The Cheaters learned: Good will always prevail over evil | NevadaAppeal.com
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The Cheaters learned: Good will always prevail over evil

Don Quilici

Early last week, Don Hettrick (Don H) and I made the mistake of telling Norm Budden (Cheater No. 1) and Bob “Slick” McCulloch (Cheater No. 2) that we were going to fish at Lahontan Reservoir on Thursday, and that they were not invited to go with us.

Long ago, Don H and I gave them the Cheater nicknames for all of the bad things that they have done to us. Through the years, they have cheated, lied, played diabolical jokes, harassed, not paid bets, and constantly tormented us.

The four of us have been friends for many years, but neither Don H or I would trust those two any further than we could throw them.

Lo and behold: When we arrived at the boat ramp, early Thursday, guess whose truck and empty boat trailer was parked there?

Yep, it was Slick’s. The two Cheaters were already on the lake, trying to outfish Don H and I for bragging rights between all of us.

We quickly launched Don H’s boat and then roared off to fish at our secret fishing spot.

Once there, we began trolling with small brass-colored flasher blades and small yellow-colored Roostertail lures.

To say the action was awesome would be an understatement of the year. It was unbelievably red-hot and non-stop. We each had our first fish on as soon as the flashers and lures were in the water.

When trolling, I always count the number of turns on the handle of my fishing reel, when letting my line out into the water.

That way, when I catch the first fish, I always know, exactly, the number of turns needed to get back to where the fish are biting.

Thursday, I caught and released countless fish when my line was out 2 turns, 3 turns, 4-5-6-7-8 or whatever number of turns.

Don H was experiencing the same success on his side of the boat.

We could not let our lines out without catching White Bass, plus Crappie and Walleye. Heck, you could just lean over the side of the boat, dangle your lure in the water and 3-4-5 White Bass would immediately swarm after it. It was wild!

After a while, the two of us got tired of catching fish, stopped and took a coffee and doughnut break.

While resting, I told Don H, “You can bet those two low-lifes are looking for us, so they can find out where the fish are and what to use. When they show up, let’s mess with their minds.”

With that, we placed our largest lead sinker on our fish stringer and hung it over the side of the boat into the water, to make it appear as if we had caught some large fish.

We also took out the two ugliest and least-productive lures in our tackle boxes for when they showed up and wanted to know what we were using to catch fish.

Yep, you guessed it, again: Shortly afterwards, here they came, roaring up in Slick’s Boat.

They stopped beside us, and Slick (Cheater No. 2) immediately asked, “Are you doing any good?”

Don H replied, “Yeah, we are doing OK, we’ve caught some.”

Norm (Cheater No. 1) instantly asked, “What are you using?”

Without hesitation, Don H picked up those two ugly, least-productive lures and showed them.

Slick (Cheater No. 2) immediately began rooting through his tackle box, trying to find a match.

Then, Norm (Cheater No. 1) slyly asked, “What have you got on that stringer in the water?”

I smirked and replied, “Oh, we’ve got a Walleye and a Wiper that we are entering in the Ormsby Sportsmen’s Association fishing contest. But, we are not going to show them to you, because then you’ll know what you have to beat.”

I looked at Don H and continued, “Come on, Don, let’s get out of here, and get back to catching fish, where dumb people don’t bother us with dumb questions.”

With that, we laughed and roared off to a new trolling location for more fishing.

Yep, you guessed it, again: They came roaring up and began to troll some distance behind us.

Once again, Don H and I began gleefully catching fish, non-stop.

In addition, to further drive them crazy, we trolled in weird S or Z-shaped patterns, went around in circles, speeded up, slowed down, stopped and started. All the while, being quickly imitated by the boat lurking behind us.

You could see they were getting frustrated, with no action on the lures they were using.

Heck, we heard some very nasty swear words, plus that evil Budden even “mooned” us! Twice!

We were kicking butt and they were getting skunked! Yes!

Ah, life is good when you can get revenge on those two cheaters.

So, the moral to this story is: It’s true: Good (Don H and Don Q) will always prevail over evil (Cheater No. 1 and Cheater No. 2).

• Bet Your Favorite Pigeon

Bet your favorite pigeon he can’t tell you how many fish Don H and I caught and released last Thursday at Lahontan Reservoir.

If he grins and says, “They did not keep count, but estimated they each caught and released more than 200 fish,” he could be another of our fishing partners.

• Don Quilici is the Outdoors editor for the Nevada Appeal.