You’d think by now that I’d have the fishing trips pretty much figured out (given the thousands shelled out to catch even a paltry few fish).
But there’s always an overlooked ocean voyage detail here and there that make for fodder for the letters. I wonder if this leaves Ellen and Reid shaking their heads. But there’s really no reason to wonder. I know.
Next week: Mr. Angry Man.
December 12, 2016
Ellen/Reid: I’m reminded every so often on my forays to Bowens Island that there are things that ought to be added to my must-take list. You can add medical supplies to that category. I hadn’t been on the water 30 minutes last week when a big speckled trout hit my mud minnow on a popping cork and the fight was on. The bad boy (girl?) didn’t want to be boated and as it flopped around on the center console of Miss Emma as I tried to disengage the 4/0 circle hook, the trout’s single 1/4 inch needle point tooth tore deep into my right index finger and made an ugly half inch gash, the fish’s retribution for a spot on my stringer. The wound bled profusely at which point served as a painful reminder there were no bandages or other supplies on board to staunch the bleeding. But necessity is the mother of invention so I pulled off the buff around my neck. With a few slashes of my bait knife, an emergency tourniquet was fashioned and wrapped around the cut and on I went. Rest assured salt water doesn’t feel so good but, hey, it was a lesson learned and now there’s a bag of bandages and tape in my personal floatation device. I’ll head down again this Thursday. I’ve arrived at a pretty good formula for the very long days; hit the road at 3:30 a.m. or so to get through the Charleston traffic around 6:00-ish, grab bait at Crosby’s and rig Emma so we can hit the water by 7:30. It’s enough for me to fish for six hours, get off the sea by 2:00 p.m. and get Emma loaded atop the Camry by 3:30 so we can scoot out of town and make it home by 7:30 or 8:00 p.m. That makes the days much more manageable and palatable versus the days when we’d pull into the garage all haggard at midnight or later. We again swapped two slot red fish for about 40 lbs. of oysters. Ten minutes on the grill and those make one hell of a meal. Ellen, I loved the way Georgia stared closely into the phone at the cluster of oysters. Her little mind was a-whirr. You could see her wheels turning: ‘What is that thing?’
The weather has been crappy here of late although nothing like the temps seen in St. Paul and Chicago. Cold, damp, windy. Hasn’t made the days very comfortable by Southern standards. The fireplace is roaring as I write this so the place warms relatively quickly. Still no buyers and very few lookers. In all candor,
I thought we’d be celebrating the holidays in the Midwest but we can only hope to convene in the spring. It looks like interest rates are ticking upward and my renewed hope is that some buyer will marginally panic and snap up my place to beat further rises. At least that’s the hope for now. (The other hope is that Trump and his Republican minions get their heads out of their collective asses on these weirdly stupid cabinet picks. The wife of a wrestling czar? Really?)
Reid, you should know that I’ll join you in the market for a job in pretty short order. I’m finding that Social Security simply isn’t enough to live on and the added income would be welcome. It doesn’t need to be all that much, a few hundred more dollars per month, to more than make ends meet since I live fairly frugally. My investment income isn’t adding enough to the monthly till either. I’m getting a little bit of writing from my former newspapers and that’s fine but another sort of job would help, and it would fill daily voids in my time, too.
I’ll host a passel of friends, maybe 16-20, this Saturday night for a holiday soiree. It’s a BYOB and appetizer event since I don’t feel like slaving over the stove all night. I told Richard the oysterman last week it would be great if I could bring home 100 lbs. of his ocean bounty during our trip this week and he said no problem (of course, what’s in it for him is another red or black drum or two. That’s only fair.). Those would be a delicious repast for folks and wouldn’t take a hell of a lot to prepare. I’ll bake French loaves so if the oysters don’t pan out, we can nosh on fresh bread.