This morning Mom said she’d take a bluefish if I happened to catch one, so Fisher and I finished up the yard work around five on Sunday afternoon, dug out a couple rods, tied on some wire leaders and poppers, and headed down to Hooper’s Landing for a short row out to the boat.
We zipped out of the harbor and to the end of the channel to Last Red, the final channel marker. The wind was kind of snotty out of the Southeast (“wind east, fish bite least”) and the waves were tough enough to make the going wet and footing difficult, but I passed a couple slicks, smelled melons, and said, “I smell bluefish.”
The slicks are caused by the bluefish (pomatomus saltatrix) feeding on bait: the bluefish bite the bait, the bait releases oil, the oil makes smooth patches on the surface. That oil smells like melons (according to some noses). We cast a few times, optimism was low, but we stuck with it and I saw a fish dart under the boat, spooked off of the lure by the sight of the hull.
I finally hooked up, landed the fish, gave it a kiss, and threw it back for good luck. The second fish wasn’t so lucky, and went into the bucket. I fileted and skinned it, and Fisher and I took it to my mom to finish her Mother’s Day with a fish and some flowers (we planted morning glories around the lamppost).
All is well in my world when there are bluefish in Cotuit.