WHY DID MY MOTHER ALWAYS CATCH FISH?

WHAT MAKES THE DESIRE TO FISH SO STRONG? WHAT DRIVES ME TO DREAM OF MY NEXT ADVENTURE ON THE WATER? WHERE DID THIS PASSION COME FROM?

THERE IS AN EASY ANSWER TO THESE QUESTIONS; MY PARENTS! BOTH OF MY PARENTS WERE ARDENT FISHERMEN. ( BY THE WAY, I AM NOT THE POLITCALLY CORRECT TYPE, SO I WILL USE FISHERMEN FOR BOTH MEN AND WOMEN.) MY MOTHER WAS PROBABLY THE BEST FISHERMAN I HAVE EVER KNOWN, AND WITH THAT SAID , MY STORY WILL BEGIN.

WHEN I WAS ABOUT 7 YRS. OLD, MOM AND POP WOULD TAKE ME FISHING. WE WOULD RENT A SMALL SKIFF WITH A 15 HORSEPOWER KICKER. WE WOULD GO PORGY FISHING OR FLOUNDER FISHING. SOMETIMES, WE WOULD GO TO THE SOUTH SHORE OF LONG ISLAND, AND WE WOULD GO STRIPER AND FLUKE FISHING.

WE LIVED IN AN APARTMENT IN THE BRONX. A NEW YORK CITY SUBURB. IT WAS A LONG TRIP TO OUR FISHING DESTINATIONS, SO WE USUALLY STARTED OUR DAY AT 4AM. I REMEMBER THAT WE WOULD PACK THE CAR THE NIGHT BEFORE WE LEFT, AND THE FOOD AND DRINKS WOULD BE BROUGHT DOWN IN THE MORNING. WE HAD A 1937 BLACK PLYMOUTH, AND I CAN ACTUALLY REMEMBER THE BROKEN SPRINGS IN THE SEAT. MY MOTHER DID MOST OF THE FOOD SELECTION, BUT MY FATHER INSISTED THAT ON EACH TRIP WE WOULD EACH HAVE A SALAMI SANDWICH. THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THAT FOOD WILL COME LATER.

LETS TAKE ONE OF THE TRIPS TO LONG ISLAND AS AN EXAMPLE. WE WOULD GET TO FREEPORT JUST AT SUNRISE. WE WOULD RENT THE BOAT AND HEAD DOWN THE CANAL TO A BAIT STATION TO PICK UP KILLYS AND SQUID. SOMETIMES WE WOULD TAKE CLAMS AND SANDWORMS. IT DEPENDED ON THE FISH WE WERE SEEKING AND THE TIME OF YEAR. USUALLY WE FISHED FOR FLOUNDER. IT WAS PLENTIFUL AND DELICIOUS.

WE WOULD TRAVEL TO A CHANNEL WHERE THERE WERE GRASSY MUDDY BANKS, AND MY FATHER WOULD PICK A SPOT NEAR A SHALLOW CANAL THAT FORMED A FINGER OF THE CHANNEL. WE WOULD DROP THE MUSHROOM ANCHOR, AND PREPARE TO FISH. THE FIRST STEP WAS TO FILL THE LEADED CHUM POT WITH OLD SCRAPS OF FISH AND COD LIVER OIL. THE COD LIVER OIL WAS ALSO PUT IN MY MORNING ORANGE JUICE TO KEEP ME HEALTHY. WE SOMETIMES BOUGHT MENHADEN CHUM FROM THE BAIT STATION, BUT IT WOULD STINK SO BAD, THAT WE TRIED TO AVOID USING IT.

WE HAD THREE RODS ON THE BOAT, BUT MY MOTHER WOULD ALWAYS FISH WITH A DROP LINE. NO ROD, NO GLOVES, JUST THE LINE THROUGH HER FINGERS. I CAN'T TELL YOU THE STRENGTH OF THE LINE, BECAUSE I'M 72 YRS OLD AND I FORGOT! I CAN TELL YOU, THAT I REMEMBER THAT THE LINE WAS NOT MONO. IT WAS LINE. A THREAD TYPE LINE, THAT HAD ABSOLUTELY NO STRETCH. MOM WOULD SIT IN THE BOW, I WAS IN THE MIDDLE AND POP WAS IN THE STERN. IF IT WAS A GOOD DAY OF FISHING, MOM WOULD CATCH A FISH WITHIN THE FIRST 10 MINUTES. ON A SLOW DAY, MOM WOULD WAIT 15 MINUTES. WE ALL WOULD CATCH FISH, BUT MY MOTHER WOULD CATCH TWICE AS MANY, AND ALL OF THE BIG ONES.......

THE BAIT WE USED FOR FLOUNDER WERE THE KILLYS, AND SAND WORMS. MOM WOULD ALWAYS GIVE THE FISH A TASTE OF BOTH ON THE HOOK. SHE SAID THEY NEEDED AN APPETIZER. THE POINT OF THIS STORY IS ABOUT TO ARRIVE , SO BE PATIENT. I TOLD YOU THAT I WOULD GIVE YOU THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE SALAMI SANDWICH. WELL, HERE IT IS; MY FATHER LOVED SALAMI, AND TOLD US THAT WE COULD NOT EAT IT UNTIL WE CAUGHT A FISH. WHY? I DON'T KNOW. HE NEVER TOLD US . ACTUALLY, I THINK THAT THE SMELL OF THE SALAMI WOULD OVERPOWER THE SMELL OF FISH. JUST A GUESS.

REMEMBER, I TOLD YOU THAT MOM WOULD NEVER USE THE ROD, ONLY HER FINGERS. MOM ALWAYS SAID THAT SHE COULD HEAR THE FISH THROUGH HER HANDS, AND WHEN THEY ATE THE APPETIZER AND SIGHED HOW GOOD IT WAS, SHE WOULD HOOK THEM WHEN THEY WENT FOR THE MAIN MEAL. THE IDEA OF SENSITIVITY AND FEEL IS THE STORY HERE. A LIGHTER LINE, A SENSITIVE FEEL WILL GIVE YOU THE OPPORTUNITY TO CATCH MORE FISH. TODAY WE HAVE THIN, STRONG, INVISIBLE, LINE THAT GIVES US AN EVEN BETTER CHANCE OF CATCHING FISH. THE RODS ARE STRONGER AND YET LIGHTER THAN YEARS AGO. BUT, TO CATCH MORE FISH, YOU MUST LEARN TO FISH WITH YOUR SENSES. ALL OF THESE TOOLS ARE GREAT, BUT IF YOU CAN SENSE THE FISH WITH YOUR FINGERS, YOU WILL CATCH MORE FISH. LIGHTER IS BETTER, FOR FUN AND FOR SPORT.

THANKS FOR YOUR ENCOURAGEMENT,

OLDE SALT

Comments 4 comments

valerie 7 years ago

Wonderful...........


Dale 7 years ago

You're gettin' good at this!!


boomer 6 years ago

keep them comming


SJ 6 years ago

Beautifully written!

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