“We Are Gonna Need A Bigger Boat.”

Fishing tips from a good Ontario fisherman who no longer likes fishing.

Just another day in the Great White North. . .

A thirty something friend really wanted to go fishing. As an Irish immigrant who lived most of his life as a musician out on the prairies of Canada, this is a new thing for him, and he enjoys the short breaks he gets from his hectic life. He is a new father and business owner who is often overwhelmed; and of course, is short on sleep.

How to get “mommy and me” time when camping with the kids:

I, on the other hand, wear the “Been there done that.” shirt; having started fishing at around eight years of age with my Dad. I remember even earlier, my sister and I using willow branches with fishing line tied to the ends which led to a cork bobber holding the hook and worm about two feet below the surface. We would fish from an old gas barge and catch Perch, Rock Bass, and Sunfish any time of day.

A good fishing boat:

I was learning to fish even before we got our first boat—a little 12 foot tri-hull with a 9.9 horsepower outboard that would eventually become my first freedom machine. It rode on top of the car to and from our summer holiday camping destinations. From age ten, I would learn my boat piloting skills with my father sitting up front, on a lake in the Trent Severn waterway. There, cabin cruisers would create some massive waves our little boat would have to climb on one side only to surf down the other. I was fearless, but Dad was visibly nervous at times. The boat was stable enough to allow you to stand up in it when the lake was not that rough. It was anything but tippy. Its light-weight construction meant the hull flexed at your feet when you were heading out on a choppy day.

Catch more fish:

We fished often, sometimes with all four of us crammed into the little boat. Dad liked trolling so he could see changing scenery as the day went by. Mom and I liked still-fishing or drift-fishing as we always caught more fish that way.

Finding the bottom:

The “fish-finder” had not been invented yet. We checked the depth of the water by attaching a big home-made weight to our line and then dropping it over the side while watching how much line came off of the spool of the early “trolling reel” as the weight travelled to the bottom. When your line went slack you were on bottom.

Where to find fish:

Pickerel, now called Walleye, liked weeds so we dropped our baits down into loose weeds close to the bottom or just above heavy weeds to get them. We found fish by looking for the mouth of a stream or river as well as weed beds near shore where humans had not yet developed. Bass were easy to find near Bulrushes, fallen trees, and under docks.

Good fishing line:

The fishing line back then was quite thick and anything but invisible. I do not remember ever breaking a line, and I had caught some three to four-foot-long fish weighing as much as twenty pounds on a few occasions. One Muskie in particular pulled the boat, motor, gas tank, anchor and me about a half of a mile up a shoreline into the wind before he tired himself out enough for me to get him to the boat. On that occasion I found out we were going to NEED A BIGGER NET. The total weight it dragged would have been about three hundred pounds and the line did not break. When you got snagged on a submerged log you would have to cut the line if you could not pull the lure free.

The other meaning of leader:

We learned that using a steel leader when fishing for the large toothier varieties of fish like Muskie, Pike and Pickerel was better than watching them chew through your line, usually just as you were trying to get them in the net.

When to fish:

We learned the best time to fish was from dusk to dawn. We also learned bad weather means the best fishing. Worse still, if you are getting eaten alive by flying insects, the fish will be biting.

Rods of steel:

In my childhood, fishing rods were about five feet long and made of steel. They were a one piece design, or in other words, they did not come apart in the middle as they do today. We could feel the fish nibbling at our worm, even with little Rock Bass, Sunfish and Perch. Those rods stayed in the family for about thirty years until rust got the better of them.

We never stop loving our first:

The little boat also stayed in the family for many years. Even when I owned much bigger and more comfortable power boats, I would take out my Speed Racer (mostly just to entertain my friends) bouncing across the lake with its blinding twenty-three mile per hour speed. I met many girls and found a bunch of all-night parties in that boat.

Fishing is not always about the fish:

I fished very little as a young adult. About once each year I would take out one of my power boats, anchor it in some quiet little bay and just recline on the plush upholstery in the sun, often reading, and not caring whatsoever if I got a nibble. It was more about the rest and relaxation the outing offered than it was about fishing.

The two happiest days in a man’s life and catching the fishing bug:

By forty, I had parted with all of my boats; a story for another time. Suffice to say there is truth in the old saying: “The two happiest days in a man’s life are the day he gets his boat and the day he sells it.” Oddly, it was at this time my then new significant other told me how she loved to fish. Her excitement about catching even a little one became infectious, mostly because I would have to get out of my lounger on the resort’s beach and go take the fish off the hook for her. It had me wanting to catch some again.

Girls fish differently:

We would frequent fishing gear stores where she would buy the craziest lures for ridiculous money. Fifteen dollars for a lure with a light in it IS JUST NUTS!

Tips from the pro’s:

We became caught up in the Sunday morning fishing programs on television that left the impression you were not a fisherman unless you had a $50,000.00 bass boat, a half-dozen different rods with different reels, and a tackle box the size of a beer cooler containing a virtual treasure trove of every type, size, and colour of lure, for every species of fish, in any depth of water. Oh yes, we cannot forget the high-tech fish-finder which shows pictures of sunken boats on the bottom.

As with all things “modern” and “high tech”:

Expensive rod designs claiming to be: THE ULTIMATE IN SENSITIVITY, FLEXIBILITY, AND STRENGTH never quite measured up to the advertisement. I had a one-hundred-dollar rod break at the handle with a five pound Large Mouth Bass on the line. Its replacement split at the two-piece joint with an eight pound Lake Trout on the line. The one after that kept damaging the line when casting; causing many lost fish, lost lures, and a ridiculous number of line changes per season. I am convinced it was DESIGNED THAT WAY just to increase sales from really stupid fishing fanatics, like me. Its replacement was billed as “INDESTRUCTIBLE” yet only carried a one year warranty. It kinda makes you utter: hmm.

During this foray into “modern day” fishing, I discovered the more money you spent on gear, the less fish you caught.

99% of the fancy lures and artificial baits DID NOT WORK nearly as well as a minnow or frog on a hook, or a worm on a three-hook worm harness. The 1% that do is a secret I thought about taking to the grave in order not to bury a thriving bullshit industry, but then it occurred to me the Sport Fishing Industry has sold me a pile of over-priced over-hyped crap for years, and I OWE THEM NOTHING! Screw the lying marketing bastards and their poorly made off-shore products.

I like to be kissed before I get f-cked:

By publishing this I hope to tear down their empire built on the exploitation of the desperate weak-minded fishing fanatics who are so addicted they will purchase every shiny new brightly coloured thing the manufacturer PAID TO HAVE ENDORSED by a guy who makes a living by fishing on TV.

The three lures that actually work:

You only need three artificial lures or plugs and all are “split” or “jointed” Rapala models. For Bass you want a 3 inch floater with yellow on top and silver/white on the bottom. For trout you want a 2 inch deep diver with blue on top and silver/white on the bottom. Lastly, for Pickerel and bigger game-fish you want the biggest shallow to medium diver they make—five or six inch, I think—that resembles a Perch. It is greenish with black stripes on top and has a silver/white bottom.

A fishing tale of woe:

This brings us to the other day when I took my friend out to prove to him there were indeed fish in this lake, if you know how to fish, and contrary to what he has been told by a frequent guest at his cottage.

With new “INVISIBLE” 8 pound test line in my “old school” casting reel mounted to my “INDESTRUCTIBLE” graphite rod, and the tiniest tackle box money can buy, I headed off to meet this enthusiast who, by the way, has severe fish allergies.

Mistake number one: You will need what you don’t have.

As we were loading up his boat, he asked if we should bring a net to which I replied: “No, we are just going after Small Mouth Bass.”

Mistake number two: The fishing gods were speaking but I didn’t listen.

The wind was gusting to 40 miles per hour creating 3 foot high waves with white caps so we had a bite to eat and made a couple of old school worm harnesses hoping the wind would settle down. It did not. His boat might not survive conditions such as these. It is an old twelve foot aluminum fishing boat powered by an eight horsepower engine that is prone to stalling. This boat is also as tippy as any canoe so we donned life jackets. I piloted the craft to the nearest good fishing spot which only meant about five minutes of pounding waves with spray from the bow hitting me in the face before we would get to calmer water.

Mistake number three: Anchors away!

Even in the sheltered bay, his little boat was being blown all over the place from one shore to the other. I asked if he had an anchor and he said there was one back at the cottage. Retrieving it would require another ten minutes out in the surf so I started looking for alternatives. To get him started, I baited his worm harness for him so he could see how it was done. I then set us up to drift-fish and let the wind take us back through the choppy conditions almost to his dock. He found the anchor as I removed knots from a rope and we set out again to pound the waves and my kidneys. Upon returning to the fishing spot, I anchored us so the changing winds would let us fish both shores.

Action!

We started getting little fish under six inches almost immediately. He snagged a tiny Perch while I had a succession of varieties including a Rock Bass and a Sun Fish before getting a Small Mouth Bass that might have been all of nine inches.

Fishing etiquette is a thing:

My fishing com-padre had his worm picked clean by some others and then expected me to bait his hook once again. As he was not nine years of age, I explained that fishing etiquette dictates you bait your own hook—momentarily forgetting his well-known weak stomach. Upon losing his second worm, he would switch to artificial baits for the remainder of the day.

Next, I too would get a tiny Perch that had been picking my worms to bits for some time without my being able to hook the little bastard despite many repeated attempts at setting the hook.

This is where the story gets interesting:

Instead of removing the little douche bag, I said to my fishing partner: “Watch this.” and cast the little worm thief out into deeper water where I knew some big Large Mouth Bass had lived in the past. In only a couple of minutes something big ate him.

You should know your local fishing regulations.

It may be illegal to use a Perch as a bait fish, but I rationalized he got on my hook more or less by himself. I did not technically put him there.

Karma is a bitch.

I set the hook a couple of times and I could sense it was a big fish, but it was not peeling off line. Still thinking Bass, I thought it was just swimming toward the boat where the fight sometimes really begins. I did not want the fish to run too far in case it found the anchor rope to wrap my line around. I slowly kept winding him in closer, and then lifted my rod to get a look of what I had on there.

It did allow a glimpse.

I saw a flash of orange from a fish with a large girth. I never really got a full view of its length, but the orange area I saw was about two feet long.

Cascading problems:

I was now thinking I had a big Pickerel; with NO NET; an inexperienced fishing partner who could not handle fish without wearing gloves; and we were in a very tippy boat. As my brain was just beginning to wrestle with these problems, Karma took over once again. The fish did a violent side-to-side head-shake like a Large Mouth Bass or Lake Trout would, but it never broke the surface. It did however break my “INDESTRUCTIBLE” rod and line about a foot from the tip.

A rod; possibly a near record Pickerel; the Perch; and my custom worm harness were all gone in that instant.

Quietly sitting staring at my broken rod, I lit a smoke and wondered what I could have done differently. Nothing came to mind,

I did remember why I do not fish anymore:

  • Sitting in a crappy little boat sucks.
  • These days the fishing equipment is garbage.
  • Worms crap all over you.
  • You get bitten by mosquitoes.
  • You get sun-burnt.
  • You get rained on.
  • There is NEVER A BIG ENOUGH NET when you need it. Additionally, when someone asks if they should bring a net, ALWAYS SAY YES!
  • The biggest fish ALWAYS GET AWAY!
  • The only fish you remember are THE ONES THAT GOT AWAY.

It is a sport for masochists.

My best fishing memories are of the times I did not get a bite—no torment—just relaxing alone listening to the waves fighting a losing battle against the substantial hull of my cushy boat. From now on when someone asks me to take them fishing, they better have a $50,000.00 Bass boat with a canopy, 6 rods, and a selection of nets or I will say: THERE ARE NO FISH IN THAT LAKE!

I may try spear-fishing next. I have a score to settle.

Unraveling The Mysteries Of The Universe

What if the great mysteries are not as difficult as we are led to believe?

What if the flip-flop is the key to everything?

Physicists are directed by mathematics which seemingly contain a logical consistency within the formulae.  They then attempt to prove their theoretical ideas. Lately, they have had some successes.

But what if the sciences are just a racket?

For the last 5500 years since Mesopotamia, the most brilliant minds pitched the wealthiest people around, usually kings and religious leaders, and played on their FEARS; promising them answers to impossible questions in return for MONEY.

We call this the grant system today.

Paranoid governments fear the other inhabitants of Earth and will pay anything to the person who can offer SECURITY. I guaranty if you can show you are close to being able to put an energy shield over the USA, you will quickly have incredible amounts of money raining down on your head.

What if THE ANSWERS TO EVERYTHING hinge on just one answer in a different discipline, and what if almost nobody is studying that area?

I believe ALL THE MYSTERIES OF THE UNIVERSE will be unlocked the day we understand why women need SO MANY shoes.

It is summer, and with this season comes the clicking of flip-flops. A young girl who could actually run in hers inspired this writer to attempt to motivate the scientific community to make a serious study of this bizarre phenomenon.

Early man learned that foot protection meant he could hunt and gather in places where others feared injury. He could walk on jagged rocks, and fish in coral shallows just by wrapping his feet in the skins of the animals he hunted.

He learned successful hunting strategies:

  • Hunting by stealth meant blending in and not standing out.
  • Sneaking up on your prey meant being quiet.

Women were probably once equal to their mates thousands of years ago when humans were migrating to warmer climates following their food supply. They most likely went hunting and gathering with their mate for mutual advantage. Simply, a pair could hunt better than an individual.

Inequality and glass ceilings did not exist in this period of human history.

That would all come later.

This is the prehistorical life of Oog.

(This is also about how some academics spin a tale; often on the flimsiest early evidence.)

In most cases, the men of the time did notice that their mate could not lift as big a stone as they could. There were other differences too. The biggest being that for about three moons, after three seasons together, her belly swelled causing her to not want to travel or hunt until she produced a new little hunter. These new hunters were too noisy to take hunting until many moons had passed.

On some hunting trips, Oog would also notice his hunting partner was looking for prey where he would not think to look. She would stop to smell the prey often near brightly coloured flowers. She would stop and watch brightly coloured flying insects to learn their secrets. She would stop and listen to noises made by a brightly coloured bird. Oog knew SHE WAS INDEED IN TOUCH WITH POWERFUL MAGIC which was beyond his understanding.

Oog would hunt alone most of the time now, and was not travelling as far as they once did prior to the little hunters. He would arrive back at the cave to find that his hunting partner had been busy. There were hides covering the ground in the cave and she would make him take off his foot-wrappings before he could walk on them—especially when it had been raining. She had brought the brightly coloured flowers into the cave to attract prey so that Oog would not have to travel so far to find food. SHE WAS WISE so he complied with her wishes.

One particular day in Oog’s memory, he returned to the cave to find his hunting partner wearing something other than foot-wrappings on her feet. She had scraped fallen tree branches on rocks until she had made two small wooden planks the size of her feet. Then she had taken the tip of her spear and spun it until she had made two holes in each plank. Finally she tied strips of hide through the holes creating a loop that was just big enough for her big toe. As she walked they slapped the bottom of her feet and made a clacking sound that was surely designed to ward off dangerous animals. Why else would she have gone to all this trouble? With the top of her feet exposed they were not warm, but now she could walk over the sharpest coral for hours without cutting through the new foot protectors. Oog decided this was why she did it, and IT WAS A GOOD THING.

A short time later, she had applied the juices of a plant to her wooden foot protectors making them brightly coloured so her feet would be camouflaged when she hunted in the fields of flowers she spent so much time in. Oog thought he must be the most fortunate hunter of all time to have a hunting partner AS SMART AS HIS. He asked her to make him a pair.

Some moons later she presented him with a set of his own. He put them on and immediately noticed that stepping on a small stone no longer hurt his foot. He squeezed her affectionately as SHE OBVIOUSLY CARED SO MUCH ABOUT HIM that she was trying to take his pain away.

He could not wait to go hunting with them on his feet.

At the earliest light, Oog put on his footwear and attempted to run after the prey in the flowery field. After only his second stride, the wooden plank of his right foot caught a tree root which tripped him up and caused him to fall hard to the ground.

His big toe was bleeding.

Undaunted, and shaking off the pain in his big toe, Oog began to stalk the prey much more slowly being careful not to make the clacking sound associated with his new foot protection. He sneaked up on many prey birds that day, and had the most successful hunt ever. His amazing hunting partner had forced him to become a stealthier hunter, and it had worked. Oog was beaming with pride in his hunt, and IN HIS SELECTION OF A SUCH AN AMAZING MATE. It was at that instant a sabre-toothed tiger attacked and killed him. It seems the killer cat had been following the blood trail from his injured big toe.

Oog was the first FLIP-FLOP FATALITY.

Oog’s widowed hunting partner would soon find another mate to wear the flip-flops, named Ugg. He would later die at the base of a cliff after losing his footing on some loose stones and falling to his death.

Years later, some tribesmen in a hunting party would stumble across Ugg’s skeletonized remains and remove his unusual footwear. The flip-flops were well-preserved by the colour applied to the wood. The hunting party, upon returning to the village, would present them to their tribal chief who would wear them proudly. His warriors would have their mates make them some as well, to emulate and honour their great chief.

They began to lose many battles after that, and they knew not why. Eventually, all the warriors were gone and the victors took the women of the village as slaves and mates. These women knew how to make flip-flops, and they did not like their conquerors.

Skip ahead 40,000 years to our modern times.

The flip-flop is still with us.

Women continue to love them, and some men still attempt to use them—especially now that they come with bottle openers built into their soles.

The flip-flop related fatalities continue as well.

Today, thanks to fashion magazines, yearly changes to seasonal colours drive up the quantity of flip-flops you will find stored throughout your house. Your mate will tell you some needed replacing because of wear while others were needed to keep up with colour trends, but the collection can grow by as much as ten pairs per year and rarely are any parted with.

Similarly, flats, pumps, runners, boots, and the close relative to the flip-flop: the sandal, all apparently require the same upgrading and storage process to await their eventual return to fashionability.

Statistics indicate the average woman owns 21 pairs of footwear. I guess I know above average women. A study also shows women also usually own 9 pairs of shoes that were purchased for a singular occasion, and these too must be stored for years as a keepsake to remember the event.

From the data collected we can establish the following:

Formula

As this equation clearly indicates, women’s shoes will grow exponentially until they consume the planet, our solar system, our galaxy and finally our universe.

We must stop this threat.

Do not let yourselves be fooled gentlemen; women have been in on it from the beginning.

My book talks of relationships, health, life, biology, philosophy, sociology, theology, genetics—even physics, as well as HOW WOMEN CAN BE YOUR UNDOING.

Have a good flip-flop-free week.

P. S.

I have absolutely no idea if the formula says anything at all, but would it not be amazing if in the moment I was writing this the universe spoke to me. I just took a Fourier equation and plugged in the numbers 21 and 9 and then added a well known sorority.

My BIGFOOT Encounters: Three Spooky Tales For Camping Out

Fear not parents or camp counselors , the myth is dispelled at the end so they will go to sleep.

Stories of huge hairy bad smelling apelike creatures are told all over the world in remote areas. In North America, we mostly call them Bigfoot, or Sasquatch as they are known to some ancient native peoples. In snowy mountain ranges as far away as Tibet, they are called Yeti or Abominable Snowmen.

These creatures are always eight to ten feet tall, super strong, known for throwing rocks, and are capable of driving humans out of their territory—even humans with guns, it is said. Apparently they have a nasty pungent odour, and make high pitched blood-curdling screams certain to make your blood run cold.

There must be some truth to these stories or else why would grownups keep talking about them for hundreds or even thousands of years?

Living in Central or Northern Ontario in Canada, means you live among the local wildlife. You get used to birds waking at dawn; the fish feeding on the glassy lake leaving little dorsal fin waves, as well as those creating a surface splash and the ever expanding rings in the calm water to mark their location.

The crack of dawn is most likely your last chance to see larger animals as they go into hiding deep in the woods as man gets busy with his day. Around here, deer, foxes, rabbits, and even moose are commonly seen at this time of the morning.

During the day—not in tourist season—the lake is a playground for aquatic mammals like otters, mink, and weasels; water foul like ducks, geese, and loons, as well as reptiles like frogs and snakes.

But at night, BIG DANGEROUS THINGS are on the prowl. ‘Lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my.’ . . .  well lynx, and bobcats, and bears at least, with the unproven claims of cougars. Wolves and coyotes should not be forgotten either; nor should potential attackers from above like bats and owls that feed mostly at night. NIGHT-TIME IS WHEN HUMANS SHOULD BE INSIDE. WANDERING OFF ALONE AT NIGHT IS NEVER A GOOD IDEA.

On weekends, from May to October, the number of humans in the area can swell by a multiplication factor of ten or more. Where there are many humans, there is little wildlife, so you are safer, but never totally safe. YOU MUST BE CAUTIOUS;  ALWAYS AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS; especially when you are camping out in the wilderness and NIGHT COMES.

If you go deep into the forest, or are here after tourist season, you can have unexplained encounters with wildlife or something FAR WORSE, and they usually happen when you are ALONE IN THE DARKNESS.

Last night I had my third Bigfoot encounter and this was a close one; just fifty feet or fifteen metres away.

It was 9:30 at night and THE AIR WAS DEADLY STILL; meaning there was no wind to stop me from hearing everything. I live up here year-round so I am used to most of the sounds of the wilderness. There was a clear sky with a half-moon casting DARK SHADOWS EVERYWHERE.

SUDDENLY, in the blackness, I heard a loud KER-PLOOSH, and a splash like the sound of giant boulders being thrown into the lake in front of me. I WAS FROZEN WITH FEAR. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up because THIS HAD HAPPENED TO ME BEFORE.

My first thought was it could be a bear going after a fish. But only seconds later it happened again. The sound of these huge boulders hitting the water told me no human or bear could lift them and be throwing them into the lake so fast and so far. This was obviously A HUGE INTELLIGENT CREATURE that did not want me around.

It was time to HIDE INSIDE until whatever it was went away or CAME TO GET ME. I was lucky this time as it decided to go away. I survived the night to tell this tale.

As mentioned, this was not the first time I had encroached on the territory of a BIGFOOT.

A few years ago, I went fishing in the evening on a little secluded lake without any cottages on it. The fishing was good so I did not want to leave, EVEN THOUGH IT WAS GETTING DARK. I built a big campfire at the edge of the lake so I could see better, and the fire is said to keep wildlife from coming too close.

I was concerned about bears being attracted to the fish I had caught and eaten. I did not have a toothbrush with me, and I had heard stories of people being attacked by bears because THEY HAD NOT BRUSHED THEIR TEETH. It is said the bears could smell their breath.

It was a moonless night. I could not even see my car parked just a few steps away. Everything became very quiet as though something had scared the birds and frogs into hiding. It was TOO QUIET; EERILY QUIET.

In the BLACKNESS, just past where my fishing line disappeared into nothingness, I heard something HUGE hit the water with a loud KER-PLOOSH! Although it did not splash me, it sounded very close. I was the only human for miles around, and it seemed like something was throwing giant boulders almost all the way across the lake . . . and this thing, whatever it was, did not seem to be afraid of fire.

I told myself to calm down because a really big fish could have charged out of the water to try and catch a low flying bat or dragonfly which could cause such a sound when it landed back in the water.

But then it happened again. Now I was SCARED. I did not want to fish anymore. I reeled in as fast as I could, picked up the fish I had caught, and ran for the car. The boulders were landing every few seconds now, SO THERE HAD TO BE MORE THAN ONE CREATURE throwing them. Whatever it was, it could have the container of bait I left behind on the beach.

After frantically trying to find the door-handle, I quickly threw all my stuff, including the fish, inside the car; then I got in and closed the door as fast as I could. There was no time to put things away in the trunk. It was then I had a thought: If these THINGS could throw giant boulders across a lake, then they could destroy a car if they attacked with smaller boulders that would fly farther.

There was a big problem. I couldn’t just leave and speed away. I HAD NOT PUT MY CAMPFIRE OUT. I would have to go BACK OUT THERE.

I searched the car’s glove box for a flashlight and turned it on, only to see a dim light because the batteries were weak. It would have to do. A dim flashlight is better than NO FLASHLIGHT. I got out of the car, shining the flashlight around at all the nearby trees, but it was too weak to light up the area. I quickly retrieved a bucket from the trunk intended to transport the fish now lying on the passenger floor of my car. Nervously, I proceeded to make my way back down to the water’s edge, and BACK INTO RANGE OF THE BOULDER-THROWING CREATURES.

It was quiet again; too quiet; DEAD QUIET.

Just as I had completely doused the fire, THE NEXT ATTACK COMMENCED, but now the splashes sounded even closer than before, and I was SPLASHED as the boulders continued to land in the water. Whatever it was, it had moved in closer, now the fire was out. I ran for the car and tripped on a tree-root dropping the flash-light. IT WENT OUT!

IN TOTAL BLACKNESS, I had to feel my way ahead; back to the relative safety of the car. If I wandered off the road into the wilderness, I could be LOST FOREVER. I expected to feel a giant fur-covered CREATURE in front of me blocking my path, but instead I banged my knee on the bumper of the car. I felt my way along the side of the car and found the door-handle. I quickly got in and drove away; never to return to that lake again AT NIGHT. I survived to tell this tale.

My very first encounter with a BIGFOOT was the most TERRIFYING of all.

I had just moved from the city into a friend’s cabin while waiting to get a place of my own. His cabin was on a lake without any neighbors. It was a long drive on a winding dirt road just to get to a highway, and longer still to find people if YOU WERE IN TROUBLE.

I was getting used to living like people did in the 1800’s. I carried in wood for the fire. I brought water in from the lake for washing, and I was catching fish for dinner right off the dock.

The dock is where this terrifying story took place. Bigfoot would not be throwing boulders from across a lake as in the previous two stories. No, this time he would be RIGHT BEHIND ME; waiting for me on the beach while I was TRAPPED ON THE DOCK.

As the sun set, the fishing from the dock was really good; I was catching a fish with almost every cast. It quickly became DARK AND FOGGY; a dense soupy fog had rolled in but the fish were still biting. I was having fun SO I STAYED OUT LONGER THAN I SHOULD HAVE. That was my mistake.

Because the fog was so thick and close, I could not even see the shore behind me. I might as well have been adrift on a raft in the fog. That is what it felt like. Later, I would wish I was afloat on a raft, and not near shore.

My first WARNING SIGN was the sound of crashing trees up in the hills behind the cabin. I thought it was probably a moose, and kept on fishing. My second WARNING SIGN was the sound of a large animal exhaling and then it made a snorting sound. I was convinced it was a moose or maybe a bear so I stayed quiet hoping it would wander off. My third warning SCARED ME TO DEATH. It was a blood-curdling scream followed by a high pitched YIKE, YIKE, YIKE; which sounded like it came from the cabin.

So there I was, with whatever it was, between me and the safety of the cabin. I was TRAPPED ON THE DOCK with nowhere to go except into the cold lake. I knew I would not last long in the frigid waters of spring WITHOUT A LIFEJACKET—a lifejacket I never thought I’d need.

I had a flash-light in my tackle box which I thought might warn off this CREATURE if it continued to come after me. In the dense fog, the flash-light beam came to a stop about six feet or two metres away. I worked my way slowly down the dock, hearing every creak of the old boards with each step. I WAS STOPPED DEAD IN MY TRACKS after only a few steps by an awful smell. It was like the smell of honey but not so sweet or nice. It was a sickly-sweet smell which seemed to be all around me, just hanging in the fog. THEN THE WORST HAPPENED. The dock boards nearest the shore started to creak with me standing still. IT WAS COMING FOR ME!

I did the only thing I could think of. I tried to communicate with the creature by screaming as loud as I could and following it with YIKE, YIKE, YIKE. Before too long, the smell went away. I CAREFULLY made my way back to the cabin and safety. I guess I had said the right thing in its own language. He, she, or it never returned. I survived to tell this tale.

Myths and legends are merely enthralling stories people keep telling through the ages.

Being scared can be fun because it’s exciting. A good story lets our imaginations go to work to make you feel like you are in the story . . . and sometimes a scary story can get the better of us causing our imaginations to runs wild. This is why reading is so much fun. Stories help you use your imagination to entertain yourself. When we encounter something new that we do not understand, we are naturally a little afraid of it. Even grown-ups do this. When it is dark, we can no longer see so we pay more attention to what we hear. Everything seems louder, bigger and closer. It goes back to the time of cave-dwelling humans when there really were giant creatures trying to get them. Those early people learned when to fight, and when to run and hide. This instinct is still with us to this day.

Now here is how stories can be made to scare us:

  • You were told the writer had encountered a Bigfoot in the title but did he? He HEARD things, SMELLED something, and even was SPLASHED by something, but did he ever see it? No.
  • You were told about a legend. A legend is just a REAL SOUNDING story or tale. We call it fiction. There has never been pure scientific proof of the existence of Bigfoot. That requires much more than shaky videos or out of focus photos.
  • The writer set out to scare you with CREEPY WORDS like: snakes, big dangerous things, lions, tigers, bears, cougars, wolves, bats, owls and how they all come out at night.
  • The writer TOLD YOU this was the third time he had run into Bigfoot so you thought it could be true.
  • You were told A GROWN-UP WAS SCARED AND WENT TO HIDE, but nothing actually came to get him did it? No.
  • Did he ever see any giant boulders? No. He just HEARD SOMETHING his imagination associated with a sound.
  • In all three stories he tells you HE SURVIVED THE NIGHT to tell you the tale.
  • In the second story, the writer essentially told us to build a fire because HE WAS AFRAID OF ANIMALS.
  • He told us a story he had only HEARD about bears, so we don’t know if it is true.
  • HE SCARED US WITH WORDS like: no moonlight, eerily quiet, dark black night, something huge, he was alone, scared, and something was not afraid of fire.
  • The writer told us there must be more than one creature throwing rocks to play on our FEAR OF BEING OUT-NUMBERED.
  • He could not run away. HE HAD TO FACE HIS FEAR to put out his fire. All that happened was he got splashed.
  • He tripped because he was scared. He broke his flashlight and imagined bumping into a fury creature but did he? No. He just bumped into his own car.
  • THE WRITER SCARED US SOME MORE, when he spoke of being alone and far away from people.
  • Did the writer ever see an animal or creature? No!

Here is the not-as-exciting truth behind all three tales:

While startled and leaving after the KER-PLOOSH sounds began , mostly because it would scare the fish away, the writer looked up what he had heard at the library and found out beavers do this when you are too close to their lodge.

  • So in stories one and two there were not any Bigfoot monsters with giant boulders; only beavers using their tails.

In the last story, a moose came through the forest crashing trees.

  • We know this because the writer found tracks the following day.
  • The horrible scream COULD HAVE BEEN ANYTHING from a barn owl, to raccoons fighting, to a lynx or bobcat, or possibly even a fox.
  • The huffing, the loud exhale sound, and the bad smell was most likely a bear attracted by the smell of the fish he had caught.
  • The writer now knows: If you are going to fish after dark, you should do it wearing a lifejacket with a fire on the shore; or better still, fish from a boat.
  • He always brushes his teeth before going to sleep in a tent, just in case the bear STORY has any merit.

WE ARE ONLY AFRAID OF THINGS WE DO NOT UNDERSTAND, whether it is animals or people.

A note from the author to parents:

Please do not help to make your children live in fear. There are trying times ahead for future generations and we must stop passing irrational fears along to our children.

  • Being afraid to go into a lake is ridiculous.
  • Being afraid of thunder and lightning is ridiculous.

HAVING RESPECT FOR THE POWER OF NATURE IS PRUDENT.

  • Your children learn how to manage fear from you.
  • How you handle your fears will have a directly impact on them.
  • If you fear something, research it. Knowledge is the key to overcoming any fear.