How NOT to Go Fishing!

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I was enjoying my Saturday, when about 1:40 p.m., I received a call from my bestie Mo. She invited me to go fishing. Now, this wasn’t a regular invitation. This was an “I’ve decided you’re going out with me, but I’m still gonna invite you as a courtesy” invitation.

While my plan had been to work on this blog all day, I accepted the invite and she said she’d be through soon, which meant I still had time to work on my blog. Mo, like most women, has a skewed sense of time. When she says she’ll be there “in a minute” she really means an hour. If she says she’ll be there soon, that means anywhere from 2-4 hours. As such, she didn’t even show up to my house until around 4:15 p.m. I jumped up, threw on shoes and we hit the road.

It was in the car that Mo told me how the trip came about. Naturally, it was just a random moment of brilliance between Mo and Danielle. See, Danielle is Mo’s good homie, and my homie by default. Together, they produce some of the most random, hilarious and often ridiculous ideas. Like this one:

Apparently, while on the phone, Danielle and Mo discovered that they hadn’t eaten fish on Friday. Friday was Good Friday and apparently you’re supposed to eat fish on that day. Gotta love black people and their superstitions. Anyways, them noticing they hadn’t eaten fish somehow segued into the fact that they should go fishing. And since Mo has all these fishing poles that her mother has given her, hey, it’s fishing time! So they get off the phone, called me and our good friend E and that’s how we ended up going fishing. (Yes, I know, this is absurd.)

So this is how it played out: Me and Mo rode to Riverview and picked up Danielle. She had her son, her nephew and her niece with her. E followed us in her car with her little sister. We all arrived at the Walmart in Riverview a little past 5 p.m. Danielle was hungry (and pregnant) so there was no denying her food. Plus, the kids needed something to snack on. It was decided that we’d all hit the fishing section, Danielle would make her purchases first, and then after that, she’d head to the food section with the kids while me and Mo finished our shopping.

Now, Mo has multiple fishing poles, right? So she should have supplies, right? So, why were we in the fishing section exactly?!

Well, Danielle wanted new poles for herself and the kids. Mo apparently needed hooks for the fishing poles. (Who has poles and no hooks?!) Also, we needed gloves, worms and a bucket. (The bucket was for all the fish Mo planned to catch, even though I informed her that we probably wouldn’t catch a damn thing, because fishing is not a free for all.). Anyways, we purchased everything we needed and were on our way!

There was just this one thing though…don’t you need a fishing license to fish? Because, well, none of us have one! Multiple phone calls to Danielle’s dad later, we learned that there were two parks in the area we could visit without a fishing license, because they have “docks.” (Yes, I know that sounds stupid. But at the time, it was enough to keep us going.)

Apollo Beach Park or E.G. Simmons Park, here we come!

Let me say this: You NEED A FISHING LICENSE to fish anywhere in Florida. But hey, if someone knows of a place where you might not get harassed, go for it! That’s what we did! (I know, hot mess.)

So now we’re loaded up with supplies and on our way to Apollo Beach Park. It’s now past 6 p.m. I’m worried about the fact that the sun will be setting soon and we still haven’t arrived at a park, but Mo is confident we’ll be just fine.. I’m ignoring the fact that we’re about to fish without a license. You know, you can’t concern yourself with stuff you can’t change.

A U-Turn later, cause Mo always misses her turn, we arrive at Apollo Beach Park! Time to fish now…right? Um, no.

You see, we run up on these dudes with fishing gear and get excited that we’re not alone. But then they inform us that in order to fish, we have to go to the rocky portion of the beach and possibly stand in the water, which is why they’re actually packing up and heading to E.G. Simmons Park. While this is hardly appealing to any of us women, especially Mo who doesn’t “want to mess up her chucks,” Danielle and Mo still need to investigate for themselves, so they wave the kind men off and set off to explore the park. 10 minutes later, they come back displeased. Imagine that! Those dudes were right! We then take the time out to yap about all the reasons why we aren’t trying to fish in those conditions and finally decide to head to E.G. Simmons park.

A U-Turn later, cause Mo always misses her turn, we arrive at E.G. Simmons Park! Time to fish now…right? Um, no.

You see, E.G. Simmons Park has a big sign that says when the park closes. It closes at 7 p.m. What time is it? 7:06 p.m.! Even worse? We can’t just sneak through the exit side of the gate because there’s an official Game and Wildlife truck parked outside the booth where you pay to get into the park. That booth might have also presented some problems. And there’s a possibility that our lack of a license might have been a problem too. Basically, we got problems.

It’s at this point that my minor complaints become major ones. I suggest that we try the fishing trip on another day. Given that we’ve already purchased everything we need, the trip should be easier to execute the next time around, and we can start out earlier, guaranteeing no park will close on us. It’s at this point that Mo and Danielle decide that my opinion isn’t relevant, because hey, after all we’ve been through, dammit, they’re going to fish! They have to “at least cast the line into the water.” I’m out numbered. We drive back to Apollo Beach Park.

Thing is, nobody really wants to stand on rocks with kids and fish. There has to be a better solution. As we’re driving around the Apollo Beach area toward the park, we find said solution.

Coming around the bend toward the park, we see a boat dock. It’s small, but easily accessible. It also looks abandoned, as there’s no signage, boat or anything around it, other than the patch of land you can park on. Unfortunately, there’s also a white Jaguar car parked on the land. Upon closer inspection, we notice that there’s a nice, older looking black couple standing on the dock. A couple that appears to be having a romantic moment. And that clearly didn’t mean a damn thing to Mo, as she promptly drove onto the patch of land with E following close behind us. I mentioned that the nice couple might not want company. Everyone else mentioned that the nice couple would be just fine. And they did look fine…as they smiled and laughed at us while quickly marching to their car to get away from the spectacle of a bunch of women, running children and Walmart bags.

So we’re finally about to start fishing, right?! Um, no.

You see, as we go dragging our bucket full of supplies and food and fishing poles to the dock, two things quickly become apparent to me:

    • Everybody is hungry. Especially me and Mo, but there is only enough food for Danielle and her crew. We spent so much time stressing in the fishing section, we didn’t even think to get our own food. Now we’re assed out, cause you can’t steal food from kids and a pregnant lady. Instead of attacking them for their food, as I was dreaming of in my mind, I instead settled for sharing their Sour Cream n’ Onion chips. I don’t even like Sour Cream n’ Onion chips.
  • NONE of these heffas know what they are doing! Danielle can’t figure out how to put her new pole together. Neither E or Mo can figure out how to work their poles. And NONE of them know how to put hooks on their lines, worms on their hooks or weights or floaters on their lines. As a matter of fact, they don’t even know how to cast their line into the water.

I can’t make this shit up. These heffas planned a fishing trip, dragged me along, purchased a bunch of supplies, then most likely illegally parked on a dock, all while not knowing a single thing about fishing! Who does that?! My friends.

Now, I suppose I probably should’ve figured this out when we were Googling whether or not we needed a fishing license. Or maybe when I had to make Mo put back the humongous hooks she was picking up in Walmart because, “Hey, we are not going deep sea fishing girl.”

Even worse? None of my friends knew that I had fishing knowledge. While I am currently a prissy adult that hates to get dirty, I spent a great part of my childhood doing all the things I won’t currently do: Running, playing in dirt, splashing in dirty water, climbing things, playing in the woods and yes, fishing. It’s not something I advertise about myself,  however.

So yeah, I spent the whole evening putting together, fixing and retiring broken poles, teaching everybody how to cast their poles, putting hooks or weights on lines, baiting hooks and just answering general questions about fishing. Ultimately, I was the only one that ended up dirty and covered in dirt and Nightworm blood and guts. I also enjoyed a rather lengthy yelling at by Mo, when one of the kids accidentally hooked her.

My reasoning: Shit like this happens when you go fishing. Sometimes you get hooked.

Her reasoning: “Bitch, I could’ve gotten cut or hurt!”

That “Duh” expression on your face right now is pretty much how I looked as she spoke. Bless her heart.

Anyways, we sure did have fun! We ended up seeing some stingrays, which was pretty darn exciting for my friends and the kids. Personally, I was just praying we didn’t accidentally hook one with our poles. We were also rather amused by the random white guys who popped up as it was getting dark. Since we were occupying the small dock, they just dropped their canoes over a small cliff, jumped in the water and pedaled off into the great unknown. We warned them about the stingrays. They informed us that stingrays were “good eating.” We were grossed out. They were amused…and then they pedaled off into the great unknown.

Another Highlight: The drunken white people that passed by on their boats singing and playing music, followed by the drunken, singing white people having a loud party in their house. Our dock was across the water from houses with docks. White people on Apollo Beach are ballin!!!!!! And clearly spending plenty of that money on booze!

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It was past 8 p.m. when I finally yelled at everyone that it was time to go. Amateurs trying to fish at night just screams, “Fishing accident, women and children found dead!” Right before we trampled to the car with all of our crap, I made sure we got pictures. Multiple poses later, the camera was being passed around, everyone was laughing at our pictures and I was experiencing a warm and fuzzy feeling in my chest…

I mean, sure, these fools planned a trip they didn’t know how to execute. But so what. They made it happen! And while I was able to save the day with what little knowledge I had, none of that would have mattered if they would’ve listened to me and aborted the trip. Reality is, we all made this trip happen in our own way. And yes, it was a hot mess, but dammit, it was a hot, fun mess. And it’s something we’ll never forget. Who cares how the memory is made if it’s a good one?!

And there you have it. Our hot ass mess of a fishing trip. While it ended up being a great time for us, I don’t recommend you do it the way we did…but I definitely recommend you do it!

Final parting words as we loaded up our cars:

“Man, I’m so sure glad Shaquea was here! She saved out butts! Girllllll…thank God you knew something about fishing, otherwise we’d have been out here trying to Google it!”

That sure did make me feel good. I keep telling people I’m a super hero. Shaq Diesel will always save the day! 🙂

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