Feb 18, 2009

Why fish?

To connect with nature, to revel in the quiet.

To actually have an appreciation for putting in your time, and seldom being rewarded.

To pick and pull at different tactics and see which is best.

To simply pass the time.

For the rush and chaos of a big strike that you can screw up at any number of points.

To make those hours of drinking actually productive.

To spend three or four legitimate hours down the wall from someone who has spent all night out there and fishes for sustenance.

To pass several hours for only the cost of a cup of bait.

To speak to and fish with strangers who aren’t strangers.

For the history, and the opportunity to wonder about the past.

For the chance of breaking your personal best record-catch.

Feb 17, 2009

to fish or not to fish

The date for the fifth annual Jamaica Bay Kayak Fishing Fundraising Tournament, heck of a long name, was announced recently, and it's got me seriously thinking about joining in in the mayhem. That's right. Fishing. From a kayak. May 3rd. See pic above (not me).

The rules: catch and release; rulers are provided; you begin at 6 a.m. and fish until 2 p.m.; anywhere in Jamaica Bay is legal; you must photograph all entry catches coming into your boat; in the event of a tie, the "visibly biggest" fish wins.

Following the event, there is a celebratory meal, "Italian food."

People come from all over the country for this. The website lists hotels in the area.

And it's right in my backyard.

I'm sure there are some champs out there that have been doing this since the 70s, but I've only seen it in the past three years or so. In fact, I've watched my neighbor and fishing cohort, Duke, kayak fish all the time in recent summers. He swears you can get right to the swells of jumping bait fish and birds, cast right in, and hook one of the bigger fish that caused the commotion to begin with.

Of course, these bait swells are always out of reach for lowly surfcasters like myself, so it's seemed appealing.

Also, my brother's kayak hasn't seen the water in about two years, owing to a missing boat plug.

The best: prizes go to the biggest fish caught in any method, the biggest caught with fly-fishing only, or - drumroll - by winning in the "Grand Slam," what I'd like to call the Jamaica Bay hat-trick category: landing the largest combined catch of a striper, a weakfish, and a bluefish.

Maybe this is the next step.