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Backlashes, Broken Rods And A Bigfoot On The Shore

3/22/2013 8:18:15 AM

As soon as the roads cleared of snow and ice, our neighbors to the north began the hectic dash to get to Toledo Bend to sample some black bass and crappie fishing. These people, God bless them, had been cooped up under snow and ice for almost six months and to say they suffered from cabin fever would be putting it mildly! At any rate for perhaps the last six years there was a mass exodus of Yankees that began filtering down starting in late February and reached its zenith around late March. I had been guiding for about twelve years at this time and looked forward to fishing with them, not only for the money, which I sorely needed, but because they were great folks. And did I mention that these crazy people loved to play jokes on us Good Old Southern Boys!

This time was going to be different I promised myself. No longer would I fall for the old, "I just bought this Red reel, but I do not know how to use it. Could you teach me please" Or," We figured since this is such a great fishing lake, we would not keep anything less than five pounds. And by the way, we would like to take back about five hundred pounds of fillets!" Yeah, right. But not this time. No sir. This time The Cajun Guide would have the last laugh.

The plot had been hatched earlier between my cousin, Joe and me. The ruse would begin on the first night as we sat around the campfire eating fresh caught fish and downing a few cold ones. Well to be honest, these Northern Boys could drink with the best of them. Probably from all that practice during the winter months up there and they almost always had more than what normal people who would be up at five the next morning and fish all day would have dared. The hour was late and the party was into full swing when the most horrible spine tingling sound rang out. The force of the rumbling shriek hit the ear drums as the sound of a jet engine revving for take off from a short runway.

The good natured banner stopped. "What the hell was that terrible noise?", a number of the Yankees yelled in unison.

Several of the guides acknowledged straight faced and honestly, because they were not in on the ruse, that they had no idea. Then the sound came again from a different direction. It was just as loud and if anything, more sinister than before. The camp became morgue quite. One could see the whites of the wide open eyes as they reflected the flickering campfire light. Then the Northern boys began a half hearted laugh. You dang Cajuns had us going there for a few minutes, but we know you were just trying to scare us!

I along with three other guides stood up slowly and peered into the darkness. "Yep," I said. "Old Foot is on the prowl and I am getting the flock out of Dodge! Been about a month since the last attack hasn't it Jerry?" I continued.

With that said we guides departed. As we beat a hasty retreat to our trucks, we could plainly hear the conversation begin anew. "What did Johnny mean by last attack," one of the younger of the group was asking?

The marina owner chimed in with his usual slow southern drawl. "Wal, a 'bout month or so ago, something broke into one of the lake houses just a mile from here and terrorized the woman and little girls that livved thar! When the cops got there, thar were blood and guts all over the porch. Something had killed the family's two dogs. A German Shepard and a dang mean Rottweiler as i recall. Somethang just bit the Shepard's head off and then it kilted the Rock by tearing out its heart and eating it. 'Dangest thang they never did saw they said.'"

With that the stage was set. My two clients for the next morning, we changed men each day for the duration of the trip, were known as the best at playing jokes on guides. It was on my back to make them pay for past transgressions. And in my own way I was ready. We motored down the lake about ten miles and began fishing up a creek that ended in some heavy, swamp like cypress flats.The water here was gin clear and the bass were already on the beds. My guys had promised me a hundred dollar tip if I could put them on an eight pound or better bass. The fishing was so good that I almost forgot the payback. The bass were committing suicide on Gold Rouges and twin spin green and white spinner baits. Then it happened. The youngest set his hook hard, the rod bent as if it might snap and eight pounds of black bass fury leaped clear of the two foot deep water. I can close my eyes and still see the droplets of water shining in the early morning sun and the flared red gills in its bucket sized mouth!

"When the bass was finally in the boat and the obligatory pictures had been taken, the fortunate young man, beaming from ear to ear, reached into his pocket and produced a hundred dollar bill which he handed to me. "That is the best hundred I ever spent," he said. "If you do not mind, I am going to keep her and have the bass mounted."

By now we had trolled as far into the cypress break as we dared and I turned the boat around and aimed for a large red oak that sat on the bank of the creek. All at once the same blood curdling cry we had head last night rang out from somewhere behind the huge tree.

"What in the Sam Hill is that?" the other man yelled.

Before I could answer, the sound came again and this time we saw the source. There on the bank was a hairy brown creature with glowing eyes and a large branch in its hand. The beast would open its huge mouth and as the one inch white fangs sparkled ina the sun, scream the terrible spine tingling cry. The beast seemed intent upon beating us with the long branch and it even walked out into the water. All the while it kept screaming and flogging the water with the club.To say my two clients were scared would be putting it mildly, maybe more like in shock would better describe their appearance. For once neither had anything to say and it looked for the world like they were trembling.

"What can we do?" the big one, Billy,whispered.

"Well two old timers once told me that they were confronted by just such a beast and they threw three squirrels toward him and when it leaped on them they got away, post haste," I said, trying hard to contain my laughter. See Joe and I hatched the plan and he owned a Bigfoot costume. We planned to meet at the oak and then he would do his thing. I would then maneuver the boat past him as he flogged the water and pretended a mock rage. He would fade back into the boonies and all would be perfect.

"That may have worked then," Caspar, the trophy catcher said, "but we ain't got no squirrels!"

Both his buddy and I turned an glared at him. "Okay. I'll give him the bass!" With that the client reluctantly heaved the big bass upon the bank, where Joe obligingly pounced on it and headed into the timber. I would have felt badly for him, but I knew that Joe would have the bass at the marina when we got back and the client would still have his trophy.

Not much was said on the trip back in as the two seemed locked in some deep soul searching. As I pulled the boat up Joe came wheeling in. He slid to a stop and came running toward me without even closing his door. As soon as he was near I gave him a two thumbs up and had just begun to tell him what a command performance he had executed. "The only thing I wonder is how did you keep pulling that cord to make the screeching sound?"{The sound effect was made by a homemade deice where a waxed string is pulled through a tightly stretched rubber diaphragm over the end of a lard bucked}

I do not know what your are talking about. I did not make it. That is why I came down here. Martha, one of our cousins, had a wreck at Zwolle and I had to go help her. I am so sorry but I promise I will do it just as we planned tomorrow!"

I though on it for about a half second and then as I remember the inch long white fangs and the ugly face on the Bigfoot, I said. "No let;s just forget about it!"

See you folks next time. The Cajun Guide/Johnny Procell


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