Monday, February 4, 2013


I found a Nov/Dec 1988 InFisherman in a pile of magazines at my company's gym.  I smiled, hopped on the treadmill, and began leisurely walking at a cool down speed of 2.5 MPH.  I sifted through stories of the "new" phosphorescent jigs that were revolutionizing fishing, catching small mouths in slack water bends in winter, smiling at all the old diagrams that I had analyzed and tried to burn into my memory when I was young.  Then it happened.
 I turned a page and came across the Shark Ad.  I gasped and almost fell off the treadmill!  Instantly I was back in my parents dark and unfinished basement in the blazing heat of summer.  I took refuge from a house lacking air conditioning and a mother with an internal temperature 20 degrees cooler than mine.  I would listen to eight tracks and Bill Cosby albums thumbing through my brother's collection of InFishermans.  And this ad was in every one.  This was the antithesis of fishing dreams in my young mind.  A Great White Shark.  The most feared and massive fish I could think of being caught on the same line I fished with.  Two men; one tanned, strong, and hairy chested; a Magnum PI look alike and the other; the old salt, schooled through many heroic battles and wearing the gold chained shark tooth most likely was torn from the Shark that ate half his crew in a blood bathed attack!  But they had slain the beast!  Claimed his head and displayed him along with the heavy saltwater pole like so much a shimmering broad sword given by the Lady of the Lake!  Oh, the battle that must have ensued.  I could only imagine the fight the menacing fish must have put up.  This was no Hemingway story of an old man in a boat!  This was life or death.  And they had succeeded.  This ad represented the boundless possibilities of what could be achieved on a rod and reel.  My 10 year old mind, stuck in the basement of a Wisconsin sweat box, could only dream of such an adventure.  And now, nearly, 25 years later, I look upon this ad with the same wonderment of a child.  I need a shark tooth necklace.