“Twas the night before Christmas, and at the boat ramp,
Not a creature was stirring expect me, who just left glades camp.
The skiffs motor was humming and gassed up with care,
In hopes that that a jumping poon would soon be in the air.
The tarpon were nestled along a mangrove lined shore,
While mullet ran for their lives from explosions galore.
With a fly in my hand, and a slow strip of floating line,
I settled back in anticipation of a black shadow to find.
When all of a sudden, a single rolling poon’ I did see,
I sprang from the deck hitting the trolling motor with my knee.
With a bad forward cast the fly line hit with a jolt,
Ah crap! The cast was short, causing the tarpon to bolt.
As I starred at a birds nest on the skiffs cockpit floor,
I gathered my composure in hope of another shot more.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a 100 pound poon’ chasing mullet in fear.
With a cast hardly perfect, but so delicate and quick,
I thought to myself “I hope my tippet doesn’t have a nick”.
But before my next thought could run its excited course,
The silver king gulped the fly down with a violent force.
“Now hookset! Now clear line! On the Reel! Now no more stripping!
Second Hookset! Look at him jump! Now the reel’s screaming!
To the mouth of the creek! To the air oh wow!
Now jump away! Jump away! When he jumps dumbass bow!”
As countless fish before the tarpon did fly,
When they meet with a hook, he mounts to the sky.
He courses to the surface and out of the water flew,
leaping and shaking, my hook somehow stayed true.
And then, in a twinkling, he rolled on his side,
I grabbing and reaching for his mouth opened wide.
As I finally grasped his jaw with my fingers around,
He decided to soak me with one last head shaking bound.
His eyes — how they twinkled! His size how scary!
His scales were like diamonds, his gills red like cherry!
His bucket of a mouth echoed deep like a bell,
And the weight of his head was as heavy as hell.
The torn remnants of a black fly he held tight in his teeth,
And the tippet encircled his head like a fluorocarbon wreath.
He had a broad scaled face and a mullet filled belly,
My hands were cramping, and my legs were like jelly.
He gulped not a word and revived his tail did wave,
And filled my stocking with memories and a bad picture to save.
As I let go with a smiling goodbye and a firm away push,
A kick and a roll he left with a “we will meet again” rush.
Heading back to the dock another skiff owner I did pass,
Soaked to the bone with his heavy boat stuck in the grass.
But he heard me exclaim, as I signaled that I had caught fish,
“MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND TO ALL AN EAST CAPE SKIFF!”