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˜TWAS THE HOUR BEFORE LOW TIDE

Pour yourself a glass of egg nog, pull up a chair and give a look at this surfcaster's take on a holiday classic.
By Toby Lapinski

'Twas the hour before low tide, and I made one more cast,
In the hopes that a cow striper would be moving past.

Out on a rock in a wetsuit I wore,
I am happiest here, where the ocean meets the shore.

I clipped on a new plug to cast out into the rip,
But it slipped and almost dropped from my cold finger tips.

My knots were all tied with great care and precision,
I was ready for battle but had I made the right decision?

My wife was back home, all snug in our bed,
While I was out here, perhaps I required meds.

The night it was cold and the winds they did blow,
I shivered and shook, but why only I know.

When out in the moonlight I swore I saw a great commotion,
It could be anything swimming in the great ocean.

I sent another cast right for the horizon,
But my guides caught a wind knot and my plug it kept flyin’.

I retied and this time I opted for an eel,
All fishermen know they are slimy to feel.

I fought with the creature but my hands were near frozen,
It was a losing battle, and I had brought a half-dozen.

Back to the plugs I relinquished defeat,
It would be plastic and wood this night as opposed to fresh meat.

I threw needlefish and darters, plastic stickbaits and swimmers,
Jigs and rubber shads, I even threw surface skimmers!

But nothing would work as the bass snubbed each lure thrown,
Much time had elapsed, my chance I had blown!

But then came one last attempt at the night’s glory,
A suggestion I had read in a Fisherman Magazine story.

I removed the big snap, and tied the line direct,
A solid knot I tied, three times I did check.

The trick it did work, my efforts finally rewarded,
A 50-pound bass landed, my camera recorded.

I took a few photos and eased her back into the water,
She struggled a moment, then kicked off in a blur.

So to all of you out there, keep check of your greed,
Release more than you keep, to you this I plead.

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