walk since it has no legs or feet? You might also ask how does the same fish not only walk, but do so on top of water?
Of course, it isn’t that kind of walk. They do so flailing their bodies up in the air and skim across the surface with the tails splashing the water about. Many logos of sports teams, various products or organizations use this type of profile.
Hooking into a nice largemouth bass can create this scenario when they are really fighting, and it takes a little skill from the angler to keep the fish from throwing the bait during this athletic move by the angry fish.
When I was a youngster, my friends and I always made whatever we were doing into something different in our imaginations. If we were bird hunting, we pretended the birds were enemy aircraft and we were trying to bring them down before they attacked.
Or we might scan the surface of the lake for submarines surfacing, which were in fact turtles.
But when we hooked into a bass that was a real fighter, well, the bass became something even more majestic. Instead of hooking into a bucket mouth, we were instead hooked into a half-ton billfish, a blue marlin to be more specific, and were having the fights of our lives.
Line screaming from the under adjusted drag would fill the air as the marlin made a line out to sea. We would adjust the drag to get the upper hand once again (especially when the bass was heading to a fallen tree rather than "out to sea"). And then, as if in slow motion, we could see the water begin to bulge before finally parting as the fish took to the air wriggling side to side, thrashing its head back and forth trying to toss the lure from its mouth.
Marlin and other billfish were the dreams of us flat water anglers. The biggest thing we might actually catch, other than a sunken log, would be a large catfish that basically felt like, well, a sunken log, when we reeled him in.
Marlin on the other hand, they were the great game fish. Five-hundred pounds, 600 pounds, heck, 1,342 pounds like the one mounted at the Oregon Inlet Marina seemed like the pinnacle of our fishing dreams. One day maybe, when we would become adults and be rich, we could go after the same.
I imagine some of the weekend fishing shows that came on one of the three channels we had back then along with that marlin displayed at Oregon Inlet Marina gave a lot of kids, and adults alike, that dream.
Today, however, that dream might be enticed by something different. Not that it is new, the Big Rock Tournament is in its 61st year, but it certainly reaches more people.
Social media and regular media along with ever-increasing pay days have helped spread the word of the Big Rock. Close to live feeds of not just the boats coming in with a catch or not, but when a boat actually hooks up give the tournament a new sense of excitement that many can follow along with, whether at the event, near the coast, or across the country.
Dreams of hooking into a supersized marlin, landing in the fighting chair, muscling the fish in his element with rough seas pounds from the sides, and then in the end, holding a big check for big money are probably very abundant this time of year.