In the fall of 2000 we took a trip to Angler’s Inn on Mexico’s Lake El Salto. A friend and I had caught and released thirteen bass of 10 pounds or more, with the largest a hefty 13 pounds, 8 ounces. We didn’t even count all the 8- and 9-pounders we boated.
With that in mind, four of us planned to go there in October of 2001, hoping to enjoy similar action. But then religious fanatics hijacked four planes, took down the World Trade Center twin towers, and killed 2,996 people on September 11, 2001.
My friend Norm and I decided to go fishing anyway, but two of our party backed out. I’m not certain if they were fearful of being hijacked or just didn’t want to deal with the wartime-status security we’d encounter at the airports. Whatever their reasons, most of those who’d booked a trip to Angler’s Inn during that week also decided not to go. That meant fewer than a dozen of us were at a resort that could accommodate 45 to 50. With such a small group, this meant we could get to know everyone, especially in the evenings.
Those were the times we’d sit out under the thatched-roof palapas, drinking margaritas before dinner. Normally, we shared stories about the day’s fishing, with lots of laughing and teasing lightening the mood. But on our first evening there the mood was somber.
Not sad exactly, but more reserved than usual. I don’t remember how the conversation started or what we talked about at first, but eventually we learned that several of our small group were from one family. “We come here every year,” the father said. “We almost didn’t come this time. Our son was killed on 9/11.”
From my point of view, time stopped, as did the rocking chairs some of us were sitting in.
Why did they come? Read "9/11" in Why We Fish: Reel Wisdom From Real Fishermen.