Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Joy of Fishing 2010: Fish Chicks

For the past few weeks Boston Harbor has been awash with big striped bass and bluefish chasing enormous schools herring and mackerel, many of which have taken up residence under my boat "The Verandah" docked at Constitution Marina in Charlestown.

As a result, fishing has been spectacular - jig up a mackerel, put it down under the boat - and sooner or later (often much sooner) you will be wrestling with a big bass or blue.

Because there is a lot of underwater structure at the marina (boats, docks, keels, chains, etc.) that can cut your line, you need be alert - but despite the high degree of difficulty, it can be done.

So last night when I went to sleep I inadvertently left a rod with a live bait out in the stern rod holder of my boat. At some time during the night I was awakened by the screaming sound of my Newell reel as a big fish ate the little fish and tried to swim away under the dock.

The next thing I heard was the "whispering" of my neighbor Christine the "Fish Chick" and her boyfriend Dave (of Lion's Mane fame) from down the dock - who heard the rod go off - and decided to lend a hand.

Over the past few months Christine has dedicated herself to learning everything she can about fishing here on Boston Harbor. I have tried to share what I know with her - she is a quick study, and incredibly persistent. As a result, she's getting pretty good at it: She knows the fish and the rules - has her salt water registration card - and knows how to catch, clean and cook (or simply serve) mackerel, flounder, bass and bluefish.

Confident that everything was under control, I fell back asleep and woke up this morning to a a text message from Christine letting me know what had happened - and letting me know that there was a 29 1/2 inch striped bass in my fishbox - which I will be sharing with my friends tonight for dinner.

So that's the joy of fishing for today - it isn't all about the fish - it is about the great people you catch along the way.

Here's a picture of Christine and the original Fish Chicks - with one of the first stripers they caught by themselves this summer.

All the best