June 5 – Eatons Neck –
I get emails from Dennis keeping me up to date on the saltwater fishing. Fluke, some blues and small stripers are around. He tells me to bring my new rod down tonight, Friday. I am hesitant about using the new outfit, I don’t know why, but I am.
What if I don’t like it? I know I will like the reel but the rod is always a challenge. Will it throw a lure further than the old one? What if it doesn’t? I usually have mono on my spinning reels. What if I don’t like the braid? I had Carmine from Campsite tie on the leader after he spooled it up. He used a modified Alberto knot. I watched and made a note on how to do it.
I tell Sue I am going down to the beach after dinner to meet Dennis.
I get there and don’t see him but there are a bunch of surf casters and bait fishermen. I put on one of my favorite lures – the red and white popper I found a year or 2 ago on the beach when I was cleaning up. It caught a bunch of stripers and blues from the beach last season as the boat was in dry dock.
Once tied on I realize I left the leader too long and the knot will be inside the tip top when I cast. I don’t process the implications of this and go about my casting.
The wind is strong and out of the west, in my face as I make the first cast, plus the sun is setting and brilliant over the water. I am not getting much distance. I also can’t see the lure popping in the glare. I try a few different angles and techniques. The knot seems to be slipping through the guides without a problem.
I turn to look at the mooring area where the wind would be to my back. Two guys are working it and it looks fishy. I get there and another fellow is just pulling up and shouts “Don’t take my spot” with a chuckle.
I see Dennis down on the dock. I try a cast and it sails easily, just missing the clam boat. I move toward the grass and chuck it again, good distance. There is bait disturbing the water. I move a bit more and put some effort into this cast as the new fellow is just coming on to the beach.
I don’t hear a snap or a pop, but I sense that the lure is travelling effortlessly and that no line is running off the reel. That lure almost made it to the swimming area, an unreachable distance for me. Reality then sinks in – I no longer am in possession of my favorite lure.
I know what happened. The knot was chaffed time and again by passing through those guides and it gave way. I don’t have my kit with me so I can’t fix this without going to the car. I look again where the lure landed and since it is a floater decide to go get it.
There is a fellow fishing in the area. He might snag it. I could ask him to try but decide to go get the dinghy instead.
I drive up to the house, grab the oars, back to the courtyard and launch the craft. I am intent on getting there before it travels too far in this wind and moving tide (outgoing). I also am thinking that the beach fisherman may have seen what happened and be working on capturing my lure rather than a blue fish.
Stroke, stroke, stroke. I am moving fast, thinking I am inside the mooring line, when I see Ken’s boat out of the corner of my eye. I slam on the brakes and bring the dinghy about, just in time to slide up next to it. Got to calm down.
The beach fisherman is walking away. I start looking in the glassy water which is in the lee of the land. I don’t see it. I know what it looks like and it’s not there.
I row up to a few floating objects which look nothing like it but I need to check to be sure. I cover the area twice east and west, north and south. No lure. Could it have already moved out to the windblown waters? Doesn’t seem the tide is moving that fast. I look but see nothing. I cover it a third time and resign myself to being lure less. I head in, rack the dink, and go find Dennis.
I show him the new rod and reel and then tell him my story. He is still smarting from losing his favorite lure last fall. He was sharing his loss with another friend who asked him why he was still mourning its passing into the realm of the lost lures. “How many fish did that lure catch for you?” he asks. Dennis shakes his head. “Not many, but I really liked it.” I understand.
Now I have to go home and tie a new knot. Dennis says the Double Uni is the way to go. I am thinking he is right, but any knot will probably do if I don’t put it through the guides. The lure was lost due to a knot headed fisherman, not a knot!
Let me know if you find a nice red and white popper on the beach. Thanks.
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