Mr. Mink

Wayne Dicks

My love of fishing has me up and out of the house in the wee hours of the morning many summer days, looking to fill the freezers of our family and friends with my catch. And although I can think of numerous stories that make me smile about those outings, there is one that comes to mind when I think of a ‘Wild Story.’

A couple of summers ago, I found myself at a nice spot on a beach in the Bay of Islands in western Newfoundland fishing for mackerel. The fish were biting that first morning I arrived and in no time, I had 4 in my bucket. Upon landing my 5th, I popped it in my bucket only to suddenly realize that there were only 3 in there instead of the 5 I had expected.

I told my friend who was fishing nearby, and he laughed and said, “I guess the mink took a couple for breakfast.”

“There’s a mink here?” I asked.

“Oh yes,” he said.

I turned to keep fishing and sure enough, Mr. Mink came by soon after to check my bucket for more fish. I chased him away and then a few minutes later chased him away again… This continued through the morning as he boldly kept returning to my bucket.

The next morning, I headed out to go fishing again, but this time I was ready – I had made a cover for my bucket with a hinged lid to keep Mr. Mink away. Well, what a joke that was. It took him no time at all to figure out my high-tech solution and before I knew it, he was back in my bucket helping himself to my mackerel.

When I got home, it was back to the drawing board to figure out a new lid design. This time, I made a cover with just a small circular hole in the center of it. The hole was just big enough to drop a mackerel through, but surely too small for a mink to enter and exit with a mackerel, I thought.

Well, think again. When I looked over that morning, the mink was face, ears and body in the bucket. All I could see were his two little hind legs sticking out and bracing himself against the lid as he tugged and tugged and finally dragged himself out with a two-pound mackerel up through the small hole.

I grinned and shook my head. “Well, Mr. Mink,” I thought, “you certainly earned that one.”

After that, I gave up trying to thwart the little guy. He continued to visit me in the mornings and take a couple of mackerel for his breakfast. But that was fine with me. There were plenty of fish for the both of us, and his company was a nice addition to the experience.