Sticker featured above has a reflective finish. See larger image below.
It was one of those mornings where everything just felt right. We caught a break in the weather, conditions looked good, and I eagerly met Justin at the ramp at first light.
I enjoyed my ritual of gas station coffee as we idled away from the ramp and Justin filled me in on the game plan. We would check on some small tarpon that were playfully rolling nearby and once we had enough sun, hit the lagoon for some sight fishing.
After a few hours of fishing we were making our way through a no wake zone and noticed a commercial boat sitting right outside the channel facing away. Standing at the bow of the boat was a young fisherman chatting on his phone and looking off in the other direction. Nothing eventful seemed to be at play here.
We didn’t notice that there was a rod leaning in the back corner of the stern, and we were unaware of the cork sitting out somewhere in our path.
Justin and I made our way past the boat which was sitting right at the line where the no wake zone ended. To our surprise, the commercial fishermen came to life as we passed. He ran to the back of the boat, grabbed the rod, and started screaming language that I had only heard on golf courses and in Samuel Jackson movies.
We were caught off guard. Startled, we could make out something about us cutting off his line. Justin apologized, stated that he hadn’t seen it, and moved on to our next spot.
Not ten minutes later, I was standing on the casting platform when we saw the boat from a few moments ago come flying around the corner of the mangroves. Not a good feeling.
I am not being dramatic when I say that I thought he was going to plow right through Justin’s Hells Bay Waterman. A great skiff for the lagoon, but certainly not the boat you want to be t-boned in by a large, floating tank. I actually bent my knees in anticipation to bail off the front of the boat. Fortunately for me (and the boat) he sporadically cut his wheel at the last moment and whipped to the side.
After more cursing and what appeared to be some sort of oddly phrased invitation to fight, he yelled “That’s how you handle sh*t”” and drove off in a blaze of his own proclaimed glory.
AND THAT was when the Reaper of the Lagoon was born. Justin is world class, professional, and one fishy dude. After that odd encounter on the water with some of Florida’s finest, I felt it appropriate to work with my friends at Skinny Water Culture to commemorate the moment.
The sticker jokes of a menacing reaper with a cork wrapped around a scythe. The truth of the matter is, it tells of a story of a guide who stood firm and modeled what it looks like to take the high road.
Cheers to Justin!
**With your purchase of a sticker your information will be entered to win a free day on the water with Justin and I this upcoming year. Entries are valid until December 31st**