Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Tides are so important. When Joel and I decided it would be a good idea for him to come down to Duxbury on Sunday afternoon we didn’t realize how the schedule would throw us off from good fishing. At least that is how I see things in hindsight. He and his son, Trevor, arrived around 3:00 and we spent a couple hours working in the driveway on tackle, taking some garbage to our town’s illustrious dump, listening to outrageous music, and tending to the kids (other half was busy until later). But finally we departed for the rips on the bay.
It was one of those silvery days where the water looked like the clouds and little bits of rain would come down here and there. The calm water was quite welcoming and we felt that the fish would be everywhere. However, as we motored out I the thing I worried about was the tide; I felt that we might have just missed the best part of it and we’d be waiting some time to see much. But why complain and worry, out on the boat with Joel was one of life’s pleasures and we had stories and jokes going at a good clip.
First we had to snag a few pogies. This turned out to be easy and we soon filled the live well with a half dozen big menhaden (moss bunker). This alone was a good start and got Joel humming with enthusiasm. His grin almost touched the margins of his curious, salty red hair which bushed out from beneath his tidy Grady White hat (I’ll need to ask him about that hat – wouldn’t see me dead under that thing, but I shouldn’t tempt fate I suppose) and stretched his bristling soul-patch to its physical limits. So, enough of snagging bunker – soon we were off to let them go, with treble hooks caringly shoved nicely through their eye-sockets and up through their heads, into the various rips that I felt would be full of hungry stripers. As these poor pogies swam for their lives, wondering what the fuck was going on, Joel and I tossed his specially rigged sluggos into the glassy gray rips. As soon as the live bait were, as Joel said, “being hassled,” the sluggos began to elicit nice white water and soon after, nice bass which screamed the reels and put Joel into defcon 5.
“Holy fucknuts dudicus! Did you see that?!?” screamed Joel. A striper was on his sluggo about ten feet from the boat and it was nuts, perhaps even fucknuts. The tail, half out into the air, was furiously pushing whitewater vertically and horizontally (at all angles) and this had Joel screaming “Daddio.” At the same time I was getting the same kind of response to my sluggo, but I am the writer of the story so I’ll focus the attention on my friend instead. But even more importantly, at the same time the pogies, being hassled, both started to jump and peel some line away. Each had several bass nipping, slurping, and bumping, but not able to actually swallow the baitfish. And this, I think, can be metaphorically compared to either drunk sex or true animal cruelty. I am on the fence with this one. But rather than worry too much about an overgrown baitfish, let’s think about the fishing experience.
Joel and I were able to land several nice stripers – heavy, but short. One, which Joel had half into the cooler ended up taping to 27 and he reluctantly tossed her back. Most others were close, but the larger fish just weren’t around. We move once and found some nice action on the incoming tide with several additional washing machine experiences (the fish’s head is down, tail up…back and forth with spray). Then it began to darken and we had kids at home to entertain and get to bed. Actually, Joel had to drive an hour back home and we also needed to fit in a post-fishing refreshment.
But first, my lobster pots and they provided a couple of nice ones. We baited them with our leftover pogies and also grabbed some sand crabs for Joel to take with him along with the lobsters.
At home we were welcomed by my sister-in-law and niece who had just arrived from California. We had some wine, told some stories, Joel and Trev left, and it was time for bed.
If we had begun fishing two hours earlier, when the tide was right, we would have been grilling bass and serving it with mango lime salsa. I am sure of it.