Mardi Link: Fishing while married spawns new podcast

Every marriage needs a little hook to keep things interesting. It just so happens that in my marriage, that hook is a crawler harness with a Lindy Rig.

Walleye fishermen, you get me here, right? (Women, just hold up a sec on your gender nomenclature outrage. By “fishermen” I mean human beings who fish. Not just dudes, okay?) For those readers, men and women, who do not fish for walleye or anything else with lips, allow me to explain.

A “crawler harness” is a torture chamber for worms, made of small brightly colored beads, a spinning metallic blade, a couple hooks and a sinker, all attached to your fishing line in the proper order. A “Lindy Rig” is a branded adaptable version of the crawler harness that’s been around since the 1960s and was named after its inventors, Al and Ron Linder. They’re brothers who learned how to fish in Wisconsin, but don’t hold that against them. Because using their invention allows you to slow-roll live bait past the olfactory nerves of a wspalleye, making it as irresistible as a bag of Made-Rite potato chips, sour cream and onion flavor.

But, I’m drifting ...

By the way, “drift fishing” makes use of the natural current and allows one to enjoy the lovely sounds of nature, instead of the annoying and relentless grind of the trolling motor. Even so, for our purposes on marriage, “drifting” is not the important word. Neither is “torture” or “lips” or even “harness.” No, the important one, the takeaway of this whole column, is the word “adaptable.” As in, if both parties in a marriage are to survive the arrangement, they each need to be this. Luckily for my husband and me, we are.

For example, in our free evenings, and while on vacation, and even during a spare weekend here and there, I have adapted away from spending these precious hours with a book, a beach, a glass of wine and a chaise lounge, and toward spending them in a fishing boat. For his part, my husband has adapted away from his assumption that fishing is a solitary and rather anonymous activity, and in a nod to his beloved wife’s need to tell true stories, he now allows me to film him. With a high-definition video camera. That I wear on my forehead.

Take a minute to process this. Are you getting a visual now? Okay, good.

This is how all-in he is on this arrangement: He actually gave me this video camera for my birthday. Fun fact: I think he thought I’d use it to film our dogs.

This is how all-in I am: I’ve downloaded the raw footage into an editing software program on my computer. And there’s now a little web series called, “Fishing With Pete” out in the world. With, no lie, seven episodes.

He hasn’t left me. Yet.

Actually, we just celebrated our eighth anniversary.

My husband is not a demonstrative man, but last night while we were out on East Bay trolling for salmon, he said some really romantic things. Like, that I’m getting pretty good at driving the boat. And, my timing is perfect. I always know exactly when to hand him the net.

I know, swoon city, right?

Mardi Link ( is a correspondent for the Record-Eagle and the author of five books. The latest episode of “Fishing With Pete” is on the free website, Vimeo.