We found it without too much difficulty and proceeded to bait up and try our luck. Almost immediately we hooked up with a school of bluefish in the 3-pound range, and proceeded to throw fish after fish into a large plastic bucket we had brought just for that purpose, exchanging recipes for the night’s dinner as we did so. Suddenly Bruce’s line went taut, like he had hooked the bottom a few feet from shore. I waded out to release his line from the shallow water and found myself thrown flat on my face in the mud! Bruce had hooked a large manta ray and I had just stepped on it. The angry manta quickly broke Bruce’s line and flapped off into deeper water, but it took me a little longer to right myself and get out of the water. Once on shore I had barely gotten settled when I discovered an intruder in our fish bucket. A small raccoon was handing our fish to some of his relatives and half of the fish were gone. We decided to cut our losses and grabbed our fishing poles and fish and locked them in the trunk of Bruce’s car.
When we got back to the duplex our neighbor from the other side came to tell us that we had to hurry to the local pub for happy hour. They said we could expect a large, free buffet, and dollar beers, so hurry we did, barely taking time to wash the salt and fish smell from our bodies. We got there in record time and of course, knowing us, one thing led to another and happy “hour” turned into three, and the next thing we both knew we were waking up in our beach chairs at noon the next day.
As we got ready to go fishing again Bruce realized three things: one, we had left a bunch of fish in the trunk; two, Bruce could not find his keys; and three, it was ninety degrees out! It took us three days to find those keys, and by then the smell was so overpowering the car was hard to get near. No matter how much we aired the trunk out or sprayed disinfectant, the smell would not go away; it was our constant companion all 1,200 miles of the return trip back home. Not the best of souvenirs, but it was certainly a trip we will never forget!
~ Michael Romano, a Great Barrington, MA, resident for almost 40 years, is an avid fisherman who in his own words “kind of treats fishing as a contact sport and has had more than a few misadventures in the process.” He has fished many local waters and also enjoyed quite a few saltwater trips. Michael is a retired chef – he and his wife, Susan, worked at the now-closed Kolburne School in New Marlborough, MA, for many years where he enjoyed taking many of the students fishing.
Read this article in the Sept-Oct 2017 issue of Our BerkshireTimes Magazine.