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Bottoms Up to the Bottom-Fishing Hustle
George U. Packard
July 10, 1972
Axiom: a smart con man, even with a sure thing, never mixes martinis with the salt air on a summer's day at Sandy Neck. This is the tale of a chastened chap who will drink heartily to that
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July 10, 1972

Bottoms Up To The Bottom-fishing Hustle

Axiom: a smart con man, even with a sure thing, never mixes martinis with the salt air on a summer's day at Sandy Neck. This is the tale of a chastened chap who will drink heartily to that

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"I thought we banned martinis," I said.

"This is only a temporary martini," he said. "It makes me create better and I have created something." He set the glass down, reached into the tangle and started to pull something out of it. He kept pulling and everything seemed to straighten itself out and then I realized that all that stuff on the table wasn't just a mixed-up mess of tackle; it was all one giant bottom-fishing rig. He got it all out and then he held it up for us to see.

"This," he said, "is the Da Vinci Multiple Fish-Finding Configuration. The world has never seen anything like it."

He was right about the world never having seen anything like it, and I thought that there was no fish who had ever seen anything like it either. It looked like a Calder mobile made out of hooks and lures. There was a weight hanging from the bottom like a plumb bob that must have gone at least a pound. A foot up from that there was some kind of double spreader arrangement with four different-sized flounder hooks and then an ounce-and-a-quarter Rebel plug attached to the line with monofilament and above that two mackerel jigs and finally 10 or 12 feet more of monofilament tied into the line with a spinner on the end of it.

"What are you going to catch with that?" I said. Don was smiling at the thing he was holding up.

"Who knows?" he said. "I may catch everything."

"You're sure ready for it," Bert said.

"If I get them all on at the same time I'll retire the cup," he said, and he took a sip of his martini. "This is the first step in a revolution."

"It'll never fly," I said.

But Don had that Kitty Hawk look on his face, as if he knew something no one else in the world knew.

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