I went fishing out of Point Lookout, NY on the Captain Al this morning. Yes that meant I had to get up at about 0500 hours and that was - shall I say - difficult for m,e. But I managed to drag my butt out of bed and out to the car and remembered to grab almost all my gear before getting in the car and taking off. I did forget a thing or two but did not realize until I was on the boat and we were underway. I got the the dock at about 0625 and was on the boat pronto to get a spot. The boat already had about 15 to 20 people aboard and I was not able to get a coveted spot in the stern but was close by on the rail on the starboard side. After claiming a spot, I was off to the deli across the way to pick up lunch. That was the first thing I had forgotten at home but that was okay. Then back to the boat and we were soon shoving off.
We spent the say fishing the ocean, probably about 3 to 4 miles offshore. We were fishing for Sea Bass, Porgies (aka: Scup) and whatever else would bite. The Captain Al is a slow boat, but it stays out for a full day and charges a competitive fare. The other boats at the same dock charge about the same as the Captain Al but only go out for a half day's fishing. The Captain Al also has a reputation for good mates and for moving around to find fish. Today was no exception. The mates were excellent, and Captain Al himself piloted the boat. He moved around to several different rocks and bottom structures to look for fish. We hit on them too, lots of them. In all I caught either 22 or 23 fish. Most of them were shorts and had to go back into the drink. Well they were required by law to go back into the water, but I suppose they did not absolutely have to go back. I threw all of my shorties back though I must point out that a lot of other folks were not as ready as me to follow the rules. I saw an awful lot of shorts get filleted before the boat was back at the dock. That is too bad since throwing them back probably assures more for future catches.
As for my fish, I had three nice keeper Sea Bass all at least 2 or 3 pounds, one probably about 4 pounds. I also had a keeper Porgy, and two cocktail bluefish (maybe 3 pounds each for the blues). So I had 6 keepers and someone else gave me a Sea Robin. The Sea Robin is a curious and ugly looking fish that most people either think you cannot eat or just would never consider eating. They are delicious and I wish others had caught more to give me. I threw at least 16, maybe 17 fish back into the ocean. Maybe I'll catch them next time. Waiting a couple weeks to a month some of them will probably have grown to keeper size - all some needed was about an inch or less.
While I was fishing and the sun was beating down on my face and the outside webbing of my thumbs, I realized something else I had forgotten at home. In fact I though of two things - a baseball style cap and my sunscreen. The sunscreen was supposed to ALWAYS be in my tackle box - and I have no clue what happened to it but it was just not there. I can tell you now that I regret not having any. As my daughter said when I got home, after 9 hours out on the Captain Al, "Somebody got some color today". That somebody was me and my face is already starting to hurt despite copious amounts of moisturizer having been applied since I got home. That's okay, I can live with it this once. Next time I'll remember the cap and the sunscreen for sure.
Tomorrow we will have some good eats in the form of pretty fresh fish for dinner. Linda was planning on making Eggplant Parmigiana. She still will make that but now will also bake or broil the today's catch too. It was a good day fishing for them today, and it will be as good a day eating them tomorrow.
All the best,
Maple Coffee Brewtail
1 hour ago