My grandfather used to take my sister and me fishing at a tank out in Luling. Those summer excursions exist in my memory as sun-scorched, bucolic reveries. Our cups were always full with soda from Dairy Queen, which tasted weird in the way only water from Luling can taste. I prized my Snoopy-and-Woodstock fishing pole. We cast out our lines for catfish. There could not have been a more peaceful way to unspool a summer morning into a lazy afternoon.
In 2016, a Texas fishing trip is like the goshdarn Old Testament, y’all.
Case in point, while we’re already talking about catfish, from the Houston Chronicle: A 10-year-old boy in Hockley caught a whiskered finny fella at his family’s pond, which also happened to have a diamondback water snake latched onto its head.
When will God wake us from this nightmare we live in?
The boy, blessed with the ultimate Texas name of Chipper Burman (which honestly makes this whole story worthwhile), poked both animals with a stick. Boss move, Chipper. He discovered the creatures were both still alive, because the devil is real. According to the Chronicle, Chipper also tried to pry the two animals apart – CHIPPER, HONEY, NO – and, unable to do so, ran back to his grandparents’ house for help. The two scale-beasts were eventually returned to the pond to let the fates finish weaving their terrible tale. The fish reportedly escaped from death, but we’ve all seen “Final Destination” and know how this ends.
So, there’s that. There’s also the 964-lb. tiger shark caught in Texas City over July 4 weekend. According to KENS, the Texas Jaycees caught the behemoth as part of a competition, with Sergio Roque landing 85 percent of the state record.
That, in case you did not know, is larger than any shark has the right to be. You know who did not know? The 1,033-lb. hammerhead shark caught just a few days later as part of the same competition. According to San Antonio Express-News, Tim McClellan conjured this most fearsome of Poseidon’s children out of the depths and onto the shores of man’s world to actually break the state record. To which I say: Tim, my dude, was that necessary?
Let this be a lesson to all you Texans out there. For every charming childhood memory you have of your grandpa teaching you gut a catfish for dinner, there is a story of nautical terror waiting for you in the Lone Star State.
Sleep well, mes amis.