Early Thursday morning I drove to Maryland to meet up with a few friends to fish for the day in the Potomac around DC. I posted the pic a few weeks ago of the 70 plus pound catfish that I caught the last time we fished in that area. No such luck this time, we caught a few small blue cats, the biggest weighing maybe 9 pounds.
We left the lower section, south of the Woodrow Wilson bridge, and headed to an area called “three sisters”. This section of the river is almost directly across from Georgetown University and right in the middle of DC. I guess it’s not the middle but as close to the middle as you can get on the river, I digress. Being that it’s in such close proximity to Georgetown, there were numerous Crew teams going up and down the river.
For anyone that’s never seen a Crew team in action, the team of rowers are rowing in reverse with a navigator sitting in the back directing the action. There were also what I assume were coaches following along shouting instructions and feedback to the teams. I’ve never been on a crew team so I have no idea if I’m using the right terms.
About an hour or so before sunset we set up in the three sisters section to try and finally catch a blue cat worth talking about. It was a beautiful scene: the sun was in the beginning stages of setting, a plethora of vibrant colors were reflecting off the water and the old buildings of Georgetown. There were all kinds of boats floating up and down the river, we even passed by a large boat that had about 30 people on the top deck doing yoga. I assume that’s what they were doing, either that or worshiping the setting sun. There were helicopters flying up and down the river and airliners making their final approach to National airport. The weather was great and the temperature was comfortable. It was basically the kind of setting where you didn’t care if you caught any fish, it was worth it just being in the middle of it all.
We were fishing in a 25 foot, center console with a canopy, fiberglass fishing boat, not a tiny boat by any means but certainly not a giant vessel like the Yoga/Sunworshipper’s ride. As we were anchored trying to catch a monster cat fish, a few Crew boats came by without incident, that is until the last boat reached us.
I’m standing on the back of the boat looking up stream at a crew boat manned by about 10 or so girls, that seems to be in a direct path with our anchored location. The coach on the chase boat was following along and started saying things like “watch the fishing boat” and “hey there’s a boat in front of you” then it turned into “WHAT ARE YOU DOING!!? LOOK OUT FOR THE FISHING BOAT!”
Imagine the scene from Ben Hur, where the drum beats increase in tempo as the Captain calls for “ramming speed”. The Crew boat went full speed into the back of our boat, stopping abruptly after impact and pushing us off anchor. Luckily no one was hurt that bad, one girl ended up with a bloody face, but I think she was ok, the oar whacked her in the face after impact. The navigator must not have been paying attention, maybe fell asleep or was texting, I’m not sure. To her credit she did scream”F!! I hit a boat” at the last minute.
So after we made sure they were all ok, and that we weren’t going to sink, we untangled our fishing lines that were now wrapped around the crew boat, said our good byes and kept fishing. We didn’t catch anything else.
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