Monday, December 31, 2018
Year of the Rain
It seems almost fitting that it is raining the last few hours of 2018. We had more then our share this year, setting many records and ruining many fishing trips. This morning we set out on the beach in a quest for the last striper on the calendar and two were landed. The first hit just as a hint of light was showing on the lonely beach. The fish bit the teaser right at my feet and jumped straight up from the water. Bass don't normally jump, an for a moment I was puzzled as to what I had. The second came as half the sun was showing from the ocean. The fish hit in the trough, inside the bar, and put up a nice battle. I was surprised that it was only about eighteen inches. Well, that's fishing in the ocean, as every day is different and you never know what you are going to find. My fishing partner gave up as the sun and wind rose and began to explore for shells. At the high tide line she discovered a small fish and asked what it was. There on the beach was a whiting, a "frost fish", that I heard about in my youth. Old timers would tell tales of walking the beach on a cold December night and picking up a basket full of whiting stranded on the sand. Fishermen would also catch them from the Long Branch pier and the surf. While some fisheries have disappeared over the years, others have improved. The ocean is a great mystery, dynamic and always changing. Maybe they will come back, something nice to think about while I wish everyone a Happy New Year.