Our son Jason, a sophomore in college, was coming home for fall break. Hadn’t we just dropped him off on campus? As my husband likes to say, the more tuition we pay, the less they go to school.
By Janice Llanes Fabry
Our son Jason, a sophomore in college, was coming home for fall break. Hadn’t we just dropped him off on campus? As my husband likes to say, the more tuition we pay, the less they go to school. Nevertheless, we looked forward to having him home. With his sisters busy working and his friends away at universities that don’t offer fall breaks, he was all ours. We spoiled him with home-cooked meals, golf, football games and fishing on a beautiful Indian summer afternoon.
My husband, the formidable captain of our small fishing boat, was determined to give Jason some fishing tales to share upon his return to school. We hoped that the drop in coastal water temperatures had improved fishing conditions. By most accounts, the western Long Island Sound wasn’t prolific this summer, so anglers yearned for a more fruitful fall fishing season, which lasts through mid-December. Fortunately, we found activity had improved quite a bit.
Striped bass remain elusive, but black fish are plentiful. Living among rock piles and reefs, black fish love crabs. Experienced anglers know to use fiddler, green or Asian crabs as bait and to have a good supply of hooks and sinkers on hand.
Because it takes more finesse to fish for these bottom-dwellers than it does for bluefish, we went for the latter. Besides, few fish give anglers a better fight and a more thrilling tug on a tight line than these fierce fighters. We went over to the shores off Captain’s Island, off the coast of Greenwich, with bunker for bait, high test lines and bluefish hooks attached to steel wire leaders, perfect for the toothy blues. Once we were anchored, we dropped our lines and our captain poured fish chum over the side of the boat.
Within moments during the changing tide, the “zzzzzz” of the reels alerted us to the fact that the bluefish were taking the bait. The three of us barely had time to eat our grilled chicken sandwiches and drink our coffee. Jason snagged bluefish after bluefish, all weighing about 16-18 pounds. It took all my might to reel one in myself as father and son cheered me on.
There’s nothing like a family fishing outing to bring out the boy in a 19-year-old.