This opener, let's all go fishing at Lake Bloodshed

  • Article by: JAMES LILEKS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 14, 2011 - 4:07 PM

The fishing opener is this weekend. People will head out in boats and open some fish. Not to sound like a traitor to our traditions, but I don't fish -- for that matter, come the fall, I don't deer, either. I'm the type of guy who wanders into a bait store and asks, hey, what do you use to catch those minnows? Sea-monkeys?

Not to say I never fished. As a kid we went down to Pelican Lake, which is right next to Fish Lake. Oh, that one. The lake with the fish. It's an odd thing, lake nomenclature -- Leech Lake, for example. Enormous Clouds of Horseflies Lake was taken, you assume. But all names sound plausible when there are 10K lakes. "Well, we used to have a place at Lake Plausible, that's up there by Lake LeLac, but we sold it, and now we fish over at Lake Adrenal Gland. It's that little one on the map below Brain Lake. Boy, the fish are jumping there." The names tell a story: Gun Lake, Jail Lake, Dead Lake, Grave Lake. Quick justice in those days; not even an Upheld on Appeal Lake.

Anyway. Most days I caught a sunfish, but once I pulled up some black, bulbous, nasty looking thing with a mug you'd see in a booking photo of someone charged with racketeering: Yeah, you caught me. Your muddah must be so proud. Then it bit me. It had scissor-type fins on its head. Ow. Blood. And a realization: This fish is so stupid he has scissors built into his head and he still gets caught on a string. It's like having keys coming out of your fingers, and being unable to open handcuffs. Think! Evolve faster, you idiot. That goes for all you fish. You got a guy who can cut things, he ought to be the most popular fish around. LITTLE HELP OVER HERE? But we probably shouldn't give them any ideas. Have a good opening, fisherpeople!

CORRECTION: I realize this didn't happen at Pelican, but at Knuckle Stump Lake. In retrospect, I was warned.

jlileks@startribune.com • 612-673-7858 More daily at www.startribune.com/popcrush.

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