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by Ben Baker

Twas the night 'fore the tourney and all cross the water
Not a fish was moving, not even a snail darter
Hooks were honed, reels spooled with care
In hopes of finding a largemouth lunker out there.

The 50 horse outboard was gassed and well oiled
The boat stacked with viennies and peanuts boiled.
Hawgin slept in one bed and I in the other
At the motel on the shores of Lake Whatchamadruther.

We dreamed of fish piled high in the boat
To win the tourney, oh how we would gloat.
Then out on the water there came such a racket
I jumped outta bed, even forgetting my jacket.

Then what on the water should appear
But a sleek red Ranger packed with gear.
With a big ol' angler decked out in red
I began to wonder why I got out of bed.

Then he cast a red and white-striped worm
His thumb control on the reel quite firm.
The worm hit the water up under a dock
His retrieve cranked in, steady as a clock.

Then, something hit, something obviously big.
He set the hook on that mighty Texas rig.
The drag it screamed so loud a sound
Surely it must wake everyone 'round.

For thirty minutes they fought to and fro
A seesaw battle, the most beautiful I know.
Finally it finished, he landed the fish
What I saw next was every angler's wish.

He laid it on scales to see what it might weigh.
I stood in amazement as there it did lay.
Twenty-four pounds even by the light o' the moon.
Why I nearly fell back in a summertime swoon.

With greatest of care he put her back to the lake
Said he, "Here's another for someone to take!"
He started the motor, it caught right away
He pointed the bow out toward the bay.

He planed in an instant, then what's more
Kept rising from the water, he began to soar.
He aimed for the sky and hit running lights.
I heard him exclaim e'er he soared out of sight.
"Good fishing to all and to all, Good Night!"

An active member of Southern Humorists, Ben Baker is a genius redneck, evangelist, dad, author and full time hunter and fisherman. In his spare time he's the editor of an award-winning weekly newspaper in South Georgia. His weekly (most of the time) column can be received via email at doseofdrivel. You can't say you weren't warned.


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