A TALE TO EMBARRASS EVEN THE FISH

Reader’s note: I was very flattered by Ned’s guest post last week.  I mean, who wouldn’t be?  I was compared to some of the greatest minds in human history like Carl Jung and Pierre Teilhard de Chardin! 

One bad hangover later, I am not sure I measure up to such greatness.  So in the interest of balance, I present to you another guest post, this one by Peter Cammann.  Peter’s articles about fishing have appeared in magazines like Field & Stream, Fly Fisherman Magazine, On the Water, Outdoor Life, and Vermont Life Magazine.  He is the author of several books, one of which, a fictional work called Slipnot!, also deals with one of my favorite topics, the vagaries of workplace environments.

Peter’s post is a work of nonfiction.

James and I have been friends for about 40 years and we’ve spent (or wasted, depending on how you view it) many fruitless hours together, fishing. One unusually warm day in November, we set out in my canoe on Apponagansett Bay in Dartmouth, Massachusetts, in search of fish, any fish – given how late in the year it was. The tide was coming in and even though there was almost no wind, it took us a while to paddle out beyond the breakwater of the harbor. We found a marker buoy in the middle of the channel and I tied up to it, using the stern line to anchor us.

We’d packed along some small live crabs and our plan was to do a little lazy bottom fishing for tatoug, which are also known as blackfish. These bottom feeding fish are a lot of fun to catch, particularly in the early spring or late fall, when nothing else is really all that active. We rigged our lines with large, galvanized treble hooks, attached the crabs and lowered away.