Re: A Tribute to Al Bentsen
For the past 15 years, I was Al's fishing partner. We spoke at least once a day on the phone. We lived only three blocks from each other. He would walk his dog past my house every day and stop and chat. He opened each conversation on the phone or face to face the same way: "Hear anything?" We both had friends who would funnel us info and Al and I would use what we heard to figure out what we were going to do that night. We did not always fish together. Often we would split up trying to find the fish. As his health failed, he often opted to go with me out of fear that something would happen to him if he were alone and no one would be there to help him. One night he cut his hand and we could not stop the bleeding since he was on a strong blood thinner. We were into fish, but we packed it in and sped home. He was so creative. He developed a new way to rig eels. He had old molds going back 50 years so I bought 20 lbs of pure block tin on eBay and we poured a bunch of tins. We sewed pieces of pork skin into "eels" and hung them on one of the tins. When the blues tore up our real eels, we would switch to pork rind eels and hook them. He was always thinking of new ways to fool the fish. At one point, the police were giving out tickets and towing cars parked on the grass near the bridges. My wife volunteered to taxi us to the bridges and pick us up when we called on our cell phone. Al said she was a saint! She is. I miss him a great deal. Not a day goes by that I don't think of him.