Leon Checinski is a Fish Hawks member who writes for his own pleasure. He has started to share his love of writing and fishing with us. Please enjoy this story and click on the links below to read his previous ones, ENJOY.
An Old Wooden Plug
By Leon Checinski
I just got home from work and walked through the front door. It was very late at night, when everything seems silent and still. I sat down on the living room couch, took off my shoes and sat back with a heavy sigh. I reached over the side of the couch and gave the dog a pat on the back. She looked at me without lifting her head. She had a look that said “I am glad you are home but I am tired now from my long day of laying right here in this very spot.” I looked up and through the living room window and the branches of the Oak tree on the front lawn I could see the full moon. It was really a beautiful sight. “What a great picture that would make” I thought to myself. It’s odd the things you will notice when it’s late at night, quiet, and you can relax, take in the silence and let the long day fall away.
I thought that I should wash up and get to bed, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep for a while, so I just sat there with my thoughts drifting to many different things, like a dreamers thoughts often do. After a little while I remembered an old box of fishing lures out in the garage. I never could bring myself to get rid of lures and just kept adding old ones to that box for years . I had been meaning to look through them for some time and this was as good a time as any. I got up walked through the laundry room and out to the garage. I knew just where that old box was. I grabbed it and went back to the living room couch. The dog looked up at me again without lifting her head. This time it was more of an annoyed look than an “I’m glad you are home” look. I reached over and patted her on the back once more and she actually huffed out some air as if to say please don’t annoy me any further. I opened the box and started looking through the tangled mess of old lures. Metal, wood, plastic some missing hooks, some chipped and faded most of them beat up and battered. Some of them with a history that I wish I knew. I then came across a very old wooden plug.
“Wow” I thought, I remember this old thing. It was given to me by an old family friend when I was a kid. It was already old and beat up even back then. It actually had teeth marks in it that I can only assume came from a bluefish. It was red and white at one time now badly faded with two sets of treble hooks and the remains of some white hairs on the rear set of hooks. I always wondered about the story behind that old plug. Who made it and when, who used it, where was it fished, how many fish did it catch? Was it used only once or twice, or did it survive many years of fishing? It certainly looked as if it had done battle with many of the ocean’s tough guys. I started to wonder about its motion in the water. Did it have good action or did it swim like a two by four? I thought this was a nice piece of fishing history and decided to display it along with some antique rods and reels that I have collected. I left it on the kitchen table that night and went to bed.
In the morning I walked out of the bedroom and saw the dog sitting by the back door still looking annoyed. I guess she had business to attend to and I kept her waiting a little too long. I opened the back door and out she ran to leave a land mine strategically placed for me to inevitably find when cutting the grass. I then saw that old plug sitting on the kitchen table and for some reason I wanted to see it in the water. I don’t know why but before I displayed it I just had to. I then drove over to my brother in-law’s house, which is on a lagoon and walked into the back yard. There I knew I would find my nephews ultra light rod and reel combo that he always left thrown around back there.
I knew it was to light for this lure, but I was going to take one or two casts to satisfy my curiosity and I would then display the old plug forever. I tied it on quickly, not worrying much about the knot, and casted it across the lagoon where it landed just inches from a small dock. I took one or two turns of the reel and saw a flash from under the dock. Before I knew it something had it and the fight was on. I couldn’t believe it a small striper I guessed about six or seven pounds. I did my best but I was totally unprepared for this. I was never trying to catch anything. After a minute it was over. The fish and my great old plug where both gone. I reeled in the slack line to find that the knot I tied so hastily had come undone. I hoped that the fish could rid itself of the hooks but I doubted that would happen. I then began to wonder what happens to a lure in these cases. Would it be stuck in the rocks forever? Would it eventually wash up on the beach somewhere? Could it be in an antique shop for sale? Did some lucky fisherman find it and if he did is it in an old box out the garage or is it on display with other antique fishing items? Is someone looking at it late at night wondering about the story behind this great lure or maybe I am the only one in the world that would put so much thought into an old wooden plug.
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