It’s high season for the striped bass (I like how the old timers pronounce it “stripe-ed”) on Cape Cod, so at a Friday night family cookout the cellphone call came from a buddy fishing at a UDL (undisclosed location) with the news that he had just landed a large fish and there were more where that one came from. After making social with the wives and kids, the men-folk went into stealth preparation mode, everyone running to garages to dust off fishing rods and dig out rusty lures.
My brother Henry, besieged father of a 10-month old who has the bewildered look of a man who wonders if diaper pails last forever, wanted to go, but needed to check for permission first. I swung into big brother duty and asked for him, secured the yard pass, and off we went, bouncing down a dirt road in a truck loaded with rods, beer and eels.
Henry was under-equipped, had ancient line on his reel, but made his way out into the darkness and out onto the end a stone jetty. The rest of us hung back at the truck, drinking beer and rigging up, telling fish stories and admiring our buddy’s first fish, the one which drew us there in the first place. It was a perfect night, lights winking on the horizon of Nantucket Sound, just enough wind to keep the no-see’ums away.
We stopped talking and looked out towards Henry. Another “yee-haw”. Then another.
I walked down to the waterside with my youngest son.
“Look at the size of this fish. I think it’s the biggest I’ve ever caught.”
Henry was bent over the fish on the beach beside the jetty. He had indeed caught himself a nice bass.
There was much posing for the camera and fish for the family dinner.