‘Twas right before Christmas, when through Baytowne Marina
not a creature was stirring, not even a mullet.
The baits were rigged in the cooler with care,
in hopes a big blue one soon would be near.

The crew were nestled all snug in their bunks,
while visions of big checks danced in their heads.
And Mama in her Hook & Tackle and I in my Big Ocean Sport,
had just poured over the latest Hilton’s report.

When up on the tuna tower there arose such a clatter,
I sprang to the fly bridge to see what was the matter.
Away to the enclosure I flew like a flash,
pulled up the zippers and rolled up the flaps.

The moon on the surface of the slick-calm bay,
gave the luster of morsels to the game fish below,
when, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
but a sleek center console with eight rumbling outboards.

With a zany driver, so lively and hairy,
I knew in a moment it was Jolly Larry.
More rapid than wahoo, he hit the right Mark,
as he whistled, shouted and called the Bimini Start:

“Now Marlin! Now Sailfish!
Now, Tuna and Dolphin!
On, Moldcraft! On, Black Bart!
On, Ballyhoo and Blackfin!
From the tip of the jaw!
To the fork of the tail!
Now crank away! Crank away! Crank away all!”

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the hardtop
the flapping and snapping of big flip flops.
As I drew in my head and was turning around,
down the tower Jolly Larry came with a bound.

He was dressed quite casually from head to foot,
and his clothes were all splattered with splotches of paint.
A bundle of brushes he had flung on his back,
and he looked like an artist just opening his pack.

His eyes–how they twinkled! His dimples, how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
He sported a huge grin on his face,
I knew right away, he was in his happy place.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to work,
and quickly the marlin took on a new look.
The canvas was spread and patted in place.
And the beauty of nature re-appeared in the space.
When his creation was done and his task complete,
he gave another wink and jumped to his feet.

His golf cart was charged and he raced down the dock.
He hopped aboard and shook his brown locks.
But I heard him exclaim before zipping away,

“Tight lines to all, and have a great day!”

Merry Christmas!