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Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of

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Deep Sea Fishing 101....

Deep Sea Fishing 101

The first and most important part of deep-sea fishing is that you must go to the sea. If you live within driving distance, that is not a problem. We inlanders must limit our deep-sea experiences to vacations. While most ladies will be content to simply lounge on the beach and pretend they went fishing; the men and a few purists will insist on actually fishing. It does add a bit of excitement to a vacation.

Special note: If you become seasick easily, stop here.

Presuming you have made a commitment to do the deed, the best thing for the uninitiated is to go on a charter tourist boat. Beach resort areas usually have a great many of them and you merely have to select the one that looks most seaworthy and least leaky. An experienced captain is a great plus.

Excursions leave early in the morning, so you must arrive at the crack of dawn or you will miss the boat Ė literally. If you are not sure whether you get seasick, take motion sickness medicine such as Dramamine before you go as a preventative measure. The small fishing boats rock and roll, go up and down, and side to side. Some of the biggest and toughest looking men will be seasick by the end of the day, I promise you.

The good news is that these excursions furnish poles, tackle and bait. You furnish sunscreen, a sun hat, and usually your own lunch if you think you will be able to keep one down. Rubber sole shoes are a good idea as the deck will get wet and slick and you donít want to end up going overboard. Remember the sun will be intensively hot. Yes, you can go below deck, but you cannot catch fish below deck.

Trophy fishing is for the experience fisherman. Beginners usually bottom fish. The bait will be yucky stuff like squid. Except for that, deep-sea fishing is similar to other kinds of fishing; you bait the hook, throw it in and wait for a fish to bite. The captain will know all the best fish beds and will take you from one to another. Do not become alarmed if you donít catch anything at the first few spots. He will invariably save his best hole for last.

Most of us will catch only baby fish not worth keeping. Yes, it hurts to throw one back when youíve worked so hard to catch it, but itís really best to set them free. On the other hand, you may have beginnerís luck and actually catch a couple of big ones. It is traditional to reel in your own fish without assistance. This is the fun part of the event and the reason people go fishing. Ocean fish will usually put up a terrific fight and actually landing one a great thrill!

If you think that you have hooked a whale, most likely you have snagged the line of a fellow passenger fishing from the other side of the boat. They will also put up a terrific fight; however, it is also best to set them free.

If you grow tired of fishing, stand on the bow of the boat, watch the waves, and feel the wind and sea spray in your face. Do not stand close to anyone with their head over the side of the boat. If it is you with your head over the side of the boat, skip the part about watching the waves.

When you return to shore, they have people to clean your fish and pack them in ice if you desire. Life is good, isnít it? If you are traveling, you can easily give freshly caught fish away. However, after going to the trouble to catch them, you will want to cook and eat them, whether you like fish or not.

The best part is that when the fishing is over with and you have done your duty, you can brag about "the one that got away" then sit on the beach under an umbrella and enjoy the rest of your vacation.

Copyright 2002 Sheila Moss

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