During the early 70s Dad and I, along with several of our friends, went to Canada to fish for two weeks every summer. Art and Dave would always get to the lake a day or two early to get everything ready for those of us who were not real fishermen. It was always loads of fun, but I remember one year that stands out more than the rest.
This particular year, the women decided to go with us, but they would only stay a week. I had a dog named Bimbo, and she went with us as well. Art and Dave, as usual, had everything all set up when the rest of us got there. With twice as many people going, there might be a shortage of rental boats, so we decided to bring my 18 foot Chris Craft that I had brought home from Florida the year before. Dad had a hitch put on his brand new Chevy, and we set out for Canada. The trip there was pretty uneventful and we got to the lake about midnight. There were no such things as cell phones, or at least they were not affordable at that time, and there were no lighted streets in the park where our cabin was located. We decided to sleep in the car that night, so Bimbo and I slept in the boat. When I awoke the next morning I was covered with mosquito bites and spent the next 2 days scratching. We made our way to the cabin in the light of day and launched the boat. All of our Moms made breakfast while us guys went out fishing.
On my first cast a 5 lb. Northern made a pass at my hook and snagged himself behind his head with my jointed pike. It was like having a model airplane on the end of a string. After what seemed like 20 minutes, I finally got him in the boat, I grabbed the fish in my left hand while trying to remove the treble hook from his back. He gave a flip and sunk two barbs into my thumb. I was now attached to the fish by the bait, I squeezed the fish so hard its eyes popped out. I couldn’t let the fish go while I went to get the pliers from my tackle box, so Dad removed the barb from the fish. I was in a great deal if pain while trying to pull the hooks out of my thumb. Dad suggested that I push them through and cut the barbs off. OMG did that hurt. I finally had to just pull them out. My thumb was sore for a week.