It’s not often I have an opportunity to write sequels to great adventure in such a short period of time. Scott Jamison, the main character in last week’s column, just keeps filling my life with write-about hooking thrills each time we ride the waves. Scott became a new fishing buddy for me several years ago at a time when my list of wave-running friends had dwindled to a short few because of gray hair and wrinkles.
Scott came to our community from Kansas to teach English literature and composition at Brazosport High School, and that was good news for our community and for me. Accidents are usually not fun events, but on occasion they turn into something special as this one did.
At the time, I was struggling with editing stories for my books, “Dancing with the Waves,” and made a trip to OfficeMax for some supplies. Amazingly, I got into a short conservation with the young man at the counter, Phoenix Jamison, about my problem. He told me his dad, Scott, was interested in literature and would probably be glad to help me. Well, an accidental meeting was the start of a rushing high tide that has endured over the last few years.
As it turns out, Scott is an avid fisherman, but in Kansas, there are only weaklings like bass available for thrills on your line. There certainly are no line-stealing wild men like our redfish to send a shot of hot blood rushing through his veins. His eyes lit up after seeing a few fish pictures and reading some of my stories. We talked and agreed that in return for me teaching him how to fish, he would help me get my books published.
Two new friends sharing quiet and peaceful moments under a blue sky on nervous water is a time when you really get to know each other. During our casual conservations, we discovered our common interest was more than just fishing and writing. Turns out, we both receive great pleasure in helping youth of today find a better way of life. My way is exposing them to Mother Nature and his is in the classroom.
He began his career at Brazosport teaching high school seniors who excel with their studies in English literature and composition. But it was not fulfilling, so he turned his teaching skills to helping lower-grade students who struggle with their studies to improve their test scores. The sky gets brighter when a big smile flashes on his face while telling me about young Bill or Mary making improvements over the last semester.
It makes me feel good passing on achievements in our community for my fishing pals outside the fishing world in these little stories that I write. Those moments, during a long and blessed life, have all been caused by the fish hook, and Scott provided me with another whopper story recently during an encounter with a huge shadow that glides along.
A call for a fishing trip from me is followed by a short, excited stumbling of words asking what time he needs to be at my house. At 6 a.m. the next day, Old Blue took us to the bait house for our supply of minnows, followed by wetting I’m Ready’s bottom at the boat launch. With a high outgoing tide, we planned to do our reeling in one of our favorite sweet spots.
Because of limited space last week, I left out a few magic tricks that he pulls with his hook. So let me add a few more interesting ones before I get to the punch line for today.
On two occasions, he has brought to the boat small, 1-inch shiner minnows hooked in the mouth dangling from a big No. 6 three-way hook. Recently, along came a pair of blue crabs back to back that looked like they were doing a mom-and-pop thing while still chewing on his bait.
One more thing he has repeated many times is that most normal fisherman, like me, lose our complete rig when we get hung on an oyster reef; not Scott. Somehow, he usually manages to pull a small cluster of live oysters loose and bring it in, along with his tackle.
Oh my, if you think those little mysteries are something, I’m going to tell you what Houdini pulled out of his cap and put on me during our last trip.
My entertainment continued when some grunting and groaning on I’m Ready’s deck filled the air. Scott’s rod bent in a half-moon with his line being pulled like a freight train with three engines. It’s not a stingray that moves with stops and starts, probably not a freshwater gar that usually slaps his tail and certainly not a redfish that would be peeling line off his reel by the yard. It was like that old train was pulling Scott slowly around the boat against his will.
Thirty minutes into the battle, a long black shadow rolled over, revealing the largest black drum I had ever seen. Scott leaned over, cradled him in his arms and brought him out of the water like a sack of corn. His head passed the end of our 38-inch measuring device by a foot, and our weighing scales pegged before we could get half of him off the deck.
So my friend gave me another believe-it-or-not moment to remember along the water’s edge. Life is good.