Digging a Hole

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Elusive Striper: Part 1

Oh, werd?
Recently, Eric convinced Kevin and I that we should all take a day off from work and go fishing. Concerned about my inability to eat any fish in Jersey except flounder and weakfish, he noted that this was winter flounder season, and off we went.
Our first stop in Cape May was the bait and tackle shack by the end of the Parkway.
Me: We would like some strips of squid for winter flounder!
Bait Guy: Well, you could do that.... but there are no winter flounder. I think what you need is clams for stripers.
Guy Behind Me in Line with Phillies Hat: I'd like some clams for stripers. And the Mets suck.
Me: Oh... well... We'd like some clams for stripers!
Now armed with the correct bait and a free NJ fishing guide so we would recognize the differences between summer and winter flounder in case we caught one (one faces left, one faces right... I don't remember which is which), we headed to the ferry jetty to fish.
Kevin: You guys see that huge cloud over there?
Eric: Yeah...?
Kevin: That's a thunderhead.
Eric: No, it's just a raincloud.
Me: I'm really really scared of lightning.
Eric: It's not a thunderhead.
Me: But what if it is? We are on rocks surrounded by salt water. We would be the first thing the lightning would hit.
Kevin: Actually, lightning doesn't "hit". It comes up from the ground to the cloud.
Me: Even worse! Let's start getting off the jetty before it starts to rain. Everyone watch to see if there's any lightning.
Eric: There's no lightning! It's not a thunderhead!
Kevin: Actually, it only takes one bolt of lightning to kill us. Sometimes people are struck by lightning on beaches when the storm is five miles away.
Eric: You aren't helping Kevin.
Me: Okay, it's raining. I am out of here!
The ferry jetty is very long, and the rain made it very slippery. We slipped and scurried the length of the jetty back to dry land just in time to see the rain stop, the clouds pass, and a rainbow burst forth.
Me: Well, it wasn't a thunderhead. Want to go back out on the jetty?
Eric: I think all the fishermen are laughing at us.
Kevin: Hey look! A dead striper on the beach!
There it was. Our first striper of the adventure. Even though the silvery, striped fish looked huge, it was not quite the 28 inches required of keepers, but it was enough to convince us to press onwards.
Me: Let's try the bay jetty by Harpoon Henry's. Wait... are there stripers in the bay?
Kev: I think so.
Eric: Let's go!
The rocks on the bay jetties were also wet from the short storm. Kevin slipped and fell into a hole in the rocks. He popped up slightly bruised, muddied, and angry.
Kev: Dude, there is a pile of poop down there.
Me: Like seagull poop?
Eric: Maybe it's dog poop.
Kev: Dogs can't get out on jetties.
Me: ...Oh... Let's call it a day.
We ended the day watching the Mets at a bar and plotting our next moves. Eric consulted tide charts and baseball schedules to determine the best times to fish the next day. Kevin declared that he was not returning to the bay jetties. The stripers lived to swim another day.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Forward Thinking

Oh, werd?
Eric was annoyed today because I am looking forward to Girls' Weekend (which is falling on his birthday weekend...crap).
"There are lots of good things happening between now and then that you will miss if you just look forward to something else in July!" he protested.
I am also looking forward to U2 concerts, but they are not until the end of September.
Eric suggested that I look forward a shorter distance to Memorial Day weekend when we are planning on going hiking in the Pine Barrens. I tried looking ahead an even shorter distance until next weekend when we are entering a canoe relay race in Newark and biking in the Tour de Montclair.
All of this looking forward, though, leaves me with this weekend where unplanned required engagements and wet weather have left us bored on a May afternoon. I know I am going to want this May afternoon back someday, but it will be gone. I will have spent it looking forward to the backyard being dry enough to plant our tomatoes. Damn.
Tomorrow we will plant them. Then, we will go canoeing and biking and hiking and Girls' Weekending and U2ing.... but when (if) I am 80 years old, I will want that warm May Saturday back that I wasted when I was immortal.