a small silver bream, probably not quite legal
The fish took a while to reel in, fighters those little fellows, not too willing to be landed on the warm wood of the boardwalk. Nevertheless that’s what happened and of course the first job of the fellow who caught him is to ‘disengage’ the hook from the silver bream’s mouth.
I’m on the other side of the local RSL club’s window eating lunch and watching the process.
The fisherman takes his catch into his right hand and fingers around in the bream’s mouth with his left for a grip on the barbed hook-end, he’s unsuccessful so swaps hands and repeats the exercise with his right hand. Poking around in there, lifting and tugging .. the fish twitches, mightily unappreciative of this bloke’s unclean, tobacco-flavoured finger being so massively intrusive into what was once its own personal space.
The fisherman extracts his finger, bends down and roots around in the gear box at his feet where he come up with a rusty pair of needle-nose pliers. Upon seeing this implement the bream, so help me, emits a silent scream that almost shatters the glass I’m looking through as the fisherman inserts the plier end into its bloodied mouth, closes it on the hook shank then twists and pulls at it in an effort to free the imbedded barb.
Time passes. If the bream had a mind his life would be passing through it.
Once again the fisherman changes hands then re-inserts the pinching end of his pliers deep into the fish’s mouth, grasps the hook and with an almighty flesh and bone ripping wrench pulls the deeply imbedded hook free.
The injured fish is then discarded, being too small to be legal.
In four days time I have a dentist’s appointment.
He has advised me that five of my teeth need immediate removal.