Herald-Journal
Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, April 26, 1999

A limit of walleyes

By OPAL "GRANDMA" HABISCH

I went on a vacation to Florida when I was small. During the vacation, my family and I went fishing on a big boat called the June Bug. This boat took people to fish way out on the ocean

There were 10 people on this trip on the June Bug, including the captain and my family. I caught a big swordfish. It was about seven feet long and I needed help to get him in the boat.

As we were trying to land the fish, we suddenly noticed shark fins in the water. They must have been attracted by the wounded fish I had caught.

And then the captain of the boat said, "There is a big storm coming. We must cut the line to let the fish go and hurry in to shore."

All of a sudden, I noticed that the boat was rocking back and forth in the big waves and water was coming in the boat. Some of the crew members were pumping the water out of the boat, as they passed out life jackets. Everyone was getting very nervous.

But all I could think about was that I couldn't keep my big fish. There were tears running down my face.

Some of the people on the boat were getting very scared. I heard them ask the captain, "Are we going to drown?" But the captain said, "No, we can't drown. We have to go fishing again tomorrow. This little girl wants to catch another big fish."

Suddenly I realized that we were in a very dangerous situation and I quickly forgot all about the fish that I lost.

As we got nearer to shore, the waves seemed to get a little smaller. It was very dark out as we hurried back to the motel and we watched the storm out the window. I couldn't believe we had actually been out in a boat in waves like those that were crashing onto the beach.

The next day, the weather was beautiful and we went out fishing again. I caught another fish, but as before, the captain had to cut my line because baracudas, which are even meaner than sharks, started to gather around our boat.

We were fishing very close to the country of Cuba. The captain said he had to be very careful not to get too close because if we strayed into Cuban waters, the Cubans could seize his boat. He had been caught going too close two times before and if it happened again, he could lose his fishing license for the rest of the year.

Well, that was enough excitement for my vacation. First sharks, then a storm, then a baracuda, now worrying about getting too close to Cuba. It was time to go home to Minnesota.

When we got home, the first thing I did was go fishing. Before you knew it, I caught my limit of walleyes. And I didn't have to worry at all about sharks.


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