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  #1  
Old 06-27-2003, 03:21 PM
--username-deleted-- --username-deleted-- is offline
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Oh, what a night...

No, not late December back in '63. Late June '03 (those under 35, don't ask).

Headed out at around 11:30 pm with my eels, who began showing signs of their current condition (deceased), namely, a distinct onset of stiffening and a general absence of enthusiasm. Tried several places with no luck; Pines River off of 107, the mouth of the Saugus River, and near the Point of Pines, Revere.

Thought I had a hit on the beach, but nothing showed, so I bagged it and went home. I was unable to sleep well in the heat, and aroused at 5 am or so to take a cold shower. Then I remembered that the eels were still in the car. Oh, horrors! Hmm. Wait until afternoon when I get ready to set off to work? Fat chance. The car would be ready for a biohazard sticker by then. OK, fine, let's do something with them now. Decided then that I'd go fool with the eels one last time before giving any remaining little slime snakes a proper burial at sea.

Got to my cheater area and once again, big bass could be seen on top, with little ones zipping around. Hey hey, perseverance pays dividends sometimes after all. Immediately caught 2 small guys, but really what I wanted was a really heavy fish, that which has as yet eluded me this season. I knew they were there, I saw them right below me. Side note: amazing how slowly some of the big ones move. With a steady swish of their wide tails, they swim deliberately, usually in a reasonably straight line.

Anyway, I simply could not get any to take the eel, so I decided to cast the eel out off to the side and get back to work with the small plastics. I got a couple of hits and one more fish, but nothing big seemed to really want my offerings. The bait was jumping enthusiastically, and I tried a couple other lures to match the little guys, to no avail. I was fast running out of patience, and as the sun was rising, felt I needed to get some sleep. There's also that slight annoyance of potentially bursting into flames; life's not always a walk in the park for we undead types.

I reeled in with the little rod and packed the car, almost forgetting my big rod with the dead eel on. I walked back to the water and dumped the rest of the eels. I then picked up the big rod, gave it a hard yank to get the sucker off bottom, and started reeling fast to avoid any snags. I saw the water swirl a bit where the eel broke the surface, then turned my attention to a semi blaring its horn nearby. At that moment the rod was almost pulled from my hands. I instinctively struck back and set the hook. I had a fish on, and a good one at that.

My mind slowly shifting out of neutral, I soon realized that the place is tricky, at best, to fish for anything greater than schoolie-sized fish. Make that tricky to *land* anything greater than schoolie-sized fish. For beginners, the fish kept wanting to go under the pylons, and I kept having to horse him out, lest he tangle me up. This went on a bit, and he made two decent runs, but I had him pretty well beaten within a few minutes, with only the occasional shallow thrash. Which brings me to the real problem: I had no way of getting him on the dock; no nifty Charlestown Special for me (one of those bridge fisherman striper harnesses).

Ugh. I did note, however, that there was a steel ladder going down beneath the waterline at the corner of the dock. At the top of it, on a sign in bright red letters read: Use of Boarding Ladder is Purely at Own Expense. Potentially Hazardous blah blah blah...Just the dab for Doctor Danger! Enough is enough. The sign could have had a skull and crossbones on it; I was going after this guy.

I eased my way down with one hand held onto the successively lower rungs of the ladder, and one on the rod, until I was at the waterline. Problem then sort of became one of geometry. With one paw on the 11.5' Powerstick, and its mate clinging to a slippery, algae encrusted ladder rung, things were getting very interesting indeed. I could not get the fish to come to me because of the angles involved (keep in mind that I've now got ten feet of dock above and to either side of me).

I eventually managed to use the old noodle (necessity is the mother of invention, kids!), and propped up the rod between two submerged rungs, the butt on top of a submerged rotting plank. This freed up both hands. I began pulling gently on the line with one hand, (which remained firmly wrapped at the elbow behind the ladder), and reached to lip the fish with the other. With open mouth (both of us), I pulled the ~36" guy close. Just another foot, yes, come to Pappy...

And seeing me close up (not a pretty sight on the best of days), the fish came to life. He contorted and began violently shaking his head from side to side. I let go of the line and heard the drag chirp, and simultaneously grabbed for the rod, fearing he'd pull it out of its perch and into the drink. I quickly yanked the rod out of the ladder and reeled a few turns to get him back tight in again...and felt nothing. He was gone.

My eel, loyal bugger that he was, did come back up. I rewarded him for his trouble by repeatedly smashing his lifeless little body against a pylon until he flew off the hook. I climbed up the ladder, broke down the rod and made my way home.

If any bars were open I'd have headed into the nearest and had a double. They're killing me this year I tell you, just killing me...

Cheers,

Leighton

P.S. All written here is true, but lots is pure tongue-in-cheek. Please, leave the flamethrowers in the off position.

Last edited by --username-deleted--; 06-27-2003 at 05:16 PM..
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  #2  
Old 06-27-2003, 03:54 PM
diannett diannett is offline
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Now that's a good story. Good work using the ladder. Pretty ballsy to climb down the ladder while fighting the fish.

Bummer you didn't land him, but i think its still worth a pretty good story.

Tight Lines- and short ladders. :-)
Dave
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  #3  
Old 06-27-2003, 04:44 PM
Punchshot Punchshot is offline
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Great story Ihonda - I feel for ya have a cold one on me
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  #4  
Old 06-27-2003, 05:03 PM
chcannon chcannon is offline
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Great story - though as one under 35, I will note that your reference isn't lost, because that song was remade into a dance anthem by Ace of Base and was huge when I was in college in 1994 time frame.

I'll avoid the obligatory Ace of Base / Ace of Bass reference.

Last edited by chcannon; 06-27-2003 at 05:06 PM..
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  #5  
Old 06-27-2003, 05:08 PM
Mark Cahill's Avatar
Mark Cahill Mark Cahill is offline
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Great one...

Note that the eel got hit as you retrieved him...

Put those dead ones on a hook, smack them against a rock to scuff them up and get them loosened up..then cast and retrieve slowly (although it may have been your fast retrieve that spurred the fish to strike - "oh, that eel must be trying to get away from me...yum...").

Take a tip from Frank Daignault - he always warns to think about how you will land a fish if you catch it.



I guess we know where you will be tomorrow am.

Cheers

Mark
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  #6  
Old 06-27-2003, 05:10 PM
--username-deleted-- --username-deleted-- is offline
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For chcannon:

I didn't mention it, but I'm not of the near-dead club (over 35) yet either myself . I'm 33. Close to dead, though...

Thanks for the input, and I guess there are those who grew up post 70s that still can recognize tunes before their time. My mistake; apologies.

I will say, however, that I never would have admitted knowing anything about Ace of Base, since it is my opinion that anyone having an affinity for that kind of music deserves to be shot...

I guess you 'saw the sign'?

Cheers,

Leighton

Last edited by --username-deleted--; 06-27-2003 at 05:50 PM..
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