Ahhh, springtime and a young man's fancy turns to thoughts of love. Actually, so do the thoughts of old men.
Several years ago I wrote a whimsical piece for my fishing column that was intended to be completely tongue in cheek, but my words sparked a romantic response from many female readers. I felt that perhaps it is time to let the Land Lines readers in on the fun. Here goes:
Ladies there are lots of fishermen out there who are looking to hook up. If you would like a good catch yourself, you could do worse than trolling up an angler. Learn to notice the signs and you will be able to spot them in any setting. The guy in the market check out line with the subtle aroma of Deep Woods Off may be a fisherman. The weathered looking fellow in line at the fast food shop could be a prospect. The dab of river mud on his elbows or the dried fish blood on his sneakers will be a clue. Don't be shy. Many fishermen by their nature are single. That does not mean they are poor mates.
Fishermen are seldom home and when they are they are, they are either sleeping, eating or watching fishing programs on TV. This allows you to pursue an unencumbered lifestyle. With no man underfoot, your potential is endless. You will have time to join clubs and do community service without feeling the slightest guilt. On holidays, you will never have to worry about what gift he will like, and in time you may even learn to appreciate the earrings with the little anchors he bought for you. Think of the great Omega Three oil you will get!
Of course, you will have to become a maven of the deep fryer. Not being able to make decent fish, chips and hush puppies is a definite deal breaker. On the other hand, you will always be able to sleep in on the weekends. Your man will always be gone long before breakfast. He will be hardworking, loyal and way too busy fishing to even consider fooling around. He will waste no money because he will always be saving for a better boat.
Now where might you find the perfect mate? Consider spending some time around the municipal boat ramps. No, that is not the same as waiting at the docks for the fleet to come in. When you do spot a likely candidate, you will have to make the first move. Ask if you can hold his bow rope as he off-loads the boat. If you call it a "line," you will have his instant attention. Drop a comment like "nice Hummingbird." He need never find out that you don't know it is a fish finder.
Go to the tackle department in your favorite big box store and linger until a keeper shows up. Casually ask him if he thinks braids will work for you. He will probably tell you to stick to monofilament line. Smile and nod a lot. Now that he is interested, you will have to suggest that you go for coffee. Fishermen are trained to be quiet. Once in his truck, don't comment on the odor of a shrimp or mullet that has died under the seat. He can't smell it. In passing, you could mention that you think four stroke engines are overrated, but be careful -- you don't want to get him too excited. When he is most vulnerable, offer to fry up his next catch and reel him in.
When that was published, I had no idea a number of ladies would respond. Some were more than serious and wanted to know exactly where to find the fishermen I talked about. A couple even wanted to hook up with yours truly and were not happy to be turned away. I need to be more careful what I write. If you liked this story, order my book "I Swear The Snook Drowned." It contains 27 more fun chapters.
Dan Smith is on the board of directors for the Ormond Beach Historical Society and The Motor Racing Heritage Association and is the author of two books, "The World's Greatest Beach" and "I Swear the Snook Drowned." Email questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (386) 441-7793.