The yacht sailed on the water, and the fishing machine was like its big tail, following slowly behind.
It was noon, and the temperature was just right as it was autumn. The lake was covered with water vapor; one felt exceptionally comfortable when the autumn breeze blew the vapor around and it brushed softly around them.
The seats of the fishing machine were broad and big. They could be pulled to be made into recliners.
Hans pulled his seat to make it into a recliner and laid on it lazily. "D*mn, this feels so good!" he exclaimed. "I'm going to buy some beer and stay here all afternoon."
The treasure hunters on the yacht were dissatisfied. "Big Li, will you both hurry up? Do we take turns to have a go at the fishing machine? D*mn, I'm going to be squeezed into a sandwich!"
Dickens laughed in a teasing manner. "Thomson, pal, blame yourself for being so fat. If you were like me, you'd definitely feel better."
Big, fat Thomson turned around to glared, pushed Big Beard Carl aside, and squeezed his way through to Dickens, cramming him into a corner of the deck.
He heaved a sigh of relief. "Sh*t, this is so much comfortable now. Thank you Dickens, you're such a nice fella. Your reminder was very timely."
Dickens was out of breath. "F*ck, you get outta here now. You're squeezing me off the yacht."
The yacht that Hans rented was too small to accommodate more than 30 people. The yacht could accommodate 15 people, and now that it was holding double its recommended capacity, it was good enough that it simply didn't sink.
They had bought the appropriate bait for the fishing rods and hooks on the fishing machine to use. Li Du hooked a rubber bait on a fishing rod and swung it into the water, then he inserted the fishing rod on the fishing machine.
He didn't have to worry about the rest, for the machine would take care of the fishing.
After doing that to the rest of the fishing rods, he took another rubber bait and asked, "Big Fox, can this bait attract any fish? D*mmit, are we too frivolous using this?"
When he was still in school back in China, he would sometimes join his classmates for fishing. They would use bait like worms and grasshoppers. Sometimes, they would even use self-made dough bait.
This kind of bait had its own food fragrance to attract fish. But the bait they were using now was made of rubber; he was skeptical if they would be able to fool the fish into biting it.
On the other hand, Hans was very confident. "Rest assured. Although this is rubber bait, it is very useful. We'll have a big harvest today."
Li Du looked at the hooks that were now in the water. The bait had not sunk yet. They were floating on the surface of the water and the bait was reflecting the light rays from the sun. It was pretty eye-catching.
Not long after, a message and a bunch of parameters appeared on the dashboard computer screen: "The force gauge is 2.5N,""Reel process in preparation,""The line is now entering the reeling phase…"
After the information appeared on the screen, the machine controlled a fishing rod and started to rotate rapidly; a swishing sound was heard and the fishing line was now straight.
Li Du watched with great interest. A fish took the bait! he thought excitedly.
From his impression, an angler would now pull on the line as a test to prevent the fish from breaking the line or coming off the hook.
But the fishing machine was very fast. Swish! Swish! It made continuous rotating sounds and a fish could now be seen on the surface of the water. Within seconds, the fish was successfully pulled out of the water.
The fish looked very fat with silvery-white scales. Its width was much longer than its length. After leaving the water, it frantically struggled to free itself—unfortunately for the fish, the line was very resilient, and it couldn't get off the hook.
"Wow, it's a tilapia!" Li Du cried out in joy.
There was a rumor that Americans did not often eat freshwater fish. It was said that during the Industrial Age, large amounts of industrial waste were discharged into the lakes and rivers. Although they looked clear after treatment, a lot of them still contained high amounts of heavy metal and toxic elements.
Another rumor was that such fish had more bones, and Americans did not know how to pick out the prickly fish bones and, therefore, refused to eat them.
Li Du discovered all of that to be bullsh*t. In Flagstaff, he saw that Americans ate freshwater fish too, especially salmon—they loved this kind of fish.
A lot of people liked the tilapia too. The fried fish in fast food restaurants in Flagstaff used tilapia to make the dish.
When the fish came in, Ah Meow immediately stared at it with sparkling eyes and left his seat.
The group of people on the yacht saw the fish and cheered as well. "Oh yeah! It caught a fish, the fishing machine's in good condition!"
Big Beard Carl took off his top and jumped into the river. He swam over to the fishing machine and climbed up using the ladder and took over Ah Meow's seat.
He copied how Hans had pulled the seat into a recliner and laid on it. "Sh*t, this feels so good!"
Crispy Noodles occupied a seat too. Olly and Dickens jumped into the water at the same time and the two of them tried to fight for this seat.
As Dickens was slimmer and swam better, in no time he got close to Crispy Noodles and was about to take over the seat.
Crispy Noodles turned around and gave a flying kick using his hind leg. Dickens let out a miserable cry and fell back into the water.
The group of men on the yacht was amused. Thomson shouted, "Dickens, it's your fault for jumping down here. Don't think of coming back here!"
It was not long after the machine caught the tilapia when another fishing rod started to move. The reel was not turning as fast as it had in the previous catch. This time it seemed to follow a rhythm; sometimes it stopped reeling altogether.
Seeing this, Hans remarked cheerfully, "This time it's a big fish!"
After two minutes of battling, the fish ultimately lost to the fishing machine.
Hans had made a wrong guess as the fish had a length of around one foot, which was not considered a big fish. It was silver-grey in color, had a bulging back, tiny scales, and a flat, graceful body.
After seeing the fish, Big Beard Carl got up and shouted excitedly, "It's a salmon, the salmon from Lake Powell!"
Salmon were anadromous: they hatched in freshwater before migrating to the ocean and continuing to grow there. When it was time to spawn, they would migrate back up rivers to lay eggs.
Salmon had to undergo hardship in order to spawn. They would die within a few days or weeks of laying eggs, which was a trait known as semelparity. Semelparity was also known as "big bang" reproduction which meant their reproduction was usually large as well as fatal.
This fish was still alive, which meant it probably had not yet spawned. Salmon fish roes were very valuable and very precious. In Western cuisine, it was certainly a more precious dish than the salmon meat itself.
Everyone was delighted to see the salmon. This meant that they would have good food for lunch.
There were a lot of people fishing in Lake Powell. Everyone's most preferred catch was the salmon. Thus, the Bureau of Reclamation specially set up restrictions that each person could only catch up to four salmon. Anything more than that was not allowed so that the salmon could continue to breed there.
The anglers were, of course, unhappy with such restrictions. This was also one of the reasons for the call to demolish the dams. Were it not for the dams preventing the salmon from swimming back and forth from the sea, there would not be so few salmon in the lake.