Block Island All-Nighter VII: Ode To A Sleepless Night (with apologies to Robert Frost et al)

Every year in June, we head out to Block Island for the annual all-nighter. Small posse this year, consisting of a skeleton crew of your humble scribe and Dr. Griswold. Staying up all night striper fishing can be challenging, even when the bass are on. When the bite is off, like this year, it can be downright excruciating. Perhaps a little poetry will help ease the pain. And so, without further ado…

On Father’s Day it was decreed
That Bob and Steve would do this deed:
A journey to the Island Block
To fish for stripers ‘round the clock.
At 8pm our trip begins
With deep fried scallops fresh from Finns
Steaming hot, and by the way
Most tasty with an IPA.
Thus fortified, we hit the beach
To see if stripers were in reach
On my third cast I felt a chew
Alas! Fly gone. A freakin’ blue.
With toothies out I thought it wise
To tie on last year’s game-used flies
At 10pm right on the dot
I moved to fish another spot.
The hit was solid, hard and strong
The big bass’ run was nice and long
She tugged and pulled, I ‘bout fell back
In horror when my line went slack.
I reeled in to have a look:
You’re kidding, right? She broke my hook!
That’s what I get, such foolish settle
On older, tarnished, fragile metal.
Another bass took in a trough,
But moments later, he was off
‘Twas then I had but just one wish
Dear Lord, can I please land a fish?
Finally, there’s a striper hit –
Missed, but he came back (the git)
Reeled him in right near my feet
But he jumped off ‘fore we could greet.
Meanwhile Bob, my friend, poor sap
Had not even got a single tap
I wondered to myself, what’s worse?
No bites or losing fish (then curse)?
At half past one we made the call
To roll the dice, nothing or all
A place that surely would produce
Striped bass instead of eggs de goose.
But once again, the going’s rough
At 2am Bob says that’s enough
An hour later I did agree
Besides, I was cold and had to pee.
Bob awakened from his rest
And off we went with little zest
Depression, desperation near
Another crappy fishing year?
Bob’s lone striper came at five
And plus two fluke, now he’s alive
Meantime I was catching weeds
Just one more bass! I so did plead.
Sunup – 5:30 – and that is it
Time for us to call it, quit.
Coffee, pancakes, eggs and bacon
To fill an empty stomach’s quakin’.
And so dear friends we close this rhyme
Be back next year, same place, same time
This lousy fishing’s got to end
The only question now is – when?
 Before: Unhappy Coaster.


After: Coaster and friend, a pint of Fisherman’s IPA. Delicious, and a total hop bomb.


Being a night owl, I usually miss sunup. Darn pretty, this one. You’ve been officially warned, sailor.


3 comments on “Block Island All-Nighter VII: Ode To A Sleepless Night (with apologies to Robert Frost et al)

  1. Kate Sykes says:

    Nothing brings out the poet in a man like unrequited love….of catching fish.

  2. Steve Culton says:

    I’ll tell you, Kate, I know from unrequited love. It’s a helluva lot easier to take with fish.

  3. Apache Trout says:

    Good stuff Steve! Unfortunately, if I wrote an ode to the salty brown trout I’ve been chasing these past few months with some success it would be filled with curse words. Hehe! 🙂 Let’s get together and fish soon. I’m getting my first saltwater fly rod this fall, your flat wing streamers have inspired me.

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