Bat S#*t Crazy

Here’s a fun fact: The Rhode Island Health Department recommends that you get a rabies vaccination if you have an encounter with bats. The dosage varies depending on your weight. For example, a 3 year old girl gets 3 shots and a pudgy adult man gets 6. Did I mention they are given to you all at once?

It’s not so much getting bit that is a concern - it’s more like the saliva. If the bat’s saliva happens to fall in your mouth, eyes or in some open wound, you run the risk of contracting rabies. At 2am on Monday morning, there were 4 bats circling above our bed. How they got in there to begin with is a long story. Eventually, most of them left through the open window and the one that was left behind met with an unfortunate death inside of a fishing net. At any rate, the result of that fiasco was a family trip to Hasbro for emergency rabies shots.

So, why am I telling you about this? Well, bats in the house is about the most eventful thing that’s happened in the last few weeks. I had heavily baited the weedy lake before my Monday morning session (the morning of the bats), hoping to get into some of those magic commons it contains. The thing about a place like this is that there is so much weed that you are limited to fishing spots. Those clear areas where the weeds are not completely overgrown are few and far between and the fish are either there or not.

A still from some underwater video of the weedy lake.

Needless to say I blanked, although I did catch a rather plump bullhead. I followed up with some additional baiting on Wednesday and Thursday for a Friday morning session where I again blanked. Though I did see fish here and there, they seemed to be oblivious to the ridiculous amount of hemp, birdseed, and maize I put into that spot. It did however catch the attention of some rather large turtles.

My summer slow down has officially arrived. Are these lake so full of natural food that the carp completely ignore any sub-par, nutrient deficient food? Do the turtles and bullheads wipe out the bait before it gets to the fish? I really don’t know. Sure people still catch them and maybe some even have a super secret place where blanks never happen. The thing about pictures you see on social media is that all the work and effort it takes to find and catch fish gets distilled into a single square image.

A new carp angler/long time angler friend commented to me about what a great night they had fishing on a boat near Newport. After 5 carp sessions that failed to produce, he was relieved to get his string pulled by some hard fighting saltwater fish. “Last night I forgot about carp fishing”, he commented. “It’s a different game”, I replied. Waiting for someone to tell you of a sure thing, whether it’s stripers or carp, is more of a gamble to me then putting in the work. Does that make sense or is it the rabies talking?

In addition to the first 6 shots you receive, you’ll need to schedule 3 more spaced out by a few days. Once you’ve received them all, you will forever be immune to rabies. Maybe that is exactly what I need as a person who spends so many hours amongst an assortment of potential disease transmitters waiting to strike into some gold.

Till next time, may your bite alarms ring true.