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This story is about non-organized competition in the form of fishing. At the time, we each wanted to catch the biggest fish during the charter, but we ended up with some surprising results. Who won the competition was determined largely by chance, and a lottery for taking turns. The story begins Lhusly: The alarm buzzed incessantly, I groped for the button, found it, and hit it, The noise stopped abruptly. I got out of bed, still blinking the sleep from my eyes.
Today was the day of the charter A fishing charter, to be exact I and a few other people had paid $500 and waited weeks for it, and now it was finally here. The other people accompanying me were my dad, brother, sister, and my sister’s boyfriend, We would be fishing on Lake Oswego, a good two hour’s drive from where we live, After getting our things together, we all got into our van and headed outt The drive there was relatively uneventful, and sometimes interminable.
Eventually, however, we came within site of the docks I stepped out of the van, walked briskly out to harbor, and stepped onto the docks. As I did, I was inundated with several impressions, The first was of color. I could clearly see the cerulean blue of the water against the lighter shade of the skyline, The next was sound. I heard the cry of the gulls overhead, sails snapping in the breeze, and the lap of the water against the docks.
The last was of smell. The pungent smell of the water mixed with the odor of fish created a smell so evocative I couldn’t begin to try and name it. I waited for the others to catch up. As we advanced down the docks, the captain came out and greeted us allt After a quick round of introductions, we paid him the price of the trip. He counted the money carefully, as if he thought it might not all be there. After business was taken care of, we all boarded the thitty»foot sloop at the end of the dock.
It took some time to get things ready, but eventually the ship’s engines rumbled to life, and we were off, We must have spent about twenty or so minutes getting to the place the captain claimed would be the best spot for catching trophy-sized salmon. Because bites on any one of the boat’s fishing poles were infrequent, we had to take turns reeling in fish, even though there was more than one pole on the boat. To decide who would take the first bite, we all put names in a hat and drew them out one at a time. Out of the five of us, I was picked to go third. I thought it might take forever to get that first bite, but it happened reasonably quickly. My dad was the first to go, so after strapping the pole to himself by means of a specialized harness, he began to reel. To everyone’s surprise, though, the line suddenly whipped back, as the fish must have let go of the hook.
Propelled by the force of my dad’s yank on the pole, the line and hook whipped out of the water and back onto the boat, right past my face, For a single moment, I could see the hook in lurid detail, from the razor tip to the serrated edges. And then it was gone, buried in the side of the boat. It was my brother‘s turn next, but it took considerably longer for a fish to bite this time. After my dad‘s slight mishap, we had decided to move to a different, deeper spot on the lake to see if the fish were biting any better there. Once the fish was hooked, my brotherjumped over to the stern of the boat and quickly grabbed the pole, After struggling to bring the fish in for what seemed like an eternity, we finally spotted the fish surface, and the captain quickly scooped it up with a large net. My brother had caught a brown trout, a nice fish, but no trophy. After weighing and measuring it, we all settled down to wait for the next bite. It was finally my turn.
The sun beat down harshly in the middle of the lake, where there was no shade to protect us from the sun‘s pale rays. The air was completely dead. Somewhere, a fly buzzed annoyingly close, At the edge of exasperation, what I had been waiting for finally happened. The pole whipped back, indicating we had a bite. I took the pole in my hands, attached it to the harness around my waist, and began to fight with the fish 1 would flex my arms up and then down, in vain effort to reel the fish in close enough to catch with the net. The fish refused to give any ground whatsoeveri I can never remember how long I stood there, battling back and forth with the fish. I could feel the powerful surges from its tail reverberate back up the pole. Sweat poured from my face, soaking my shirt. Inch by inch, I slowly started to reel in. By now, the fish was getting tired, but so was I. My arms felt like lead and burned with fire, and my hands were slick with sweat Finally, I could see an enormous shape surface near the boat The captain spotted it as well, and caught it with the net, clearly struggling to lift it into the boat.
Had my dad not helped, it‘s doubtful he could have pulled it in There, writhing and flopping, was my trophy fish, a king salmon, We weighed it and found that it topped thirty-five pounds, large even for salmon After congratulating me, my sister and her boyfriend waited their turns each, and both caught a brown trout each. Once we realized the clay was over, we turned and headed back to shore We were going home Looking back, I realized that the reason I ended up “winning” and catching the largest fish that day had nothing to do with my skills as a fisherman, It was simply because chance and opportunity allowed the fish that I caught on my turn to be the largest, a salmon instead of the more common brown trout This has made me realize that success is far more about chance and opportunity than it is about actual skill, as evidenced by my above story.
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