Fishing in Public

by "Tackle Box" Billy Kelley

Tide and Temp

Hey folks! You are hearing from one darn happy camper. I just waited 10 goddamn months for a few weeks of fishing season. You know, if I didn’t just love fishing so much, people would think I was more than a bit, say — hmmm, what’s the right word? — fucking insane.

Anyways, let’s enjoy the moment, so to speak, and what a moment it is! I know it seems like I say this every year, but I’m tellin’ ya, the fish are here! I’m not sure why, but for whatever reason they’re here, they’re plentiful, and, best of all, they’re hungry.

Even better for me, I got my BFF to adventure with — Randy. Beats the grand piano, I’ll tell you. He’s (if you can believe it) more addicted to fishing than even I am. He got me really hooked bad on brook trout fishing. It’s the best. They’re real tasty, also. And fishing for brookies is like playing a game of chess — you really end up using your noggin.

But this time I’ll describe one of our saltwater fishing expeditions, which starts with getting our gear ready and walking to our beloved trestle down the new Bayside bike path. It’s a pretty good hike. The folks on the trail you meet are pretty nice, but many times you greet folks and get a blank stare. They’re not snobs. Just so many folks have stuff in their ears.

Oh, let me mention that under MD’s care, Randy can’t smoke or drink. I let it slide, as he manages to keep a sense of humor.

So as I say, it’s a rather pleasant stroll, though it does get very windy on top of Tukey’s Bridge. So we go a couple blocks on Veranda Street, climb down a small embankment and hit the railroad tracks. Couple of hundred yards and you’re there. As you pass under a couple of bridge spans you’ll be amazed — and stressed, maybe — about the paint cans graffiti people have discarded. Tons of ’em, really. Makes you kinda wish for a spray-can-redemption fee.

So we’re there: the B&M side of the trestle, which is a very thin safety step from the end, which means Danger with a capital D. Yes siree, one false step could be your last, dude.

Randy always seems to get me there earlier than I should, but that’s OK, because there’s an item I’d like to mention while we’re waiting for the tide.

You probably know that people have fished since they’ve ate, but actual sport fishing has been dated by historians to 6,000 years ago, with hooks dated to 5,000 years ago. The first fly fishing fake flies were made of human hair. All in Egypt this happened, and it was the females actually taking up the sport for openers. That’s something, huh?

So back to the trestle. The fish are in with the tide, as usual, and they are slammin’! I swear you could almost walk on top of them, there’s so many. I actually bring up one fish every time I cast. Tell me that ain’t fuckin’ hummin’, dude. And the bonus: every once in a while, voilà, a striper! Oddly, Randy actually abhors eating fish. And me — why, I love small macks and any size striper. Fish is also very nutritional, you know.

Now, if any you folks out there decide to join us, like the TV guy says, “Hey, come join the party!” Probably best hurry, though. I don’t know how long this bounty will last. And if you happen
to accompany us some time, or you just bump into us, please do one thing, folks. Randy has yet to haul in a striper. Could you be a nice guy and mention to Randy that, well, maybe a bit more practice or something would be the way to go, especially since he’s hooked ’em, but just can’t get ’em on shore. Ha, ha.

Before I close, I’d be remiss not to mention a couple more items. Number one, I should be saying to you folks, “Now get your license — very important.” However, I’ll be damned if I know how! Christ, there was a Web site, but I heard it was closed, so now I don’t really know. The coastal wardens are handing out some piece of paper — you send a dollar or some such thing — but I’m telling you, I got no fucking idea. So please don’t tell the game warden, “‘Tackle Box’ Billy said don’t bother.” It’s just I don’t know how. It’s a confusing thing. To be honest, I’d rather not discuss the whole matter. So there. Case fucking closed.

And number two, besides Randy, I also have Diane, my old fishing pal, who gives me suggestions. You know our very loveable Time & Temp clock, right? Heck, we all have grown up with it, really. Well, Diane came up with the remarkable idea of why not put up, along with the time and temperature, the high tide time? Most folks might think, Oh, fuck that, but I’ll guarantee no fishermen would think that. Hey, it is a port city. I think the idea has much merit and deserves to be looked at.

Now, I actually happen to know how much the clock rents for. It ain’t pretty. Buy hey, it’d make a more attractive town and also much more functional. Right?


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