When your "ship finally comes in" you expect it to be loaded with treasure right? Well, my ship came in last week but sank at the dock!
THE ARRIVAL ...
Last Monday, while fishing Lake Nockamixon, my ship arrived in the form of a nice healthy twelve and three-quarter inch Crappie. Although a nice fish, I did not immediately recognize the potential it held. While holding it up for the celebratory picture something fishy caught my eye. Attached just below the dorsal fin was a thin green plastic tube. Being familiar with this symbol of good luck I knew right away what it was. This was a special fish and could hold fame and fortune for the lucky angler, in this case ME !
Each year Cabelas' (The big outdoor chain store) puts on a fishing contest open to anyone. The Grand Prize is One Million Dollars and there are many other prizes to be won as well. They place these small numbered tags on fish in many lakes throughout the United States. It is extremely rare to catch one of their marked fish.
The excitement was building as I quickly became aware of what I now held in my hand. Visions of a possible ton of cash or new Bass Boat flashed in my mind. My heart was speeding up a bit even though I also knew it could be one of the lesser prizes like a fifty dollar gift card.
THE SINKING ...
My fishing buddy, Denny, was just about to snap the picture as I broke from my pose to make the announcement. "Hey, there is a TAG IN THIS FISH" I proudly screamed! (Thinking to myself that maybe we would be fishing in a new boat next week) Then he fired the fatal shot that sent "my ship" to the bottom of the lake. Without emotion, Denny calmly said, "Uh, Len ... I'm pretty sure the contest is over." After a brief moment or two, in which all my hopes and dreams were shattered, I said .... "No, you gotta be kidding." He assured me that he wasn't and I could tell by the tone of his voice that he was probably right. Still I held hope and dropped my rod, picked up my IPhone and punched in the web site. Yep, he was right and so I began to make lemonade from this lemon.
SALVAGING THE SHIP ...
This tag alone is a trophy to be proud of and it holds a story that I can tell time and time again. You have to be real lucky to get one. Probably a "once in a lifetime" deal. Now just for amusement I did contact Cabelas and asked if it was possible to find out what I would have won. They told me there was no way to track the tag number since the contest had ended. Probably better that I never know. I think the proper end of this tale will be to actually have the picture and tag put in a nice frame to hang on the wall with my other memories.
This years contest ran from May 5th to July 8th. Keep an eye on their web site (Cabelas.com) for next years announcement. You must be registered in order to win.
Here is the link for more information on the contest that ended just in time to avoid giving me a well earned prize! : http://www.cabelas.com/fish-for-millions.shtml
Next time .... ?