Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Cranky Corker Tackle Buster

Friday, August 17, 2007

Again, the plan was hatched the night before. “So, I pretty much have tomorrow off. What are you thinking, Daddio?” Since changing my career setting I had more flexibility and, therefore, Daddio was set and ready to fish the early AM on Friday. So we did. And here’s the story.

I met Joel around 5 at Howland’s. Remarkably, the indicator lights at the Dunkin Donuts gleamed and life seemed to be in existence there. So, despite my pledge to avoid that place, I caved and entered to order my medium coffee. But my wishes were smashed when the server had to actually brew a whole pot just to serve me. Ah, no one’s fault but mine. I was ten minutes late meeting Joel at the landing. And ten minutes were important on this trip.

We set off through the channel. The mid tide was ebbing and the good rips were just now forming. First stop yielded nothing. I was somewhat surprised, but took it well. We were on fly rods. We had decided to fly fish for a while before going for the big bass on our secret weapons. I suggested we move and Joel agreed. We traveled for only a few minutes to our next spot and immediately some guy in a Boston Whaler sped nonchalantly over our rip….hmmn. Can’t prevent those things. So we set up a drift over one of my cherished spots and within seconds the fish were showing. I was the first to hook up: a 28 incher on a fly that actually lasted through the latter half of the “one-fly” tournament a few days back. This was sweet. At that time, however, Jon Nash and Eoin showed up in Jon’s boat which was presenting a high pitched alarm every time he ran it (explained later). And this was OK. It was nice fishing among friends. We took turns through the rip and had luck through each one.

My next fish was a wee bit larger (29) and was caught on one of Joel’s famous double-hooked sluggos. Joel, at this point, had several near misses and was getting pissed. Not at me, of course, but at the situation; there were lots of big fish flailing about in front of us and they were hard to catch.

But Joel’s luck turned in rapid fashion. After I unhooked my second keeper he threw out a white sluggo and muttered a bit until *KLASHLURRRP!* an explosion good enough for the books occurred over his lure. Then the reel screamed like a frightened girl, and kept screaming. “Daddio, I think that I have a good one here,” warned Joel. At that instant I noticed several very large fish surfacing within casting distance. I was alternating between fly and spin, trying to satisfy my need to hook into a decent sized fish. I was probably somewhat rude as a result; Joel had to net his fish himself. But I knew that this is a fun accomplishment and let it ride. It was a good one. He was quite happy and we moved on to the next drift.

Next drift (or one soon after)….. *KLASHLURRRP!*. Joel was on again and this one was a bit larger. “Doooooooo-ooooood,” cried the crazy-haired maniac. Meters of line peeled off his reel and this was getting exciting. We landed the fish together (this time I offered to be net boy) and rejoiced loudly enough for Jon and Eoin (who were actually only 15 meters away) to notice.

“Hey, nice fish!” yelled Jon. But I couldn’t resist. “Yeah man, we’ve a corker here. Corker on board…on rubber cranks!” Then the classic reply, “We’re having some tackle-busting action here.”

It was a nice fish. About the same length, but larger in other dimensions. I kept telling Joel that I knew of another spot to try and we’d better go as our time was limited. But his expression was telling me to stay and I felt the same way. And so we did, for a while, and hooked a few more, including keeper sized bass that were released. Don Mac. showed up and joined us all in a couple of drifts, then moved on. And after a while the phone rang and it was my business partner, and friend, Alex. We were to pick him up on shore and then get to work on our oyster farm. But I gauged the time delay between his departure and our arrival and insisted that we hit this other spot that I had been thinking about. So we did…for about 9 minutes.

We arrived. I told Joel about where to cast and when, etc. And it worked. We went through this drift about 4 times and each time we were doubled up with decent sized bass. And these guys were somersaulting over the standing waves after our lures. It was good enough to stay, but we couldn’t. We hit the road and met Alex as he arrive at the landing.

But some things worth noting:

(1) The gut contents were primarily small, stunted squid (see photo). These squid didn't seem to be juveniles, but perhaps a small species? Not sure...looking into it.

(2) Got back to shore and thought this guy (photo below)was dead in his car. Turns out he wasn't. Joel was diligent in taking a photo for posterity.

The rest of the day was cool. We worked for a bit, checked lobster pots (one keeper), and then had a good lunch at a local restaurant. We took home four fish (our limit) and Joel managed to pay for lunch on account of a curious, eager onlooker at Howland’s.

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