Barking Kitten

Fiction, musings on literature, food writing, and the occasional Friday cat blog. For lovers of serious literature, cooking, and eating.


Close to forty. Not cool. Politically left. Atheist. Happily married. No kids.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

the fish report

Ah, the late, great, KMET.....

I do not come from a fishing people. The sentence below, for example, appears nowhere in the Old Testament:

And the Jews were cast out, again, and fled once more, whence they came to river, and fished, and thought it good.

I do, however, know plenty of stories about my people going to the fishmarket, loudly demanding and inspecting numerous fish, and finally choosing one to take home and mince into gefilte fish.

This is not the case for the gentiles. Gentiles are outdoorsy: they camp and backpack. They voluntarily choose to sleep in places without indoor plumbing. They also fish.

When I moved in with Hockeyman, I also moved in with a motley assortment of rods, reels, and a collection plastic worms bearing an alarming resemblance to gummy candies. There were also tackle boxes and creels, which smelled like they'd been soaking in a lagoon.

Soon enough, in the spirit of being a good girlfriend and later, wife, I accompanied him on day trips to various spots, where he endlessly cast while I read on a rock, getting sunburned. Occasionally he caught something. I was generally not impressed, until we moved up north and he went out with a friend to Ruth Lake. He returned with a three-pound bass and a couple trout. Those fish were wonderful. Our kitty, then five months old, helped us eat every last morsel.

Here in the Bay Area our fishing is limited to a couple local parks, where the lakes are manmade and stocked with farm fish. Farm fish taste like mud. When Hockeyman catches them, he and kitty eat more enthusiastically than I.

Lately H-man has discovered pier fishing. Skilled fisherpeople (lots of women participate here) who are willing to stand on a freezing pier at four a.m. are rewarded with enormous halibut. The few times we've gone out (not at four a.m.) , Hockeyman has caught perch, which are far tastier than their farmed brethern. But being me, I've fallen seasick each time. On a stationary pier.

I feel very Woody Allen.

This year's weather has done its bit to wreck normal fishing patterns. Pier web sites report minimal fish; the stocked lakes are now filled with catfish. Still, H-man wants to get one more day in before summer is officially over. So tomorrow morning, far too early, we will rise, schlep out his ungainly equipment, and head out. He's thinking Lake Chabot. I am thinking the latest issue of Gourmet and a book called Eight Weeks in Berlin, an anonymous account of life there during World War II. I will pack sunblock, a hat, water, cheese, and salami. I will hope he catches something, because if not, he acts like a goalie who let the winning shot in during overtime.

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