Monday, June 9, 2008


I was swimming around in a lake yesterday. It was a fairly small man-made lake in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. As lakes go this was a fairly clear one, I could at least see my feet when standing straight up in deep areas.

Anyways, I found this small pier in about 12 feet deep water. I had planned on jumping off the pier. I swam under it first though. When you are in the shade, water becomes a lot more clear because surface reflections don't obstruct your view as much. I was able to clearly see the bottom even though it was fairly deep. To try to see better I held onto the pier and held my body still. With the water now flat and calm a dozen or so Bluegill ranging in size from about two to eight inches swam up to me.

All of a sudden I feel a sudden prick on my back. This was so unusual that I yelled something and jumped forward in shock. I look behind me to see what did it, expecting some water bug or leech. Nothing. Just more Bluegill. Did I just get bitten by a fish? About a minute later it happened again, once again on my back. So I called over Jared and Crystal. Sure enough, they left Jared alone but Crystal got bit probably a dozen times. At one point I even got one to repeatedly bite the tip of my finger.

I have spent a lot of time in water, but this was the first time I was bitten by a fish. Usually they are too busy hiding. Also I had about a fifteen inch largemouth bass get within about a foot of me. Freshwater fish really can be quite fearless. I think I understand why spearfishing is not legal in most freshwater places...

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