Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Day on the Water

I’m with limited internet access, so I will be catching up with blogs Sunday or later… Anyway, here is a narrative of yesterday’s adventures with a couple of pictures.

Standing on the bow of the boat, I cast the jig toward the bank, yanking the line and then reeling, so that the jig drops to the bottom then jumps up, then drops again. The boat rocks with the swells and I keep my legs apart to maintain balance. We’re fishing for trout in Carolina Beach Inlet and on my first cast, I hook a flounder. It’s great eating, but as hard as I try, I just can’t stretch it to the 14 inches legal limit. It comes in as 13 ½ inches and I slip it back into the water. I’m a bit superstitious as many times I’ve caught fish on the first cast and then never get a bite. I keep getting occasional bites, but can’t seem to hook any. Several times, I think I have a bite only to realize that I’m hooked on a mudbank and have to pull and release and play with the line. Most time I get the lure free, but do lose a couple of jigs. It doesn’t matter; it feels good to be back on salt water.

As we fish, I watch the shrimp trawlers work the mouth of the inlet. You can tell the ones culling their catch as the gulls follow close behind, looking to pick up an easy meal. Midmorning, the channel buoys are almost sideways as the tide is running in so fast. The water clears as the cleaner ocean water pours into the inlet. I hook a nice sized speckled trout. He fights hard, but I keep the line taut and in a few minutes, he’s in the net. He probably weighs three pounds. We continue to fish. Dad catches another trout, maybe two pounds. As high tide approaches a little after noon, the first of the shrimpers head to port, passing just off our starboard. A sailboat heads out to see, passing close by. We’re getting no more bites, so we run out of the inlet and turn north, following land for nine miles to Masonboro Inlet, where we try our luck off the rocks that stabilize the channel. A fish strikes my line and I fight it, and it slowly is reeled to the boat and into the net. It’s a puppy drum, but like the flounder is just shy of its legal limit (16 inches). He goes back into the water. It’s getting late and we head back toward the boat ramp at Snow’s Cut, running through the Intercoastal Waterway. It’s been a good day on the water.

Later in the afternoon, in the shower as I clean up, I realize that although I’m on firm ground, I’m still feel the sway of the boat.


  1. Enjoyed that. I'm no fisherman, but I like reading about it. Been so long since I've been on the water... Thanks for the post!

  2. I've wondered about that first cast thing. I think it's something to do with a residual electric charge.

    Hope you've had a good visit.

  3. awesome.
    i never had a problem with my sea legs. i board. they work properly. the opposite does not apply. it feels like the ground keeps trying to push up through your feet or something???

    what's up with that? :)

  4. It's lovely that you can fish with your dad.

  5. good thing jigs are cheap. I lose em all the time when I fish. Need to get back on the water. This post makes me want to try my hand.

  6. I've got a date with some deep sea fishing over the Christmas holiday this year and I'm not sure I will be able to hack it. I'm going to take some Dramamine and lots of caffeine to counteract the drowsiness and hope for the best. I wouldn't miss a new experience like that but I would like to avoid feeding the fished over the starboard side if you know what I mean.

  7. Fishing is a lifestyle; the results are irrelevant.


  8. Damn I loved reading this. Living in Detroit, I do appreciate reading about a life where your hubcaps are stolen and you're shot at at least once both before dinner.

  9. nice. that sounds like a wonderful day...on the water...watching all that...catch much? no matter the salt in the air was probably good enough...

  10. Ron, you're welcome. I'm pulled to both water and the desert

    Michaela, thanks

    Vince, interesting idea... I've caught a lot of fish on the first cast

    Lisa, I'm like you--when I get off a boat (or a train) after a while, my legs still feel the rocking. I thought of you when that sail boat made it's way out the channel

    Lynn, it was a nice rest for both of us

    Charles, yep, it's a lot cheaper to lose a jig than to lose a fancy plug!

    Ed, you'll have to post on your fishing adventures

    Randall, I like that quote!

    Rick, I read you're comment, believe it or not, in the Detroit airport as I was flying home.

    Brian, we caught a few but never enough :) But then, just being on the water is enough.

  11. Sage: Thanks as always for visiting my site. I am still blogging, but have been on 5 magazine assignments. So, please forgive my tardiness. This blog brought to mind singer/songwriter Gordon Lightfoot's songs of the sea in the upper Mid-Western U.S. and Canada! A GREAT post!!!

  12. I could just about feel the sway as I was reading it. I spent a lot of time fishing this summer (on a lake in southern Ontario) and felt that motion long after being on dry land. Though by then, it could have been the wine. ;)