Fisherman lies, they used to call them. Ever wondered why? Because the fish that got away was usually the largest fish of the day’s expedition. The fisherman would never acknowledge his lack of expertise as the reason why the fish got away. No. it was always that the fish was so very large that it burst the line. Or the fish was so big that it put up a terrific fight until he had to let it loose.
My dad, may he rest in peace with his good humor, once told his friends that he fought with a jewfish for some three hours and when he finally got it close to the boat, he realized it was so huge that he would not be able to pull it on board, so he cut the line and let it go. I know that was a fisherman story, for my dad would never have done that. He would have tied it to the stern and try to sail back home. On another occasion he caught a large barracuda, perhaps three feet long. That’s a large barracuda. But when he was trying to impress his friends about the size of the barracuda, he said the fish roe was that big (showing it with his hands) and he actually indicated a roe about two feet long. Some people would say. “That fish is too large for my frying pan”, meaning that the exaggeration was so obvious that they did not believe the fisherman’s lie.
But the lies (exaggerated stories) were not only about fish. Remember an earlier story about the lobster whose shell served as a small dory? And remember the deer that was actually growing palm trees on its back? And how about the sensational story about the man whose dory was stuck near the beach, not on the sea grass, but stuck on lobsters that came to shelter under the boat.
Well, another fisherman’s lie is this one who went hunting and with one shot at a flock of flying ducks, he brought down five of them. Now this would have been believable if he had shot at the flock with a twelve or sixteen gauge shotgun with a cartridge of pellets, but he assured over and over again that he brought down five ducks using a single shot from a 22 caliber rifle. Talk about a professional marksman or a professional liar!
- by Angel Nuñez, Columnist