Washington Evening Journal

Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 26, 2018

John’s big ol’ fish

By John Brinning

I guess this all started as a result of my brother Roger, my sister-in-law Kathy and my wife, Lolita, and I fishing at one of the ponds located on their farm. It was one of those perfect Iowa springtime Sunday afternoons. It was perfect for just about any type of outdoor activity. Spring had finally arrived; a nearby hay field bordering the pond with its brilliant greenery cast against the blue waters of the farm pond provided a most scenic background for our Sunday afternoon fishing expedition.
During past family fishing expeditions, my brother had expressed frustrations over his lack of ability in catching fish. As other family members around my brother would continue to reel in their catch, this only added to my brother’s frustration in landing the ever-elusive fish.
In order to help poor ol’ Roger out on his fishing situation, this past Christmas provided a perfect opportunity for me to give him the gift of a lifetime. A trip to one of my favorite sporting goods stores and the purchase of two multicolored lures would ensure that my brother would now be able to join other family members and friends in landing numerous fish.
So here we are on the shoreline of the pond, casting out our lines and very soon reeling in fish. Well, most of us were reeling in fish; however, much to the dismay of Roger, it was a repeat of the same story as in past fishing ventures. I was soon accused of providing him with a different type of lure, one which did not attract fish. Another excuse soon surfaced as Roger decided his fishing tackle did not allow him to cast out a sufficient distance to properly fish. At any rate, soon Roger was reduced to using his pliers to help others get their fish off the hook.
I did notice that Roger’s fishing line when casting did appear to simply lock up, thus limiting the line to go any distance into the pond. With that conclusion, I offered to take his rod and reel home with me and make some adjustments. A simple adjustment here and there and I was now sure that even Roger would be able to properly cast out and perhaps even land fish.
This past week, I returned Roger’s rod and reel and ensured him that now he would be able to fish with the best of us and perhaps even hold his own in landing fish. As we stood by the side of my pickup truck visiting, my brother in one of his demonstrative gestures was moving his arms and managed to attach himself to the lure. One of the hooks on the fishing lure had embedded itself deep into his ring finger near the fingernail. As soon as I looked over, the blood had started to flow and numerous profane words also started flowing forth from Roger. As we looked the situation over, Roger decided we should try to remove the hook with the assistance of his farm pliers. I was handed the pliers and was told to latch onto the base of the hook and pull upright, while he would push downward in an attempt to dislodge the hook from his finger. As we applied the upward and downward pressure, the hook only appeared to go even deeper into the finger. At one point Roger had the idea that if we would cut a portion of his fingernail off, perhaps then we could remove the hook. I told him this was probably not a good idea and would result in more blood emitting from the wound area. After several more attempts of this pulling on the pliers and downward pressure, I convinced Roger that, embarrassing as it would be, our best bet would be to head to the Emergency Room at the Washington County Hospital.
Our trip to the hospital was mainly uneventful, with Roger only commenting of how embarrassing this was and I trying to hold back my laughter. Our entering the Emergency Room area, with Roger holding his hand and the fishing lure dangling, brought smiles and chuckles from the staff. The staff soon was brought to laughter as I explained how I caught this 190-pounder and wasn’t even near the water. The staff in the Emergency Room assured us that the fish hook removal would not be that difficult, as the doctor on duty, Dr. Lin, was an expert in a situation such as this. As we explained to Dr. Lin and the nurses how the hook became embedded, all were reduced to laughter. True to what the staff stated, Dr. Lin examined the finger and embedded hook, applied a numbing agent and expertly removed the hook without even making any additional cut. I thanked Dr. Lin that the fishing lure was not damaged, ensuring that I would not need to make another purchase of fishing equipment for ol’ Roger.
I for one cannot wait for our next fishing venture. I’ll keep you posted how it goes!