Saturday, August 23, 2008

Bow-Fishing Adventure

Okay, so I guess today is as good a day as any to begin my blogging experience. Despite my blog's title, today's entry has nothing to do with knitting or crafts whatsoever. Sorry for false-advertising.

Last night was definitely a new experience for me. Generally, I tend to be an indoor type, especially when heat and insects are involved, but when Hubby and I were invited to go bow-fishing with Hubby's attorney, how could I turn down such an intriguing new adventure? Here's the basic premise, you get on an air-boat at night and head out into the marshes to literally hunt for fish. No wimpy waiting for fish to come to you and bite a hook for us, no sir! So, ignoring the fact that I haven't shot an arrow since camp in junior high (and I pretty much stunk at it back then, too), off we went down to the little town in Southest Louisiana called Jean Lafitte. Yes, it's named after the pirate because it's where his hide-out used to be and supposedly his treasure and ghost still reside there today.

We headed down to Lafitte after Hubby got off work on Friday. I thought we were heading for a camp down there, but we were, in fact, staying at the marina where our air-boat would be leaving from. Here's a picture of our bunk-house. It really wasn't that bad inside, but when I saw the outside, the spoiled little girl in me whined, "We're staying there?" The marina was filled with small, run-down boats, shrimp boats, trailers and equipment. And one very interesting , and out of place addition. Nicholas Cage's yacht was moored down there. He and his family have been down there for about two weeks! All the amazing places they could choose to go for vacation and they were down in Jean Lafitte, LA. Interesting choice, guess they truly wanted to get away from it all. The marina owner even told us they had taken the 130' yacht into the bayous earlier in the week to catch catfish from. I found that really amusing, fishing from that huge boat in a tiny bayou.

Attorney had dinner waiting for us when we arrived. Steak and mashed potatoes with plenty of cabernet. Yummy! I am a girl who loves her red meat (and wine)! Afterwords, we made our way over to the dock to wait for our guide and his boat. And wait, and wait... The guide was about an hour late, not really his fault, there was a wreck on the one road leading to Lafitte, but still...I'm waiting an hour at a dock with MANY flying insects and beetles. Let's focus here, people, it's all about me! Okay, not really, but the fact that he was late gave Attorney plenty of time to regale me with a story of not one, but two incidents on prior bow-fishing trips. In one, the boat sank with them out in the middle of the marsh, in the second, he ended up stranded on a bit of land out in the marsh surrounded by alligators. I don't know about you, but this is definitely not a story I really wanted to hear prior to embarking on my great adventure. Still, I didn't let it get to me too much and psyched myself up for a good time, shooting fish and being in nature.

Once the guides arrived they got the boat loaded into the water fairly quickly, and we set off! The boat was the standard air-boat like you see in any movie set in Louisiana with the addition of a platform attached to the front for us to shoot from. The platform had lights attached underneath so we could see the fish in the water. I will say that it was pretty cool riding through the intercoastal waterway and marshes at high speed with only the lights under the platform and one hand-held spotlight to guide us. It was kind of like that swamp chase scene from that James Bond movie....okay, so not really that cool, but still a lot of fun! Oh, except for the fact that if you smiled, you ran the risk of getting bugs in your teeth. I was amazed at the guide's ability to know where we were going without the usual visual references the rest of us would rely on.

When we got to our first "fishing" spot, the guides showed us how to use the bows and we got started looking for and shooting fish. The mass of bugs surrounding us was amazing! I'm really shocked that I didn't get absolutely skeezed out because I am truly one who HATES the insect world. The marshes are teeming with life, not just bugs, but little fish were jumping out of the water everywhere you looked, there were stingrays, shrimp and alligators (which I was quickly instructed that I was NOT to shoot!). We were looking primarily for redfish, but also for sheepshead and drums. They are not as easy to spot as one might hope. The guides kept pointing for us and I would look where they were pointing and see NOTHING! I think they quickly decided that I would be hopeless and concentrated their spotting efforts primarily to Attorney and Hubby. I did figure it out after a while though and started to see the fish that we were after. I shot and shot and shot and hit nothing. Darn that refraction. Well, I say I hit nothing, I actually hit a couple of fish, but I was so bad at drawing the bowstring that the arrow kinda bounced off the fish. Hubby and Attorney got several and I think Hubby was starting to feel like Robin Hood! I was so proud of him! After many tries I did manage to hit one small redfish. I was SO excited. This was by far more success than I was expecting and made the trip worth it for me. Of course, that didn't mean we could head back so we proceeded to hunt for fish for HOURS. After a bit, I pretty much determined that my one hit was a fluke and I retired to the captain's seat high above the water and became an observer. It turned into a beautiful night with a cool breeze and stars everywhere. Hubby came back and joined me after a while. We were definitely becoming bored with the fishing, but enjoyed the evening. Until about 1:30am, then we just wanted to go back to the dock! We finally got back to the marina around 2:30am. Boy, did I ever have to pee! All-in-all, though, a very fun experience. I'm really glad we went and even happier we didn't run into any spectral pirates!

Now, we're waiting on our turn at Tropical Storm Fay, so I'm going to sign off and bring in some plants before the winds pick up!

1 comment:

Lara said...

That is so awesome! You look like a total adventuress in that first picture. Also, WTF, Nicolas Cage? Jean Lafitte, LA? Weird. I'm glad you had such a good time! (oh, and PS - ick on the bugs!)