Sunday, May 19, 2013

Shore Fishing: The Original Social Network

One of my earliest memories is fishing with a cane pole along the river which ran through my Grandparents farm in Wisconsin. My Dad never risked mentioning fishing unless he had already decided to go - and right then! I was a little guy and I dearly loved everything about the experience. I was thrilled by every wiggle of the bobber and every Creek chub I caught was a trophy. Of course, I also loved hanging out with Dad. I was even thrilled about digging the worms for bait.  I wasn't particularly thrilled about digging at the base of the manure pile but that was where the worms lived. I'm sure they knew what was best.

Maybe it's my Tom Sawyer intro to the sport but I've always found something special about fishing from shore. When you're not in a boat, no one's a stranger. You're with friends who are there for the same reason; you love being out by the water. You chat like casual old pals after just a few minutes and you enjoy their catches almost as much as your own. It's pretty cool.  Shore fisherman are one big extended family.

Today Melissa and I took a brief drive and I fished alongside James. When we arrived, he had already caught a couple fish that he happily showed me but the action had slowed down. Luckily for both of us, I had some different bait. My live shrimp stirred up some more action.

James was down from Miami for a few days with his girlfriend. She went shopping and he went fishing.  What an awesome arrangement! 

Just after my second fish, we heard a kid calling, "Grandpa, Grandpa, Hurry up." We looked around, confused, but it was James' ring tone.  We all laughed. Then he sheepishly hit, "Ignore" and we laughed again. Something tells me he doesn't take many calls while he's fishing - at least until he's ready to go. James was funny.

Today we fished at the “inner Mole Pier" on the west end of the Key West. It’s just one, of many, local spots with lots of fish (and plenty of big ones).   The Lower Keys have tons of other piers and bridges, too, and they're all lined with brothers and sisters I haven’t met yet.  Maybe tomorrow is a good day for another family reunion.

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