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NO TROUT ABOUT IT – <em>The kindness of strangers.</em>


René J. Roy had a nice day out on the water thanks to a pair of fellow fishermen. – Courtesy of Glenn Keeping

If there’s one thing that brings me a little respite from the daily grind of running a business, it’s fishing. Unfortunately, having had surgery on my eyes a couple of weeks ago, I was under doctor’s orders to not lift anything more than a couple of pounds. So that put a hold on my cod fishing for a short while. But by last weekend I was all clear to wet a line again.

I don’t own a boat, so I have equipped myself with some really nice surf-casting gear. I fish from the shore or docks, or wherever the fish hit my lure.

On Sunday, Aug. 28 I headed down the Granite Coast to try a few trusted spots, and see if I could hit a nice fish. I was hoping to catch my limit in cod, but if I’m being honest, pollock are a lot more fun to have on the line. The fight is definitely worth the work.

I left really early and had already exhausted two of my chosen spots by 9 a.m. A bit dejected, I decided to head closer to town to see if there was any luck to be had in Burnt Islands. As a responsible fisherman, I won’t tell you where I was casting, but I had only been there about 20 minutes or so when my day took a rather interesting turn.

Boat after boat headed out to the deep water, and boat after boat came back in. I thought nothing of it until a longer outboard boat slowed down as it was leaving and turned towards me. I fish at a busy spot, so I figured that they needed to pick something up.

Instead, the boat slowed next to me and the passenger yelled out, “Hey you want to come with us?!”

I was a bit surprised, but I actually had to say no. “Thanks fellas, but I don’t have any deep water gear!,” I hollered back.

They waved to the stern of the boat, where they had extra rods, so they were well equipped. So I stored my gear in the car and hopped aboard to head out into the middle of nowhere with two complete strangers.

As it turned out, the passenger had spoken to me a number of times before when he spotted me again that morning. His name is Glenn Keeping. The boat’s pilot, Rupert Bond, introduced himself, and off we went.

It really could not have been more interesting. Between losing lures, snagging the bottom and not finding any fish whatsoever for a long time, it was a hell of a lot of fun.

Rupert had the most luck. He pulled up a little bit of everything, including more than a few sculpins, and a few decent sized mackerel. For the first hour I didn’t hit a thing at all. I had not a single touch on my line. Glenn had three before we even had out lines in the water, but his luck soon dried up. We must have been out there for about 4 hours. That was fine by me, as the weather was gorgeous, and there was almost no wind.

We got checked by the DFO, as did almost everyone on the waters that day. Curiously enough, every time the DFO checks me for fish, I get the same guy, for like the last three years. What are the odds?

My luck finally changed for the better when I pulled up the three biggest fish of the day, all in a row, as soon as my line hit bottom. My fellow fishermen were great sports all day long, and overall, we managed to get the 15 allotted before we decided to go back in.

The kindness of strangers is a rare thing in this day and age. You could go months and months without someone doing something uniquely nice for someone they don’t know.

But on that Sunday, Glenn told Rupert as they were heading out to fish, “Let’s go get him. He’s always there. He might want to go out with us.”

They did it no other reason then they figured I might enjoy it. That is the very definition of kindness.

Thanks fellas. Next time I head down there, I might pack my deep water gear. You never know!

René J. Roy is an avid fishermen who regularly drives his family crazy with stories of the ones that keep getting away. You can find him on Twitter as @hfxhabsfan.

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