I nestled up next to a familiar couple, a lady I used to see quite a bit in the early days down at the Oilcan Tavern, back in the day when we (CJOK) used to do the talent competition there, and her husband.
"They're biting this morning," she said.
"What? The pickerel?" I asked.
And just a few minutes later, the tip of my rod dipped - gentle, subtle, yet absolutely definitive - letting me know that a fishy friend was in the neighborhood.
I grabbed my rod, sitting in its pvc-pipe holder sunk into the sand with a piece of rebar taped to the side, and yanked.
It felt like a dead weight as the pike started ambling toward the shore, as they are apt to do - unlike goldeye who come up for air (sic) and pickerel who swim for the bottom.
He/She/It veered left and ended up about five feet away, just before arriving at the vantage point that would have given me a sense as to its size, and slipped the surly bonds of my hook and swam away.
It was a brief moment of glory, the blissful connection point between fisherman and fish, a beautiful yet brief dance - a great way to start the day.