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Fishing isn't only about the 'catching'

This young bird hitched a ride on a fishing boat last week and had to be gently brought to safety with the aid of a towel; a unique incident for a group of metro anglers. (Jason Durham / For the Enterprise)

Some people dread the aching drone of an alarm clock, but to me it signals the beginning of a new journey and often times yet another story in the fishing guide annals.

I couldn't tell you the number of walleye over 26-inches that have come into my boat, how many muskies have shaken free from sharp treble hooks before a net could slide beneath their bellies or the top ten largest northern pike caught by guide clients.

However, the unique characters that board my Crestliner and the out of the ordinary experiences that unfold stay with me long after the boat is cradled onto the trailer at the end of the day; fishing memories, not necessarily fish memories. And last week each trip seemed to have significance beyond simply catching fish.

Last week, after fishing with a group for the morning, I unfortunately discovered I had run over a nail with my truck tire at the access. After freeing up the spare from under my vehicle, loosening the lug nuts on the flat, and raising the truck with a jack, I found that the wheel wouldn't come off. After several phone calls and some sage advice from a mechanic, I finally called a tow truck. With two gentle raps from a small sledgehammer, the wheel came free. However, my original plan to be home by noon had turned into "home by 3:30".

Two days later I took a trio of metro anglers to an area lake and prepared to launch the boat. As I approached the trailer to locate the rope hiding somewhere on my front deck, I noticed a bird sitting on the bow. However, this wasn't your typical adult bird that flies away once you come near. It was a baby bird that was trying to get the hang of flying and had probably jumped out of a nest situated in the overhanging trees at the access.

It tried to fly, but only made it a few inches at time and wasn't too eager to jump from my boat to the ground. I entertained the idea of taking the feathered friend out onto the lake with us, but decided it could be dangerous for the bird.

Really though, it was because I didn't know what else to do. After several minutes of contemplation, I decided to use a boat towel to gently lift the bird from the bow and place it on the ground. The animal was released without harm and I escaped without a scratch from its feet or puncture from its beak. Yet I still haven't figured out what kind of bird it actually was.

And finally, two people in my boat hooked and landed the same bass at the same time just four days ago. Both anglers' hooks had penetrated the inside of the bass's mouth and both had fooled the fish using a leech. Funny, I never had two anglers simultaneously catch the same fish before until last season, but it happened four times! Maybe this year it will be five.