Traverse City, Michigan
Traverse City has become a hot destination spot during the summer. It’s fame reaches wider than the National Cherry Festival and its plentiful wineries. It is also referred to as Michigan’s Golf Coast, but the biggest attraction this Summer was on Lake Michigan Wednesday morning, as Father Earl Knickers caught a whopping 40 pound mackerel, breaking the old record set 3 years earlier by “Shitlips” McGee for a 38 pounder.
After a 2 hour battle with the fish, Father Knickers, on what seemed to be a fruitless attempt, looked up to the heavens, gave a wink, and with all his might, hoisted the fish from the deep blue waters onto his boat. “It was a dream come true,” said the priest. “I have given so much in my life and have asked for so little. But this is something I needed for me,” remarked Father Knickers.
Moments before the fight between the priest and the fish ended, other participants had seen the priest in a verbal altercation with the fish. One fisherman, Mark Elios described the scene, “He was doing battle with the fish, when all of a sudden he went on a tirade yelling ‘Get the f*ck in this boat! I’ve given up meat on Lent and having sex with women! I’m not giving this up! Come here, you gilled bastard!'”
After the news of the priest’s ruckus on the water hit the dock, he was cheered by a few and booed by others. “There are children here!” yelled one of the mothers at the contest.
A short time later, the mackerel, hanging upside down on the dock, voiced his disapproval saying “It’s bad enough that he tricked me with bait, which tasted terrible by the way, then yanked on me for God knows how long, but then he berated me in front of everybody. I am more upset about that, than being gutted open in a few minutes.” The mackerel then called over the judges of the contest to file a grievance.
“I empathize with the fish, but I checked the rule book and there is nothing about disqualification for foul language,” said Tim Reilly, a local judge at the competition for the past 8 years. After snapping a few pictures for the local newspaper and signing a few autographs, Father Knickers grabbed a bottle of champagne, fashioned it as a fish mallet and knocked the mackerel into next Tuesday. We’ll have more on the mackerel’s condition Wednesday.