December 16, 2005 — Twas The Night Before Christmas

First, I want to apologize for the errant and late fishing reports.  Between updating the web, building a few more sites and suffering the constant hack attacks we have been suffering, not to mention very slow and cold fishing, I have not been as diligent with the reports as I should be.  With the holidays fast approaching and spending time with those that annoy us most, I thought I would share a little tale I whipped up for my Gulf Coast Connections Article for this month.  Please read and enjoy and remember only 123 more days, give or take a few, until warm weather returns.  Merry Christmas!!!

Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the lodge
Not a creature was stirring, neither small nor large
The boats were docked in their slips with great care
In hopes that great bay fishing would soon be there

The anglers were nestled all snug in their beds
While visions of trouts danced in their heads
And mom in her kitchen and I in my chair
Had just settled down, me out of her hair

When out in the harbor there arose such a clatter
I sprang from my chair to see what’s the matter
Away to the deck I flew like a flash
Tarpon were rolling in the water with a splash

The moon on the waves of the crystal clear water
Gave the luster of diamonds on a newly wed daughter
When what to my anglers eye should appear
But a miniature skiff with eight white-tailed deer

With a little old angler with scurvy and salt
I knew in a moment the fish he would stalk
More rapid than seagulls with his rods he did catch
He whistled and shouted through the wind and the fetch

Now reds! Now trout! Now flounder and lings!
On tarpon! On snook! On mackerels and kings!
To the mouth of the jetties! To the banks of the bay!
Now fish away! Fish away! Fish away the day!

As mullet and bait fish before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle they launch to the sky;
So up on the lodge the white-tail they flew,
With an Explorer full of fish, and the little angler too.

And then in a rattling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head and was turning around,
Through the doors the little angler came with a bound

Oilskins he wore from his head to his foot
To protect his clothing from the salt and his loot
A bundle of rods were slung to his back
And he looked like a shrimper just opening his pack

His reels how the wound! His rods how they cast!
His lures like candy and oh, how they’d last!
His droll little mouth was bowed up like light tackle
And the beard of his chin was as white as down hackle!

Around his neck he wore a necklace of teeth
Remnants of battles with monsters of the deep
He had a sun lined face and a ripe little belly
That shook when he laughed like fish made of jelly

He was tanned and weathered a ripe ol’ limey
He oilskins from fish were tattered and slimy
A flip of his wrist and twist of his net
He landed a fish the biggest I’ d bet

He lost not a fish, and caught every bite
And filled all the Explorer, oh what a sight.
And laying his rod on the gunwale port side
And giving a nod, through the doors he did slide

He sprang to his Explorer, to his team he did ahoy
And away they all flew leaving little anglers toys
But I heard him explain as he cruised out of sight