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Polar fishing

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Ricey Bob seldom got a day to himself. The call on the time of someone who was definitely not in the line of work that he was definitely not in were many. It seemed that, every time he picked up his macramé or sat down with a warm mug of gin, the phone would ring and the silent voice on the other end of it would have him on the next plane to Bogata, Venezuela or Newcastle.

But stress, in a profession such as the one he was definitely not in, could be a killer. Stress made you careless, stress made you hesitate, stress made you late. As in 'the late Ricey Bob'. So, ever since the incident with Jimmy the Optician, he'd made it a rule to spend one day a month unwinding. On this day, he switched off his phones, unplugged his wireless router, connected the mains electricity to his letterbox, and simply went fishing.

Today was a particularly fine day, a blue sky dotted with white fluffy clouds none of which, for a change, reminded him of people he had had to Deal With over the years.

When he got to the lake, he found nobody else there. Not surprising, really, given the arrangements he had made to ensure his solitude. He found his favourite spot under an overhanging willow, and started to unpack his gear.

In the line of work he wasn't in, preparation was everything, and he had prepared well. For the last three weeks he'd visited the lake whenever he could, catapaulting bait from this very spot on the bank, until the fish were plump and heavy with free meals, and unsuspecting of foul play. He once again scattered morsels on the water in front of him, and a few dorsal fins swept the surface with leisurely greed.

The bait was a secret recipe, given to him by a dying Nepalese trawlerman. Quite why the Nepalese trawlerman had been dying was a different matter for a different day. Whatever was in it, fish craved it and would lunge for the pellets before they could sink rapidly to the lake bed.

Satisified with his preparations, he assembled his rod, set up his keep net, and found his favourite reel. Feeding the 30-pound line through the snake guides on his rod, he held he end of the line in his lips while he rummaged in his tackle box for a float and number 17 magnet, fitted them securely and cast gently, a few metres out.

It couldn't have been more than a few minutes before he got his first contact, the float disappearing below the surface. Even as he started to work the fish in towards the bank, a sudden change in the tension told him he had a second catch, then a third. By the time he had the net under the end of the line, no fewer than three chubb and a tench were clustered around the magnet, flapping at one another in alarm but powerless to escape.

Removing them unharmed was not an easy business, but an old credit card, slipped in between each fish's body and the magnet, enabled him to pry them loose and transfer them safely into his keep net.

Of course, the encounter had left them slightly magnetized themselves, and the two smaller chubb performed a sort of involuntary waltz as they adhered together for a few moments. This, however, would soon wear off as their stomach contents churned inside them. Within a few days, they would have excreted most of the tiny chrome-steel pellets that were the most important ingredient of Olaf's secret recipe.

Another cast, another two chubb and a bewildered crayfish. This was getting too easy. Time to switch to a lighter magnet and test his skills.

MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 11 2008

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       Magnetic fishing - brilliant!
But, a Nepalese trawlerman named Olaf? Ricey Bob needs to check his 'cover stories' for coherency...
neutrinos_shadow, Mar 11 2008
  

       That's an *ex* Nepalese trawlerman named Olaf.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 11 2008
  

       This would be in violation of bylaw 234-6b. The inverse square law.   
      
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