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A Devil of a Dilemma

Lee (Catfish) Kempster
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

A few years ago, a good friend asked me to go on a short fishing jaunt with he and his uncle. Being a true fishing fanatic, I of course said yes.

We arrived at our destination, a small reservoir behind just south of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. As soon as we arrived, we started casting with small spoons in an attempt to lure one of the nice smallmouth bass that we knew inhabited these waters. After about 10 minutes of casting and retrieving our spoons, my friend's uncle hooked a sizable bass. A short fight ensued and the fish was finally in sight. Just before he could scoop it up with the net, a large northern pike darted out of the weeds next to shore, snatched the bass off the hook, and then disappeared into the tea-stained water.

My friend's uncle was furious and promptly tied on a large 'red devil' spoon, hoping to attract the pike to strike again.

His first cast landed in the heart of the grass-like weeds from which the pike had first appeared. After retrieving the lure a few feet, it got snagged on the weeds. With a mighty tug, the lure came flying out of the weeds like a rocket - whirring past my head - and coming to a stop with two prongs of the hook lodged barb deep into my friend's uncle's bald head.

After a flurry of cursing (the likes of which only a seasoned fisherman - or maybe a merchant marine - could match), he asked us to take a close look at the cranially-lodged lure to see if there was any way we could remove it without removing most of his scalp. There wasn't.

We packed up our gear and piled into his old beat up Chevy and headed to the nearest town in search of a doctor. Once in the car we settled down a little. About a minute later a small giggle escaped my friend's mouth, which in turn triggered a bout of hysterical laughing from both of us. After a minute or two we calmed down and wiped the laugh-induced tears from our eyes. My friend's uncle looked a little peeved at us, so I suggested that he look in the mirror. Adjusting the rear-view mirror so he could get a look at his head, he was able to see the large red and white spoon lying almost perfectly in the middle of his pinkish sunburned scalp. After a pregnant pause, he started howling with laughter.

Fifteen minutes later we pulled up to a little clinic in the town of Carleton Place. Before we exited the vehicle, my friend's uncle fished an old baseball cap out of the back seat and placed it very gingerly on top of his skull. Walking into the clinic, he sidled up to the small reception desk and rang the little bell to get the attention of the nurse on duty. A strikingly attractive lady came to greet him. She asked him what the "emergency" was and, with a smile, he removed his cap. She stared blankly for a moment, as if she didn't quite believe what she was seeing, and then the dam broke and she broke into a fit of laughter, which of course set the three of us off too. The doctor then appeared out of the back (apparently to investigate what the laughing was all about) and, getting a good look at the lure dangling from my friend's uncle's head, he also started to laugh.

A devil of a Dilemma

After a bit, we all calmed down, and the doctor whisked his patient into his office and promptly removed the object of our mirth from the vast expanse of bald scalp.

Needless to say, the fishing trip was over for the day, but we were all left with a truly unique (but factual) fishing story to tell our friends!

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