Reported sightings of lake monsters are nothing new. After all, Loch Ness has Nessie and Lake Champlain has a similar creature known as Champ. But last month at Table Rock, I heard of several reports of a creature attacking bass boats and fishermen, so maybe there’s a new creature among us.
Normally, I’d ignore such reports as myths or being caused by too much time in the sun, but the most disturbing of these reports came from my traveling partner, so I had to give more credence to the story. Since I believe I’m the first to report this creature, I’ll go ahead and give him a name. Because of the viciousness of the attack, which reminded me of a T-Rex, and his home waters, lets call him T-Rocky.
According to my traveling partner (let’s call him Fred as the names have been changed to protect the guilty) he was innocently idling into a pocket to check out some docks when out of the early morning fog, the creature approached. Now according to Fred, T-Rocky looked remarkably like a Canada Goose; however had many un-goose like tendencies. First off, T-Rocky swam directly at the boat, “neck out and butt swinging back and forth” as he swam as hard as he could. Secondly, he caught up with Fred and leapt up on the back deck of the boat, something I’ve never heard of a goose doing.
Now faced with a vicious attack like this one, many of us would have panicked, Fred included. In fact from Fred’s own description of the event, you would assume that his life was in immediate danger (not to even mention the pristine state of his boat carpet). With this in mind, Fred responded in what I can only describe as a rather unmanly attempt to shoo out the intruder by waving his hat desperately in the air and shouting at T-Rocky.
When this wholly logical approach failed, Fred proceeded to whack T-Rocky up side his head with a very expensive fishing rod. This approached worked much better and T-Rocky, showing remarkable intelligence and discretion, retreated from the boat. Fred also decided that those docks didn’t look as appealing as they had, so he turned the boat around and started idling for open water.
As Fred made for safety, it quickly became apparent that T-Rocky’s retreat was strictly a strategic one because he was on the attack again. This time coming up on Fred’s port side, just as quickly as before, T-Rocky jumped up on the front deck and faced Fred head on. Now I have to admit, as Fred was telling us this story in the restaurant that evening, I kind of lost track of how he got the attack goose out of the boat this time. It was probably because of the laughter going on at our table drowned out his telling of it, but somehow he managed to once again convince T-Rocky that he was not a welcome visitor.
By this time, Fred had had enough. He decided to make a run for it and to hell with the surrounding docks. As Fred ran, in fear for his life, he looked over his shoulder and swears T-Rocky was flying just above his motor, doing his best to keep up. Mutant attack goose or not, T-Rocky was unable to keep up and Fred escaped with his life and carpet, if not his dignity, intact.
Now there were several theories put forth at the dinner table that night about the reason for the “unprovoked” attack. My personal favorite, admittedly one of my own, was that Fred’s deodorant must contain goose pheromones. Other’s included the fact that it was goose mating season and Fred appealed to this particular T-Rocky.
The truth, we were to later found out, was much more mundane. After talking with several people, including a couple of other attack victims, it turns out that the locals have been feeding the geese crackers out of boats and off of their docks. I’d gone through a lock last fall with Fred and he refused to share his Chips Ahoy with me, so I even understand how this particular T-Rocky felt that day. I guess I should consider myself lucky that Fred didn’t hit me in the head with one of his rods.
So consider yourself warned. If you venture into Missouri and onto the waters of Table Rock, watch out for T-Rocky. You might consider going armed or at least keep a rod handy for self-defense; but most of all, DON’T FORGET THE CRACKERS! You never know when T-Rocky will strike next.
Thanks to the sponsors who make this all possible: Scoutlookweather.com, Lowrance Electronics, Phoenix Bass Boats, BoatUS Angler, Power Pole, Costa del Mar Sunglasses, Bass Angler Magazine and Mississippi Van Lines. Without all of you, none of this would be possible.