After befriending several natives on the beautiful Outer Banks of North Carolina, I was introduced to the masterful art of tourist fishing. I was immediately intrigued and wanted to learn the craft! Tourist fishing is absolutely one of the funniest things I’ve ever witnessed a group of grown men attempt. All you need is a beautiful seashell, a fishing rod, and a gullible passerby. The results vary, so if you attempt this on your own, be prepared for a variety of outcomes. Unsuspecting tourists either laugh it off or become somewhat enraged, once they finally realize they’ve been duped.
I like to weave my writing with a healthy balance of fiction, my own life experiences, and anything useful (or hysterical) that other people have shared with me along life’s path. In my romantic thriller novel, the fast moving plot remains suspenseful, as a money hungry psychopath attempts to stalk Annabelle across several states. Despite the seriousness of Annabelle’s situation, the characters manage to work in a relaxing beach day, filled with ice cold beer, volleyball, and tourist fishing.
Tourist Fishing Explained: An Excerpt from Shadows of Deception:
Worn out after too much liquor, sunshine, and volleyball, the guys sat close to the shore in their beach chairs. Laughter filled the beach as Cole taught Jake about the craft of tourist fishing. Annabelle and Kara watched from afar in amusement. As the sun began to set, the girls giggled at Jake and Cole from their giant beach blanket. Despite the circumstances, the four lifelong friends were glad to be reunited again.
“You see this shell?” Cole presented Jake with a beautiful, white conch shell and a fishing rod. “Tie the shell to the end of the line and cast it into the surf. When someone walks by and tries to pick it up, jerk your line a bit, and then slowly reel in the shell. To the unsuspecting tourist, the shell just seems like it’s drifting around in the surf. You gotta keep it within their reach though, man. They’ll just keep on chasing it!”
Jake laughed so hard that he nearly tipped out of his chair. “Cole, you’re a genius!”
Jake cast his first shell out into the surf and watched. “Wait… do people ever get pissed off at you? I’m not trying to get my ass beat by some steroid junkie.”
Cole laughed, “Most people are pretty cool about it. Once they realize that the shell is tied to a fishing line, they either look away in embarrassment, cuss you out, or come over and have a beer with you. It’s a great way to fish for hot women too!”
Kara yelled, “Hey! You guys do realize that we can hear you back here, right?”
Cole and Jake played dumb and continued on with their mischief. They wanted to catch one more tourist before they left the beach. Annabelle and Kara began cleaning up their mess from the day. They were both starving and ready to get cleaned up for dinner that evening. As they gathered all of their towels, chairs, and coolers into one neat pile, Annabelle could tell that Kara had something on her mind. Annabelle finished brushing the sand off of her legs and plopped back down on the blanket beside her friend.
“Just ask, Kara.”
Kara was glad it was Annabelle who broke the very obvious tension. “Annabelle, this is the first chance we’ve found to talk alone all day. I didn’t want to hit you with a bunch of serious questions, but there are some things I’d like to ask. You know, just between us girls kind of questions.”
Annabelle was curious. “What do you want to know?”
“Did Evan hurt you?”
“He roughed me up some: slammed me against a wall, slapped me around a little, threatened me with a knife, demanded all of my money. You know, typical things husbands do when they don’t get their way.” Joking was the only way Annabelle could deal with the truth right now.
“Annabelle, this isn’t funny! Did he do anything else to you?” Kara wasn’t sure how to ask what was really eating at her. “Did he rape you?”
Annabelle fell back on the blanket and closed her eyes as she spoke. “No. Not physically, but he did an excellent job of insulting me. Evan just wanted money, so I told him what he wanted to hear and, by the grace of God, got him the hell out of my house.”
Annabelle’s eyes swelled with hot tears, and she gave Kara a halfhearted smile. What she was about to say was so embarrassing that she had not even mentioned it to the police. Annabelle began sobbing and turned her face away in shame. She didn’t want Cole to see her like this.
Kara wrapped her arms around Annabelle and rocked her. “What is it? I’m your best friend, Annabelle. Hell, I’m your sister. Please, tell me what he did to you.”
Annabelle pulled herself together, wiping the tears away from her eyes. “Evan told me that the reason we were having trouble conceiving a child was because he was slipping birth control pills in my drinks.”
“What? How in the hell did that man manage to get his hands on birth control? What kind of doctor gives out contraceptives to men?”
“Who knows, Kara? I guess he paid some shady doctor a ton of money for it. Swear that you won’t tell anyone else about this. Not even Jake! This whole situation has been demeaning enough. If I could find a way to have that man’s balls removed, I would. God forbid if Evan Montague ever actually creates offspring.”
Kara snickered. “One thing’s for sure; Evan is definitely the captain of team crazy. Are we just supposed to wait around to hear from some detective while Evan is lurking around?
“I have no other choice, Kara.”
Kara nudged Annabelle with her elbow. “Jake said that if the police don’t do something about Evan soon, he’s going to track him down, put a sack over his head, and beat the hell out him!”
Annabelle rolled her eyes and grinned. “I don’t think that’ll be necessary, Kara.” They both busted out laughing. “I’m sure Detective Michelson will call me as soon as he finds something.”
Annabelle and Kara sat together in a comfortable silence, soaking in the last bit of sunshine and watching as the waves broke violently against the sandy shore. Cole and Jake gave up on tourist fishing and decided that it was time to grill up some of the real fish they had caught throughout the day. They helped the girls pack up the rest of their belongings and headed back up to Cole’s beach house for dinner. As she made her way along the sandy, moonlit path, Annabelle couldn’t shake the rising feeling of fear ignited by the surrounding shadows
Thank you for reading! Please feel free to share your own experiences with tourist fishing. If, after reading this, you grabbed your fishing pole, and you are now rushing off to the beach to catch your first tourist, please remember to exercise great caution, and be prepared to hand out beer.