Well, it's about 3 years ago today, just a little past 6:00 AM. Just rented a small row boat at Loch Raven Reservoir, threw my trolling motor on, two batteries, 5 rods already rigged up, cooler, and tackle box; everything is loaded up. So now I go back to my car to get my fishing buddy. My 70 pound German Shepherd. She always goes fishing with me when no one else will. She loves being out on the water, and she especially enjoys watching the ducks. She never gets in the water, but they always interest her.
Taking off from the dock with the trolling motor going, I grab one of my rods with a deep driving lure on it. I figure I might as well troll while I head over to one of my favorite coves to hit up.
So here's the setting, I am in the back of the Jon boat, coffee in one hand, rod I'm trolling in the other, the other four rods leaning over one of the seats, with all the hooks secure and hanging over the side of the boat. And Bronwyn standing on the front of the Jon boat, that's my shepherd's name, not my choice but when you rescue a dog with a name they already respond to, you keep it. She sees a flock of ducks flying in and landing in the water on the right side of the boat. She jumps over to that side of the boat to get as close as possible without touching the water. I spill my hot coffee on my pants, and the four rods fall over, the Zara spook comes unsecured and lands on the grounds behind my shepherd. She then steps back as the boat is rocking and steps right on the Zara spook, gives out a yelp and starts pulling her back leg away from the lure. Of course it is hooked up to the rod so as she pulls, it pulls back on her and she keeps yelping. Here I am in the back, spilt coffee all over myself with another rod I'm trolling in my hand. I finally calm her down so she'll stay without pulling and I cut the line from the rod. I then pick up her back paw to examine how deep the hook is and if the barb is in her. It barely looks like it is in, so I decide to see if I can just slip it right off. Well, this was the dumbest thing I could have did. You guessed it, she felt the hook move, gave a yelp and pulled her paw. The lure then snaps out of my fingers and right into my thumb.
At this point we have managed to start going in circles, because all the while my trolling motor was still going. Everyone else is watching and hearing because every 15 seconds, she yelps, pulls, and I yell as the hook in my thumb goes deeper. At this point, I somehow manage to get in the back to stop the boat. Another boat rolls up to us, probably more curious to see what kind of idiot could have gotten himself into this predicament. I look at him and his son with this sad look.
I can not get to my tackle box, so he hands me some clippers. I manage to cut the hook off the Zara spook on my side of the lure. Now we are free from each other. That was a relief, because I was starting to think we were going to be attached for life. Because of all the pulling, the hook in my thumb had gone in the front and out of the side. I could now push the barb out the side of my thumb, cut the barb off and take it out. I then clip the rest of the hooks off the Zara spook on my dog, so all that is sticking out is one hook. Unfortunately, the clippers I had and the nice father and son that came to my help, we not strong enough to clip the one in my dog. I have to go to shore and get another pair to get it out of the dog.
Well, you guessed it, the lure I was trolling has now got tangled up in the trolling motor. I never got the chance to pull that in. Well, to prevent from dragging on anymore, I managed to untangle it, get to shore and get the last hook out of the Bronwyn's leg. I was too angry to be embarrassed, but I could feel the eyes from everyone at the dock staring. Well, the heck with them I figured. Dog's leg was fine, my thumb hurt, but who cares. I'm catching some fish. Did manage to land a few bass, but the biggest thing I caught that day was a 70 pound German Shepherd…
Michael Holiday (Creel Limit Zero)