‘Twas the night before Christmas, looking out at the lake
Nothing was stirring, not even a wake;
The rods were all strung with new braided line,
In hopes that a Musky soon would be mine;
The lures in the tackle box, hooks sharpened with care;
While visions of monster filled the night air;
Pliers in my pocket, gloves on my hands,
Had just made by my count, my 10,000th cast,
When out in the water there arose such a clatter,
I sprang down the shoreline to see what was the matter.
Turning on my headlamp it threw such a flash,
I fell from the rocks and got quite a gash.
The moon on the top of my Echotail had shown,
A ripple, I knew my cover was blown,
When what to my wandering eyes did appear,
But a 50 inch musky trailing my lure,
With a head so wide I started to shake,
I knew in a moment my reputation at stake.
More rapid than eagles his teeth they came,
He slammed that lure, and was heard mocking my name:
Now Israel, Now Izzy, Now Shorebound Hero too,
What will happen now that I have you!
From the edge of the shore! To the top of the break wall!
I pulled! I pulled! I reeled all night long!
As the water he boiled like they so often do,
Once exhausted he took to the sky a time or two.
So up to the top of the rocks I flew
With my backpack full of lures, and a rod or two-
And then, in a moment, I saw on the shore
The violent thrashing and rolling of a king who’d been duped.
As I drew in my line, and was turning around,
Suddenly he stopped and came crashing down.
He was 50 inches long, from his head to his tail,
And was covered in scales, with teeth like nails;
A bladebait was tucked in that cavernous mouth,
And he looked like a boxer who had just lost his bout.
His eyes- they looked angry! Certainly, not merry!
His fins were intact, he looked quite cherry!
The stump of a lure he held tight in his teeth,
And the hook, it encircled his jaw like a wreath;
He had a broad head and a big panfish belly
That shook when he thrashed, like a bowl full of jelly.
He was long and plump, a true trophy fish,
And I laughed, in spite of the gash on my wrist;
I spoke not a word, but went straight to work,
And removed the hook; it came loose with a jerk,
And laying my camera on the side of the rocks,
I sat smiling for the picture, as the timer tick tocked;
He sprang back to life; it was a healthy release,
And away he swam, headed east.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he swam out of sight-
“Merry Christmas to all, thanks for the fight!”