Fishing Takes You Places

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You keep a blog a while and you start hearing negative stuff about “bloggers” in general and you start slacking (guilty). My drafts are many in queue.   This  has always been a place to kinda say out loud what I hold in my heart. That part of fishing you hold close. If you’re blessed enough you meet some others who can connect on what it does to your soul and how it sustains you.  It is an endless passion. Thank you for letting me share this with you through the written word. I am truly grateful for the experience as humble as it was.

It was a plan in the making to travel back to a place that set dreams on fire and gave me many sleepless nights throughout my life.  Back when life was an adventure through the heart and mind of a young girl just old enough to go jump waves on her own.  Adventures it seems as I look back now full of many good memories of life outdoors.

A gazebo by an Inlet held some of the most significant memories for me. To witness Fishing Boats pass through, loaded down with people and gear.  Out they went, people standing on decks smiling and waving.  Their hopes upon the bounty they would bring home for their families. My hopes were set in motion witnessing  that kinda happiness and it filled my thoughts with wonder.  What would they see and catch out there, what happens, how deep is the ocean, what if the fish is bigger than the boat. As a child I was sure each trip was full of white marlin grey hounding and mako’s throttling themselves out of the water for the delights of  fishermen.  In reality it was most likely a trip to find summer fluke for a quiet sunday dinner. But my imagination was active and running whenever I witnessed such a big boat.

The beach was fun I loved being in the ocean. But it was that spot along the rocks I remember with most clarity. Buckets of blue crabs live lined up those rock next to that spot. Tipping over of same said buckets in the car on the way back on the parkway.  A day at the beach was simple,  happy, filled with laughter, shell collecting, eating a packed lunch on the sand, an occasional trip to the boardwalk before heading home, and not wanting for anything more than to be on one of those boats.   With those thoughts deep seeded plans of fishing were created left dormant for a very long time to experience. My life now, I pick those dreams off when possible, keeping them as simple as when I was a kid. As many  boats I have been on, as many fish I have found from sand and deck. I wanted to have that feeling of being that boat passing the spot. To see the faces, experience the perspective of a memory from long ago.

It was the first time since my childhood I went back to that area. A flood of good thoughts entered my mind.  Prior I was nervous I was not  prepared. My gear, my expectations, my knots, metal, clothing – was it right? Could I come to this place held inside for so long and feel satisfied by anything I was about to do. I held it close to heart and just hoped.

By chance I took my place in the spot I would have the best view of that gazebo and it ignited  hopes it was still there.  And it was. The sun was not up yet but there it was like a beacon of light from my childhood held onto for so long. This time I was on the other side and it was right then I saw myself as a child in my own mind I welled up and smiled.

Dreams do come true.

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If I just was able to do just that it was satisfying enough. But I got to do more. We had  mackerel and albies around. We pot hopped. There were tangled lines and sea robins and skates. My knots were good and my gear choice correct.  My love of bucktails runs deep and  threw in lots of  shiny things like AOK Tackle T-hex’s (one of my very favorites all year round) , Kastmaster, S & S Bucktail product’s and a few others.  Within me a lil smile – because I am figuring this all out.  Not just fishing different applications, but myself.  On the way back in for a minute I forgot for a moment and then there they were, people. Standing, watching the fleet return. Which made me feel like I had accomplished something very personal quietly.

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This one was special and experiencing it made me realize how much happens in life, how quickly it goes, how important it is to hold onto dreams. Most of all your life is your story. There are many versions of it. But yours is the unfiltered autobiography of truth.  Holding onto who you are at heart without letting people, life, situations, tragedies take that away can be difficult. Keeping that light lit inside you – is up to you. Fight hard for it on the darkest days. Go grab your life and live it and cheer on the people you love and hold close to do the same.

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Invictus

By  William Henly

Out of the night that covers me,
      Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
      For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
      I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
      My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
      Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
      Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
      How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
      I am the captain of my soul.

 

 

 

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A Mind of Fishing

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It’s a daily journey for me that starts with one thought  “where are the fish today”.  It leads me places I only dreamed of and fills me up with knowledge of things I had no idea existed.  This wonderful, beautiful world and life we all walk though with so much going on around us.  I invite you to stop a bit and consider if  and when you leave makes no difference as nature continues to exists on its own terms.

It’s often by accident I am studying one thing with great conviction  that I stumble upon another great discovery  that makes me look at everything differently. My recent reads have been about the New York Bight and the Apex facts and findings, Ben Franklin mapping the Gulf and his cod eating habit’s and lastly Men’s Lives: The Surfmen and Baymen of the South Fork  by Peter Matthiessen .

Some days I have to stop and take it all in.. because we walk on sandy beaches as did people in our past on the same quest but for different reasons.  It leads me to the thoughts of such a vast difference in the way we handle technology and publication now.  People of  past worked so hard to catch fish to provide a meal for their families.  If you think there were not cyclical years please do some reading.  They relied upon  fish to sustain them. And now for the majority it is for internet notoriety or to be best among peers – a different kind of personal thing to feed.  Years from now I often wonder how will this blip in history will tell our generations story… and stories of the simple fishing trips. The kind you keep close to your heart, family and friends that mean the most.

 

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 A Simple Fishing Trip

2016

My morning alarm is set to lull me out of sleep with the voice of Jeremy Wade screaming “Fish On” over and over.  I am ready Mr. Wade.  In the morning shuffle I pick and chose to throw a couple bucktails that have always given me success into the pouch. Feathers all dried I run my finger tips down them to make sure all is intact.  These are my favorites, my go to’s, try as I may with other things I just love fishing bucktails.

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Step outside to see the moon still up and bit of a glimmer of light towards the water.  The night crew will be leaving, I’ll see them packing it in and heading home. Most will have no fish with them. The surf fisherman I know almost never take a fish. It’s often not because they would not like to share a meal of them – it’s because of stocks and also the stigma of someone seeing you take home a legal fish for your family. It’s 2016 and you’re damned if you do or don’t. Greed still runs rampant. But for many people, most of us we are more conservation minded when it comes to this beloved fish – Morone saxatilis.

It is still the most exciting feeling to me to load up the gear and leave knowing what my destination is. A thousand things go through my mind as I am checking off again the –  do I have everything – water and sunblock included.  Upon reaching the destination for the first few minutes I am an observer of the display nature is putting on.  Waders on and my heart starts to pump a little faster those first few steps. Some days I feel like I am almost running when I get on the water although I know I am not.  Just as the sun makes direct contact I am throwing into it with hopes of presenting perfectly to a passer-by in the water. Living so close to this is where I find myself and the world melts away.  For now until this time ends I am myself at the apex of happiness.

So often now when I have a bite I wade into the water to let it go there. Trying to be so careful as not to stress the fish I almost panic if it is not quick enough on my terms.  I am not keeping it, not today.  I get to do this everyday as long as fish are around.  For that I am grateful.  For that I respect this fish. What you do is your own business. I stopped looking. Looking at the same thing over and over of fish held high above heads like trophy’s.  It took me this long to realize that we are different. We fish for different reasons.   Technology pushes hard on ego’s and some look to the path of least resistance.  I needed to quiet my own mind before I got caught up in what the internet deems me a good fishermen and come into my own. When I sopped looking at all those reports online I set myself free to experience this on my terms in this pace in my heart.

Happy for you – happier for me.

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The whole time I am walking I watching, learning, filled with wonder.  With miles under my feel having walked I start to head back.

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Usually some kind person will stop me and share their love along my journey of fishing, surfing, the sea… whatever it is that calls our hearts here.

Packing my gear back in the truck with grateful intention I know God willing, I’ll be back again tomorrow.

For  I  bring home with me the greatest gift – a heart filled with so much love for this life and fishing.

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To go fishing is the chance to wash one’s soul with pure air, with the rush of the brook, or with the shimmer of sun on blue water. It brings meekness and inspiration from the decency of nature, charity toward tackle-makers, patience toward fish, a mockery of profits and egos, a quieting of hate, a rejoicing that you do not have to decide a darned thing until next week. And it is discipline in the equality of men – for all men are equal before fish.- Herbert Hoover

 

In Like a Lamb

If it continues to be as beautiful as today March may never see the lion.

DSC_0827Down time.

During which I have become an observer and celebrator, a learner and a soul at peace.

It’s taken a lifetime to get here. Maybe it just took me longer to understand some of the things you already know.

How very carefully  I take my line and run it through each guide knowing it will meet the acquaintance of water at some point.  Knots tie together a quiet confidence of bringing life to shore.  Running my fingers over each lure, metal and feathers  with hope of making the right choice. Each little thing we do and think of  to bring us to water so intentionally.  I walk, I walk so far and so long some days. In each step I walk towards a feeling so hard to capture in words. It’s freedom, happiness, love and hope all hanging on to each cast I let got of.  No one can touch me here with any negativity because it’s here where I heal and rejoice this life.

This life I am so grateful to still be here experiencing.

A brush with death is something you never forget no matter how many days ago it was. You wake up with a heart so thankful that the grains of sand in your shoes are proof you get to do it again.

It becomes almost difficult when interacting with people who take this all of granted. Try as you may you hope for some understanding of why you are overflowing with happiness each sunrise.

Forgiveness and retribution.

It is perfectly sensible to feel that several of the traditionally self-sufficient philosophical justifications of punishment may be necessary. ‘Retribution‘ implies that offences should be balanced out with equivalent penalties. 

2004 study published in Science by University of Zurich researcher Dominique de Quervain and his colleagues had people think about exacting revenge on an “enemy”. What they experienced was measurable pleasure: their dorsal striatum (the pleasure center of the brain) lit up in a PET scan while doing so. 

At some point in your life something is going to happen to change it. It happens to every single one of us. Something or someone is going to turn your life upside down good/bad. It could also be a parent, sibling, friend, BF/GF, or stranger. It’s going to bring you places unimaginable. Resist the urge to let it own you. Make your peace because what you do with such a major life event will determine the rest of your life and what you live for. 

Retribution can take many forms and I live mine everyday.

It’s sunrise and the light through the windows are these beautiful, bouncing beams. My first thought is panic. Seconds later,I remember where I am. A warmth fills my soul and immediately makes me grateful. At some point today I’ll touch water, a trail, or maybe you…but everyday I am going to get even by living… and doing so beautifully. xo

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I want to live in this place in my heart forever where fishing takes me.

Days.

Days of which start with a clear view into the night sky full of bursting diamonds and a moon so bright it forms light of almost mid day.  With my first foot placed upon the sand I know I am walking into my future. It’s there waiting, always waiting with so many possibilities.  As I begin my journey it is often quiet except for the sounds around me nature creates.  I can’t help but think the universe conspired to bring me there.

To deem me worthy to take all that in. And at the very end of most days put on a visual showcase of colors of sunset.

Everyone different, each beautiful.

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I have been blessed to encounter many a beautiful fish of all species in fresh and salt water. It’s never been quite as important as now to let go of what you do not need for future generations.

This calling  was placed in my heart long ago, before I could even figure out what was pulling me to the water. I don’t question it, just rejoice in finding it , my love of fishing. Something I hope anyone who loves it can get to.

We do get there when we become quiet and listen to ourselves and what makes us happiest.

Spring run is soon upon us and it is my sincere hope that you find your way to the water .

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It hard to believe a year has gone by since Tony left to fish the heavenly universe  – no greater a fishing friend to so many of us.

I miss his enthusiasm for this life, stories,  his kindness and his genuine extension of friendship.

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My Gravitational Pull

Fishing.

It’s been a while and I apologize. My last post was entered in May and time just slipped through my fingers. Or line I should say.. line slipping through.

Not only have I learned a lot about surf fishing, marine biology, the history of the area and night sky (yes) I have grown to understand life more.

I’ve learned to forgive and have patience with myself on the water.

This journey, our journey each day gives us a chance to  make it right, safe,  and embrace what sets our souls on fire.

Try not to ever let anyone or thing take that away from you. ♥

JUNE 2015

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I am overflowing with words I do not have.”
— Adam Falkner

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JULY 2015

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“No one has it all figured out, especially not the people who are acting like they do and judging you because of it. Pretending to be something you aren’t because you’re trying to please a bunch of judgmental hypocrites and shitheads is not the way to be happy. Living the life you want to live is. It really is that simple.”-TM

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AUGUST 2015

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It is a basic human need that everyone wants to live a happy life. For this, one has to experience real happiness.
The so-called happiness that one experiences by having money, power, and indulging in sensual pleasures is not real happiness.
It is very fragile, unstable and fleeting.
For real happiness, for lasting stable happiness,
one has to make a journey deep within oneself and get rid of all the unhappiness stored in the deeper levels of the mind.
As long as there is misery at the depth of the mind all attempts to feel happy at the surface level of the mind prove futile.-S.N. Goenka
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SEPTEMBER 2015
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As long as I live, I’ll hear waterfalls and birds and winds sing. I’ll interpret the rocks, learn the language of flood, storm, and the avalanche. I’ll acquaint myself with the glaciers and wild gardens, and get as near the heart of the world as I can. –  John Muir
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OCTOBER 2015
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You never know when a few sincere words can have an impact on a life. – Zig Ziglar
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NOVEMBER 2015
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Nobody will protect you from your suffering. You can’t cry it away or eat it away or starve it away or walk it away or punch it away or even therapy it away. It’s just there, and you have to survive it. You have to endure it. You have to live through it and love it and move on and be better for it and run as far as you can in the direction of your best and happiest dreams across the bridge that was built by your own desire to heal.-Cheryl Strayed
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Troubles that may come and go
but good times they’re the gold.

The Gift of Peace

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I meant to get this up earlier but have been holding back  and I apologize for it. So many of you have been asking about the progress.  For those who don’t know I have been working on a project with the wonder fly tying magician Ben @ 57 Flies. It’s going to be a non-profit project incorporated with my love of fishing (of course) and stripers. Writing this minor pre-launch has been hard, and the go ahead harder. It’s been baby steps. But I feel compelled to share just how much fishing keeps that hope alive and better days are here and now. I am grateful to be here to write this. So for all of you who have been listening to my excitement about this for the last year… here is a rough picture peak of just how beautiful they (deceiver and baby bunker) came out. The vision was the connection to fishing, how it gives you hope. Morone saxatilis are my fish, my passion, elusive on some levels. The “deceiver ” represents the veil of secrecy behind every domestic violence survivor and the “baby bunker” the child witness.

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Thank you Ben  – you have been very patient w/me and I sincerely admire that you took this project on.

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In the last 7 years I have met many people who have shared my sentiments -“fishing saved my life”.  There is never a time I doubt them for whatever their reason is. Through some of the darkest days it kept hope alive in me quietly.  I have faith in all things good but in particular this fish, the striped bass. Their journey has settled into me daily.  I don’t want to lose sight of what it all means and the people who were there for me, silently supporting me. They are truly the ones who showed me kindness, love, and compassion. The very best of family, friends, fishermen, bloggers, message boards members, advocacy and law enforcement are made of. They believed in me when I didn’t anymore. My cup of gratitude runneth over for them.

As I slowly move forward with the project a phrase often said was “no one will ever love you” and what I learned was someone always did – I did… and it took time for me to realize that I was worthy of that. Once I did my heart was overflowing with the realization of the love my family and friends had for me,  and the belief in this project. Teaching myself Fly fishing and Surf Fishing has taught me how important it is to believe in yourself. Try hard to never let someone take that from you or let someone use words or violence to make you submissive. YOU are a beautiful soul. Find your passion in life and embrace it, let it define you.There are going to be times we can’t sugar coat everything. I have done a damn good job of that in the past on this blog itself. I went so far recently to go back and edit/delete some of my entries because .. I was faking it. Put your best “smile forward” – not always a great idea when writing. Go back and look in the past but don’t stay long as we have today right now !Story

I will never be able to thank everyone enough, but I am going to try my hardest doing so. In the midst of all of it a loss was felt with the passing of a true hero.  She believed in this project and supported the vision of it. Her encouragement, guidance and capacity to give of herself to the community will always be with every life she touched. She was more than an advocate she was “an everyday saint” to many of us. It’s hard to believe she is not here any more because I can remember her smile, he laughter, the tears she shed with us and the belief she had for a life, violence free. In my heart I believe she is checking in on all of us and I hope she can see what a wonderful miracle she put into motion here.

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This past Thanksgiving and this coming Christmas are the most special in a very long time. I am truly grateful. Grateful for my everyday hero’s I admire the most in life K, M and S- beautiful  wonders of the world and a testament of unconditional love. My days of late still out fishing just about daily and will write about that more soon with winter knocking at the door. My education on the sand has been remarkable… and I remain a student with a new discovery always at my finger tips. It’s still what this blog is about, my fishing journey. But we all have a story and I hope that in some way by doing this it can help someone. That someone reads the words to not give up hope, to reach out to DV support and accept their help, those of your loved ones, friends, law enforcement.

Call : 1-800-799-7233

http://www.thehotline.org/resources/resources/

Be brave and know you are worthy of a beautiful life. ♥

If you’re interested in learning more about the project stay tuned and thank you – through fishing there is hope.

The Politics of Striped Bass

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With just 5 days left to publicly let your voice be heard with regards to the ASMFC management of Striped Bass I find myself trying not to get caught up in the passion of a debate. Longstanding tension between recreational and commercial fishermen as they compete for the same fish. Pool your friends for their opinion. You will get a 100 different ideas on what option is best. You will also get a lengthy history  of why they support it, based on their OWN experience.

Striped bass stocks collapsed in the 1980s, but a series of regulations, including a harvest ban from 1985 to 1989, and cleaning up the rivers in which they breed, helped produce a comeback. The fishery was declared rebuilt in 1995.

I am late to this game as I don’t have the extended history of fishing striped bass. In me lies the passion for the fish. So without getting too political I’d like to address a few things I think are important to someone like myself, the mindful angler. I say this because I don’t keep most of what I catch. My passion is with the sport of the pursuit and take care to always release a fish as best I can. But I also think you have the right to keep what is legally yours daily. That is part of what is wonderful about living in this country… we have the right to do that.

Should you be mindful of the fish and it’s management? Absolutely. The most continuous monologue I hear is.. nothing works, the system doesn’t work, the management does not work, the politicians don’t fish, there is no problem, I used to care I don’t anymore. Which is really detrimental coming from people who have been in the sport long enough to have taken a bunch of fish over the years but do not see fit to want to help the next generation of anglers have that same experience.

I understand some of you believe that this might just be a few “off” years or that the decline in striped bass is a natural cycle that could help other species, such as weakfish and bluefish, competing in the same ecosystem. If it is why continue to go hard on them? I understand the structure has changed – Hurricane Sandy, Beach Replenishment, the removal of jetties all should be factored in to the equation.  Some people believe the fish may just be farther offshore. But the science is spawning stock biomass is decreasing! The recent stock assessment found a spawning stock biomass of 128 million pounds, only 1 million pounds higher than the threshold for problems. Marine biologists would like it to be at 159 million pounds. It’s a tinder box of frustration and finger-pointing as people fractured into groups with reasons why the numbers are down grow.

Policing people posting legal reports on the internet is not helping the fish. It turns people off to your agenda. Be knowledgeable and state your case. With that I walk delicately regarding my position on the issue publicly. The internet debates are not getting reviewed the public comments are. So make it count.

I’d really like to see future generations be able to experience fishing for this beloved fish. I know it changed my life. There was a time people talked about weakfish and how abundant they were. It was like listening to ghost stories. .. but that’s another fish for another day.

With all that you have a voice…I encourage you to go to  the ASMFC site and read up

http://www.asmfc.org/species/atlantic-striped-bass

PLEASE be sure to also state your comment on the Commercial Transfer.

ASMFC is  reviewing all public comment for consideration of final approval of the options and addendum at their October meetings. Any changes to the commercial and recreational harvest of striped bass will most likely start in 2015.  The public is encouraged to submit comments regarding this document at any time during the addendum process. The final date comments will be accepted is 5pm on September 30, 2014.  Comments may be submitted by mail, email, or fax. If you have any questions or would like to submit comment, please use the contact information below.

Mike Waine (mwaine@asmfc.org)

Fishery Management Plan Coordinator

Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (Subject: Draft Addendum IV)

 1050 North Highland Street Suite 200A-N Phone: (703) 842-0740

 Arlington, VA 22201 Fax: (703) 842-0741

Opposing Winds

 “Sometimes it’s the same moments that take your breath away that breathe purpose and love back into your life.”  Steve Maraboli

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 “My dear,
In the midst of hate, I found there was, within me, an invincible love.
In the midst of tears, I found there was, within me, an invincible smile.
In the midst of chaos, I found there was, within me, an invincible calm.
I realized, through it all, that…
In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.
And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.

Truly yours,
Albert Camus”

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It seems like the closer I get to stringing a bunch of insanely good moments together the quieter I become. Maybe it’s the peace that rests within after years of living in fear and pain. The next step is a big one and I am not sure how it will be received. I feel like it’s important to pay it forward now …. time. The idea started not long ago and was greatly received by someone who filled their days as a quiet hero to many not only as her profession but way of life.  She believed in me and this idea when I no longer believed in myself. She understood that I had to wait until I got to where I am to do what is next on the journey. She lost her battle with cancer recently quickly… not months, weeks. She left behind a legacy besides being a wonderful wife, mother, daughter. There are people who you encounter that change you, help you, protect you… she truly was a saint among us. Many of us were blessed to call her our friend and she will be greatly missed.

Lots of lessons this past year, not all fishing. Humanity, truth, healing  and compassion. I am the sum of my experiences humbled by the ocean. The vastness of the shores that reach beyond my vision compel me to do something worthy. To live up our potential of why we are all here. To not just exists in the safety of silence but to whisper to others “keep hope alive”.

Fishing didn’t just save me… it sustained me and continues to. This blog helped me to connect with some really brilliant and successful people in the fishing community.  I will take the words and give them a voice.

Next chapter.