Fishing with my mind

The calendar said soccer tournament for the weekend, but I packed my gear anyway. We were staying in North Kingstown, RI. Any number of prime striper waters would be just a short drive. The only question was, would I have the energy — or the desire — to get out after a day of schlepping around soccer pitches in the hot sun?

The answer was yes. Saturday night, I headed to one of my favorite spots, My Father Le Bijou 1922 Belicoso in hand. I fished for about two-and-a-half hours. The thing was, I never wet a line.

I stood on a dock and searched for signs of life. There were horseshoe crabs, blue crabs, silversides, and jellyfish. But no stripers. I walked along a rock wall and watched the swirls and eddies formed by the last of the incoming tide. I peered over a bridge and marveled at the dessert-plate sized blue crabs swimming across the outgoing tide, faster than such seemingly un-aquadynamic creatures had a right to, as they hunted silversides.

When I returned to the dock, the stripers had moved in. I watched one fish for a half hour. He was about two feet long, and fat. He travelled in the same counter-clockwise circle, approaching from down current, sweeping along the bottom slowly and methodically, then cutting sharply to the left, accelerating, and disappearing into the void before materializing below a few minutes later. On rhythm. Perfectly.

It was magic.

A few of his friends made slashes on the surface, neither timed nor spaced.

I thought about getting out my rod. More than once. But I knew that was not the right thing on this night. I was doing what I was supposed to be doing. Just like the stripers.

The next time I go back, I’ll catch some. They will understand.




4 comments on “Fishing with my mind

  1. John says:

    Your post triggered the memory of an experience off Monomy at least 20 some years ago. A buddy of mine and I decided to drift dive that area looking for what remained of the Dixie Sword (all shoaled over today). Shoals aplenty. At the bottom of one trough we ran into what was an unimaginable number of stripers each one 40 inches +. They seemed indifferent to our presence, content to be in the lee of the current. The Chatham is coming up again this Sat. Will email you if there are any similar encounters. Always enjoy the posts Steve!

  2. Steve Culton says:

    Thanks John. I appreciate you taking the time to comment.

  3. tidewaterfly says:

    Steve, excellent post ( as usual)! Thank you! Sometimes just watching is the right thing to do! I’m a firm believer in spending time observing, but I wish I had spent far more time doing that when I was younger! Good lesson to learn. It’s been said before that, there’s more to fishing, than just catching fish!

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