Phishing for Chumps

Someone once asked my dad, “Pug, do you still go fishin’ as often as you used to?”

“No,” replied Dad, “I’ve cut back to once a day.”

I took Dad on his last fishing trip when he was 92. He died three years later.

Fisherman’s Prayer


 I pray that I may live to fish until my dying day.

And when it comes to my last cast, I then most humbly pray;

When in the Lord’s great landing net and peacefully asleep

That in His mercy I’ll be judged good enough to keep.

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, the game warden who’ll be measuring our tall tales to see if they stay within the 100 word limit is Gertrude “Guppy” Wisoff-Fields.  If you’d like to participate in this exercise in madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To view the FFF  Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.

copyright - Georgia Koch
copyright – Georgia Koch

Junior thumbed through the dog-eared pages of his Bass Pro Shop catalog.
“Nadine, I’m gonna order me one of these boats and take up bass fishin’.”

“Junior, its 250 miles to the nearest river or lake. You ain’t gonna catch no bass out here.”

“You just watch.”

A week later, Junior launched his boat in waist-deep Kansas prairie grass and began fishing.

“Caught anything yet?” Nadine called from the back porch.


“I knew you wouldn’t catch any bass out there.”

“Shut up, woman. And go back to your knittin’.”

“Junior, if I could swim, I’d come out there and kick your ass.”

49 Comments on “Phishing for Chumps

    • Yes, Pug fished in water. He and my uncles (Harry and Choc) are featured in 3 stories in The Perils of Heavy Thinking. Dad also had a great sense of humor and loved to tell jokes.


  1. Damn! You made me chuckle again. Well done. I don’t know where you come up with this stuff 😉


  2. What a funny, little piece. It’s wonderful. I really liked your little intro as well, it reminded me of my dad’s way of saying grace “bless the food and those who serves us, and from indigestion, lord please preserve us.”


  3. Totally got me on that one, had no idea where you were going. I was about to ask for Nadine’s number since I figured Junior was nuts and he was going to be out fishing for the rest of his life. And it turns out she’s nuttier than he is! And you’re nuttier than both! Another great job, Russell.


  4. Sitting here in Olathe, KS, less than two miles from a Bass Pro Shop and God-knows-how-far from any naturally occurring body of water, I can truly appreciate this one, Russell. Unless somebody’s stocking the sand pit, there ain’t much catching going on in these here parts.

    Catch ya later!


    • Trot on over to the cold storage facility there in Olathe. Perhaps they have some frozen tilapia that won’t put up too much of a fight. If not, I know they have some great Tyson product you’re sure to enjoy.


    • More like a match made in a sanitarium. I hear they’ve been working on their synchronized swimming–getting ready for the Olympics.


  5. Dear Junior,

    You and Nadine are blonde right? I think I’ll go swim laps in my backyard now. Sure wish I had a cement pond.


    Gertrude the Guppy


  6. Dear Russell,

    I’ll fire up my Bass-o-Matic for when they’re wondering what to do with the catch. Great story this week.




  7. Junior could have saved his money and just gone noodling. Redneck fishing, no boat, or tackle, required. What great fun your stories are. BTW, sir, you made 32 cents. I purchased your book.


    • Excellent idea, Honie. I just hope one of those big catfish doesn’t drag Junior all over the pasture. Thanks for the order. I hope it gives you many grins and chuckles.


  8. Reckon he’s catchin’ hell from the missus. What a pair! You had me rolling.


  9. I enjoyed the Fisherman’s Prayer and this story very much, Russell. My dad was a fisherman also. He especially liked to ice fish. I bet it was peaceful out in that tall grass. It’s a good thing his wife understood him. Well done once again. 🙂 — Suzanne


  10. Love that fisherman’s prayer. Poor Nadine, she has a lot to put up with. And an unhappy fisherman is a nightmare. Think they might have to move closer to water to keep him happy.


  11. Well, at least he’s getting the fishing into his life, the very act of sitting there, hoping and hoping to catch anything. I guess you can do that anywhere! Great story, Russell!


  12. There’s a dreamy, quixotic feel to this story that I really liked. The optimism of finding the joy of fishing without water or fish. Maybe I identify with that because of my own experience with fishing and ending up just enjoying sitting on the side of a lake casting out a hookless line. Thanks for the enjoyable read.


    • Thanks, Michael. I love fishing too. A person doesn’t always have to be catching fish to have a good time. Glad this story worked for you.


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