Jack watched enviously as Corkscrew swung the fishing pole. With a soft zing, the line shot out, the bobber landing squarely in the middle of a particularly promising patch of reeds. Within seconds, there was the tug on the line that indicated another bite.
“My god, Corkscrew, how are you doing it?” Jack asked, watching as his pal reeled in a decent size sunfish.
At the other end of the boat, Franco took another pull of beer. His fishing rod was still sitting in a tangle in the trunk of the car. He was jealously guarding the chest of drinks, however, and had slowly slumped further and further down into the boat as the morning had progressed. “Don’t encourage him,” he muttered.
Corkscrew winked, grinning, as he worked the hook free. “It’s all in the bait!” he said happily. “Here, what are you putting on your hooks?”
Jack reeled in his own rod, inspecting the soggy worm on his hook before forlornly casting it back out into the pond. “Worms,” he said.
“Ah, see that’s the problem!” Corkscrew enthused. “You have to tailor your bait directly to the fish you’re after, and then adjust for water temperature, clarity, all the other factors!”
Franco groaned, and pulled his hat down lower over his eyes. “He’s going to say something stupid, I just know it,” he griped.
Jack shot a quick glare at the complainer. “Look, just because we chose Corkscrew’s idea for this weekend instead of yours doesn’t mean that you need to be so grumpy!” he ordered.
“Clubs in downtown would have been way more fun,” Franco responded, but he made sure his comments were low enough to be all but inaudible. He finished the rest of his beer bottle, adding it to the others at the bottom of the boat.
Jack turned back to Corkscrew. “So what are you using here?”
Corkscrew gestured out at the still waters of the pond. “Well, we’ve got a sunny day, but rather murky water,” he said. “So we want something with a bit of flash to it, to shine through the water, and something that will move, so it stands out in the still pond.”
Holding his rod in one hand, he reached down and flipped open the large tackle box at his feet. “Here, try this,” he said, holding out a shiny spoon lure with several small, dangling hooks. “It should be lightweight enough to dance in the water, catch their attention.”
Jack reeled in his line, attaching the new lure. “I can’t believe you know so much about this,” he said in admiration.
“Oh, I’ve always been a great baiter,” Corkscrew replied, a smile dancing around the corners of his mouth.
“Here it comes,” Franco murmured, setting aside his beer and reaching into the water-filled bucket.
“In fact,” Corkscrew continued, you might say that I’m an expert in it. A master.” By now, he was grinning broadly. “Yep, I’m the master baiter! Ow!”
“Nice shot,” Jack said to Franco, who was wringing drops of water from his hand. Alongside the boat, the fish that had just connected solidly with Corkscrew’s head was making the most of its chance to escape.
Author’s note: Yes, this whole thing was written so I would have a chance to make that pun.