Monday, July 8, 2013
The Moments We Remember
The radios crackle in synch with the skyline.
Get back to the boat, boys. We gotta get outta here.
Yeah, I don’t like the looks of that lightning.
Not the lightning, mon. The darkness. We need to get off the flats while we can still see the bottom.
Huh? You know this place like the back of your hand, Pinky.
Sandbars, Mike. They move.
Point taken. We turn and we race, Sam and I, as much as one can in shin-deep chop, the three-hundred yards to the skiff, dragging the rod tips in our wake. Pinky might not be sweating the lightning just yet, but, as the highest two points on these flats, we don't feel the need to add another nine feet. There’s enough of a charge running down our spines already.
These are the moments we remember. Sure, the thrill of the catch is what those back at home think that we’re chasing, but it’s more. It’s the rush. It’s the feeling of riding the thin edge of control. It’s the realization that you’ve pushed it as far as you should, and maybe then pushed it a little bit more.
It’s watching a big ‘cuda slide by, close, as you wade ass-deep, resurrecting every adventure article you read as a boy suggesting who’s really the king of the flats, then impulsively putting a fly on his nose, only to watch him confirm that reputation, leaving shredded mono, visions of razors, and questions of sanity in its wake.
It’s tip-toeing to the edge of a bottomless blue hole and considering swimming across.
It’s hearing Pinky transmit Bones on your three, coming fast. Two cruisers behind. If they show interest in your fish, crank the drag. Break it off. And if they show interest in you, throw a handful of bottom their way.
Throwing mud at sharks. Unconvincing.
It’s finding one of those migrating sandbars and, with the rain lashing down and salt spray in your face, jumping off and dragging the skiff to deeper waters; eyes on the horizon, adrenaline pumping, heart rising to your throat, and a big, albeit nervous, grin on your face.
Yeah, these are the moments we remember.