The Creatures of the Deep

Written By: Elizabeth Berthold

It was a dark and stormy night. Okay, I lied… It was actually a beautiful June day, Father’s Day weekend as a matter of fact. At the start of my camping trip, while bringing back a gallon of milk to the campsite, I was pulled over for going five miles over the speed limit. I loved that little pickup I drove back then, my red Ford Ranger that had the nickname, “Red Ranger.” This story is not about great American trucks or milk though. This story is about the creatures of the deep, who lurk beneath the surface of the water. Most scary stories open up not with the typical ‘dark and stormy night’ line anymore. Scary stories nowadays begin with a group of young hooligans driving their old beat up cars into the middle of nowhere, with their cooler full of beers and garbage music playing on the radio. They are unaware of the scary encounters they are going to face later in their story. I’m defying all odds though. I was driving with a gallon of milk and listening to Billy Joel! What kind of trouble could I get into with a gallon of milk? Little did I know what creatures of the deep I would encounter while I was out in the middle of the bay fishing on my kayak. Oh, sorry! Did you think I was talking about sharks? Oh, no no no. I’m talking about bluefish.

How did this all begin? Well, it all began with that gallon of milk! When I first arrived at the campsite on that Friday evening, a young couple was bringing their kayaks back onto the beach. Most people would be thinking, “Oh, I wish I had a kayak.” Well, that wasn’t me! I was thinking, “Whoa! They caught a lot of fish! I want to catch a lot of fish! I wonder what they did?” So because I am such a brave individual, I asked my dad top go talk to them and find out. So he found out. I would tell you what they did, but a magician never shares her tricks. I couldn’t wait to go fishing, but it was night by the time they were finished talking. I couldn’t even go in the morning because I had work the next day. I would have to wait until Sunday, Father’s Day.

Finally, after every excruciating minute of waiting, it was finally Father’s Day! I woke up with a mission that day. My dad and I got our life jackets ready, along with our fishing poles, gaff, diamond jig lure, knife, and kayaks. I slathered on sunscreen and put on my aviators. I thought I looked pretty tough going out there. So we carried the kayaks from our campsite to the beach, where we could just drop them into the bay. We had an anchor too; we were using our heads. If we were going to be fishing in the middle of the bay, we weren’t going to drift.

We paddled and paddled until we were eventually in the middle of the Great South Bay. My dad dropped the anchor and tied our kayaks together. We drifted apart until the line was tight. There I am, alone in my kayak with my dad roughly one hundred feet away. I didn’t realize how alone I was until my life flashed before my eyes. I casted out my line, with my fancy diamond lure on it. Chomp. It broke. Like any accomplished twenty year old girl who goes fishing, I had to have my dad put a new lure on. Attempt number two, same thing happened. My dad was going to kill me! I went through two lures in five minutes and was surely annoying him a Father’s Day. I casted out with my third lure and waited. Something was biting my hook! I was catching a fish and wasn’t going to lose this one! Once again, the line went slack. I started to reel in the line. The water was still, my third lure was gone. I was going to give up, I was just going to reel in the line and sit there. I wasn’t going to fess up to my dad that I lost my third lure within ten minutes. This was getting really embarrassing. All of a sudden, the front of my kayak dipped down! The front of my kayak submerged under the surface of the water. There was still a fish on my line! My line was reeled all the way in and I had a fish on the line! What was on this hook, Jaws? The thought that flashed through my mind was I’M GOING TO DIE! I did the only justifiable thing I could think of, shriek like a girl. Picture watching a horror movie and listening to the most shrilly, girlish scream you have ever heard. That’s what came out of my mouth. I didn’t even know that I was capable of that noise! My dad’s kayak wasn’t even facing me and he was one hundred feet away! My life was flashing before my eyes! Then once again, the line went slack. I definitely lost my third lure. I was ready to call it a day. My dad was ready to call it a day. But a fish started tugging on my dad’s line.

I didn’t call it a day after that. Bluefish were coming from everywhere! We couldn’t drop the line down fast enough! I didn’t even know bluefish had teeth! After the fourth bluefish, we decided to call it a day. You may not think that four fish would be satisfactory. When you are in a kayak in the middle of the bay, it is. Happy Father’s Day, Dad!