Based on Twas The Night Before Christmas, by Henry Livingston.
'Twas the night before Christmas, when all 'cross the water
Not a creature was stirring, not even my daughter;
The rods were all geared up with fresh line and plastics,
In hopes that a big bass trips the light fantastic.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of Billy Bass danced in their heads;
And mamma in her camo gown, and I in my fidori,
Just sat down to watch A Christmas Story.
When out in the lake there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the lounger to see what was the matter.
Away to the garage I dashed like a runner
I backed in the boat and started to gun her.
The moonlight showed the remains of a ripple
The excitement had me frozen, almost a cripple,
When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But a gaint greenback I had to commandeer,
Like a little old angler, so quiet and quick,
I reached in the box and got the Ugly Stick.
More rapid than eagles my casts how they flew,
Only to get a nibble or two.
Now, St. Croix! Now Daiwa! Now, Pradco and Plano!
On Crawlers! On Spinners! On Divers and Senko
To the top of the water! To the bottom and all!
Now cast away! Cast away! Cast away all!"
As bats to the light like wild hurricane fly,
Then the Big One's silhouette mounts to the sky,
So up went my rod as I set the hook,
Surprised that a few cranks was all it took.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard a small sound
But no other creature was even around.
As I drew in my catch, and extracted the bait,
That bass said, "What's up? My name is Nate."
He was dressed all in scales, from his mouth to his tail,
His color was deep and mine had turned pale;
I set him down gingerly upon the deck,
And he waved at me with the fin on his pec.
His eyes how they twinkled! His tail, how strong!
His gills were like roses, his body so long!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a smile,
I stood there frozen for what seemed like a while;
I had cut my fingers on his sharp little teeth,
His open mouth was the size of a wreath;
He had a scarred face and a little round belly,
That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old fish,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He said, "Thanks for letting me catch you tonight,
Since it's Christmas I feared I'd have nothing to bite,
But I splashed and you came,
Like I called you by name;
Now put me back in and I'll take a breath,
And tell you the secrets from down in the depths.
Then I heard him exclaim, ere he dove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all ... fish at night."
Dave and Kristin Landahl host The Fishing Fanatics, www.TheFishingFanatics.com, radio show on ESPN radio affiliate AM 1360 WLBK in northern Illinois Thursday evenings from 6-7 PM Central time. You can also tune in to hear The Fishing Fanatics at www.1360wlbk.com and check them out at www.walleyecentral.com