Anglers entering sagas from near, far
The big fun of hanging out here at fish-story central is reading all the great entries you readers send in for the annual Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette fish story contest.
We’ve received a nice stack of stories, which are secure under lock and key and guarded by my cat, T.C. Anyone who tries to sneak a peek gets a swipe across the ankles, except yours truly. I have the treats bag.
There’s time left to get in on the fun and maybe win the grand prize. That is, a fine bag of fishing lures almost guaranteed to catch the big ones at your favorite waterway. Get your true fish story in by May 31 via email or postal mail. Email your story to firstname.lastname@example.org and type Fish Story Contest in the subject line. Or, invest in a stamp and mail your story to the newspaper at 212 N. East Ave., Fayetteville, AR 72701, attention fish story contest.
Be sure to include your name, the town you live in or near and a daytime phone number. We’ll announce the winner here in NWA Outdoors in June and award the fabulous prize.
We’re easy going here at fish-story central. One scribe sent in a story written on the back of a postcard. Authors have practiced their penmanship writing their stories in long hand. Others are firing up the computer and emailing their entries. Write your story on a napkin if you’d like, as long as it’s here by May 31.
Let’s toss T.C. a couple of treats so she’ll let us peek at a few stories.
We know the stories coming in are true because, friends and neighbors, you can’t make this stuff up. How true is it that the more expensive the fishing lure, the quicker you lose it? That’s the plot of one story on the stack, and a mighty fine story it is.
Our writers have penned sagas of fishing in Canada, New Mexico, Texas and here in our own little corner of the Ozarks. Some called on recent trips for their topic. Others reminisced of expeditions from long ago.
One scribe was a lad of 10 who was proud as punch to catch fish from a pond the adults swore was fishless. The lesson learned from another story is, if a fishermen and a cottonmouth both want the same fish, the cottonmouth always wins.
Same goes for bald eagles, as one author writes. If an eagle wants your trout, it’s going to get it.
Big fish make for great stories, especially when they’re so big they tow the boat around the lake. For one couple, it’s a good thing that big ‘un got away because it had a wicked set of teeth. The last line of their story will have you howling.
Here’s another dandy entry that proves anglers never know what will unfold on a fishing trip, good or bad. Running out of gas, getting their fish stolen and their tent flooded was enough to make these fishermen pack up and go home.
So it’s easy to see that we have a barrel of fun here at fish-story central at contest time. We’ll publish all the stories online at www.nwaonline.com and as many as will fit in the NWA Outdoors newspaper section.
One of the best opening lines of a fish story we’ve ever received started something like this:
“One day I borrowed my wife’s car to go buy a bucket of minnows.” Only disaster could come from that little bait-shop errand.
Contact Flip Putthoff at email@example.com.