Fishing In Prospective
Guest Blog by: Chris McKee 7/3/2014
In 1986 in the Philippines Naval base Subic there was a strike of all the civilian workers on the base which basically was the beginning of the down fall of the Marco's regime. However this is not about that. Once the gates were opened I was reunited with my bride and we stayed at the inn on what was called Grande Island a part of the base. It had a joint kitchenette to the spacious but simple rooms and with my love of fishing and both of our love of eating said fish. I would fish for what ever I could catch off the pier at night.
Water was crystal clear so you could watch your bait and be picky as to what would take it. I remember trying to keep the squid and lion fish from helping themselves to my bait and hoping for some of the other fish to take interest. The local fireman hired from the locals would also fish on the pier for small tuna while they were on call and we used to have some wonderful discussions regarding technique and value when it comes to fishing. At first they kind of looked at me as eccentric with my rod and reel while they sufficed with a coke bottle 40 feet of line and a hook.
One of these nights they became a bit agitated and immediately started pulling in their gear as quick as they could. I could tell something was wrong because they were chattering to one another really excited about something and at me in their native tongue and not in English. After being around the world when fear hits everyone reverts back to their primary language. Eventually I reeled in my rod and one of them advised me to come over and watch.
The Pacific tropics are beautiful and the water crystal clear but with a luminescence more similar to a Disney movie than reality and I could see a double zig zag coming our direction from about 30 yards out. We watched in horror and amazement as the tiger shark cruised to within 12 feet of us and in the full light of the dock lighting. It even paused briefly to assess whether we were in reach with a come on in the waters fine kind of glimpse.
If I had to describe how big this fish was I could not tell you for sure, fear has a way of shutting off the ability to measure accurately. But I will say this shark could have taken me in with room to spare both legs at same time, probably up to half way. The real scare here is during the day I had been snorkeling in this predators territory. Never again.
That night I learned this fish was a common visitor to the pier. They did not see it every night usually once a week and it had a bad habit of knowing where their lines were and helping itself to anything attached to those lines. Their concern was not for the loss of life or fish but for the loss of equipment. Their coke bottles, line and hook where more important to them than my rod and reel where to me. I think about them every time I get a new rod or reel and how they respected their equipment and feel awkward because I still take my gear a bit for granted.
Have lived in all over the United States and served in the Marines in Asia.
I have fished all these regions for almost anything that will bite Salmon, Trout, Walleye, Yellow Perch,Cusk, Carp, Crappie, Blue Gill, White Bass Pickerel, Cod, Rock Cod, Halibut, Flownder and many others. By the graces of the almighty it came to be I am now and plan on forever more being a citizen of the Great State of Texas. My favorite fish to go after are catfish especially the big Blues. Pound for pound I believe they are the strongest I have ever had the pleasure to fish for. I am also fond of White Bass and someday soon hope to start catching alligator gar.
Blog content © Chris McKee
Lloyd Tackitt, TX 7/3/2014 4:44:36 PM
Excellent story and great imagery Chris!
lehmanc16, TX 7/7/2014 12:37:40 PM
WOW! That is a good story! It is amazing to think about how easy we all have things in comparison to others. Makes you appreciate it a lot more. Kind of a similar story, when I first moved to Louisiana, from California, where I had grown up fly fishing in the Sierra Nevada Mountains fly fishing for brook, golden, rainbow, and brown trout, I thought bass were a "trash fish" (i know bad language :)) after quickly falling in love with bass fishing, while at the same time fighting the learning of how to throw a bait caster, compared to a spinning rod or fly rod i had used previously for trout, I was fishing out of a 14 ft aluminum jon boat, with a trolling motor. Anyways, we were fishing in an oxbow off the Red River in shreveport, I was using a top water frog in the evening, and had no idea Alligators were in the area, sure enough, while I was bumping my frog over the top of some lillypads, a 6' gator grabbed the frog, and it about scared me to death. It obviously snapped my line quickly, as I had no plans of doing anything except cutting it anyways. But yeah, tghat was 4 years a go, now, I am used to them, and respect them in there territory, but it was pretty scary having that happen to me!