Fishing in Public

Casting Magnets

Hey, folks. I got two fun things going on lately, and numero uno is, I’ve had a magnet kicking around for awhile and now Nikki and I are putting it to good use. Yes, sir, we tie a cord to it and go fish the ocean. We’re gonna clean up a piece of the beach on the East End.   

We had previously cruised the whole length of Commercial St., but lo and behold, we didn’t find any spots where we could even get close to the ocean. The wharves sure have changed since I was a young ’un. When I was a kid, I could swim off ’em! Oh well. 

So we cruised down to the Eastern Prom and found once you get past the outdoor food fest you come to a dock. Perfect. 

And now numero two. I’ve met a real nice gal with the name of Clare who loves the botanical thing as much as I do. She’s travelling now, but when she gets back I predict we’ll have a time of gettin’ our hands dirty. 

Sometimes things happen which aren’t predicted. We was supposed to go magnet fishing the other day, and goddamn it, my health let me down. High humidity always gets me and my blood pressure is up. I also do believe I’m single again. 

I’ll get over it, both mentally and physically, I’m sure. And if I’d gone I’d have missed a happy phone call. The guv liked my column last month! I been hoping she’s been reading. She means the world to me. And thinking about fishing with magnets, whether or not we find any iron debris, at least I do believe many scores of folks will see us and take note, and hopefully learn a thing or two. 

We finally got lucky with the weather and drove down to the Prom. I just laid on the dock in the sun and it’s funny — it happened just as I predicted. We pulled up a tiny metal gizmo about an inch long. And plenty of people did see us, and hopefully took note so they won’t litter the ocean. 

Nikki had the time of her life. You know, I was telling her about fishing (she’s my next pupil) and boy, the memories really hit me. I’m laid out in the sun remembering me and Captain Nick hitting fish like crazy. Captain Nick, he was close, almost like an adopted father. I miss him so. Nick had this place where a few boards stuck up out of the ocean, and he’d say, “I got my honey spot!” All the time we’d be helping out females and young ’uns bait their hooks, untangle their lines, and we’d best of all have a plain old good time. 

The other best part: catching lobsters in our homemade bicycle traps. I had Nikki laughing her ass off about that. There was one summer I lived on the old railroad trestle over the water, out by the bean factory. I sold weed on the side. My old lady gimmie the walkin’ papers. I’m always thinking how goddamn lucky I was. I’d be drinking and smoking and — Who’s that god of the ocean? Hades or somethin’ — kept me from falling in. That would’ve been instant death, what with all the rotten pilings and such below. The damn trestle was a target for every arsonist with a book of matches. 

Damn, I’ll never forget when the game warden finally got me. Boy, was he mad. I guess there was a rule they weren’t allowed to go on the trestle (it was that dangerous), so he’s hiding in the bushes at about 85 degrees out. He had to sit and watch me drinking nice cold beers up there. I paid for that. That was when they had that program “work for hours.” I got sentenced to Preble St. kitchen. My girl at the time could cook — Mother of Christ, could she cook. She’d make me up seafood sandwiches. Mmmm good! 

Anyway, they got me for lobstering without a license. I’ve had the hardest of times explaining that. Jesus, even when I applied to Opportunity Alliance a few years ago, they asked me about it. 

I’ll let you know how I done it. You take a discarded bike rim and tie a net to it with a rock for weight. Tie some fish heads onto the net (make sure the fish are fresh; lobsters are keen on freshness). Tie a rope to the rim in three spots to keep it level and Geronimo! 

Now, I’ve obviously learned my lesson the hard way. I’m totally catch-and-release on fish. I think all you folks should use my philosophy unless, of course, you’re hungry and have no money. And I know what you say: “It’s only a couple of fish; fishing boats bring in tons.” Well forget it. The fish you throw back may just be ready to spawn. 

When I first started this Suboxone thing, they asked me what I would like to do with my life. I replied that I’d like to help the world as much as I can. And things have really worked out great. I’ve only got a little life left, and I couldn’t be happier. 

And hello, Janet! Boy, I actually said it. I won’t sleep a wink tonight.                              

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