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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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.

UNREAL….. Get up at 6am… check radar..

thought i could do it… GOD SENT me a message….one hour later… it is summer again… all I can say is it was ELECTRIC !!!! – Tony Stetzko

It’s funny how connected things are. There are forces we cannot even understand going on at any given moment pushing you along a path that did not make much sense at first. One day it all does and you welcome the arrival of such knowledge.

Life and the journey.

I did not pick surf fishing, it picked me. I was getting pretty good fly-fishing sweet water and thought I could transition that to salt. But no. And it was not for lack of wanting to try. So I’ll take you back to why.   I was late to FB .. reluctantly I joined. Lucky for me I happen to know a couple of people who sent a friend request and I welcomed them from a past fishing message board. And  (Keith and Amy) being the wonderful people they are recommended a bunch of  their friends also. So there I was, new friends. All walks of life friends, and from all over. I did not know most of them. But it was important to me to make my experience on FB a good one so I kept the door to friendship open ever so slightly.

At first I did not talk much about fishing (shocking I know), had some real heavy stuff to get through. But I kept producing  art and taking pictures. On one occasion I posted up a sketch which would mark the beginning of one of the very best friendships with  man I would ever come to know. He commented on the sketch and we talked a lot about art – commercial art, photography, etc… and NJ

 

 

Fast forward and here I am sometime later working on this basic how to for beginners like myself in surf fishing. Reflecting on how I got here.  And it was his push… to get my hands on a surf rod.  Tony Stetzko – a man bigger than life itself. I was already going to the beach everyday exploring every inch of the ocean side, the back, and the bay.  I was taking it all in and slowly letting it heal me. So with his encouragement I gave it a try. With a heavy bait rod and reel in hand off I went. From the first cast I knew this was it.  One on one… I walked the sand and with each step and cast I accepted everything the universe gave me. I did it wrong. Wrong set-up. no belt, no surf bag, little gear, no idea. It rained, the wind was relentless, the sun sometimes painful, I tripped and fell on slipper rocks, walked through mud and sand fleas. Behind the sunglasses I shed a few tears, some-days a lot. But I let go and I forgave…. myself. I also learned to stop giving so much power to fear. The kind of fear that someone else hands you. I let go of so much at that water. And in turn started to believe in myself again,  it’s healed me… that and those striped bass and their journey.

And so my friend and I talked about everything. Sometimes everyday.  We talked about the good and bad,  but a lot about that good feeling…. of being on the beach alone and seeing the sun come up on the water, stars, sunsets, surf, swell, tides…. dolphins in the surf, horseshoe crabs, blue crabs, porgy, blue fish, striped bass. He said he caught a few. How humble right.. because he is a record holder.  He made written stories come alive, gave people enormous credit for just being kind to him, gave life to the crazy forces that align on the beach at night,  there was jaws always in the surf and seals received a whole new zip code.

Tony made people feel special – I am not in one bit unique, there are so many, many friends of his in this world who shared the same kind of friendship with him. And so the talks went on.. and it was never about fishing technique except “keep moving”. It was always conversations about life, families, friends and the way people treat each other.  A real honest to goodness friend who got this passion I have for seeing the good in everything and fishing. No judgement, just genuine and encouraging.

So I was right there in life accepting this friendship. One for years prior I would not have felt worthy to accept from anyone.

When Tony fell sick in November in my heart and I think everyone else too thought, he would get better.  The severity was never as real as in the last couple weeks of just how hard the battle he was still fighting was going on. In light of it he had the capacity within himself to want to let go on his terms. For that we can all be grateful. But the loss is a hard one among all of us he has touched because he sincerely is a good soul.  And what more really is there to life than to live in such light and love and share that with so many people.

What a beautiful legacy.

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(Photo credit – Tony Stetsko in a personal message 2013)

 

I am grateful to have known him.   I sincerely appreciate his good friend Danya’s offer taking the task of being my first call when I get lucky enough to get my first striper from the surf. Although I know Tony will be watching.

This past late spring start and summer went along. It was a slow start, lots of mistakes. But I started paying attention and asking questions. Little by little gaining some confidence to even ask. People like Allen W, John Beers, Keith,  Chris Gately, Nick Luna, Steve Adams, Fran all started saying try this and do that and I was starting to get it. Everyday I went, everyday I tried throwing everything. I started getting bluefish. Ummm that was enough to make me lose my mind knowing what was possibly under them. The miles I put on my feet the last year are immeasurable. But my realization of this community of surf fishermen – (fly people too) is overflowing with gratitude. I posted about writing this how to and I had so many great people respond on all different aspects. I am going to share all of them one by one.

As I put the finishing touches and pictures on the first chapter to the next post with the help of John Basile and Lou Caruso (Plugs and Rods – For Beginners) I stopped first to recognize this force that works without us knowing and the connections. Most of all I really just wanted to say thank you to all the people helping me.  You are all a testament of what good and kind people are. And each and every one of you have been wonderful mentors. And if your name is not on list it is coming… these were the people at the get go.. along the way so many more have offered their knowledge.

A great big Thank You to Tony for being my friend and whatever beautiful beach you are fishing right now I hope your soul is at peace. I am going to miss the talks and stories, the posts,  but most of all,  your enthusiasm for life. What a remarkable gift.

 I leave you with the most valuable lesson I have learned from this …. and this comes from inside of me to you : sometimes we hesitate to invite people into our life because we feel like our space isn’t good enough. Things are a little messy,  our place settings don’t match, or our situation isn’t quite what we want it to be. Don’t let that stop you. Invite people in any way and let the friendship take off like a 50lb pound bass hooked up in the suds during a nor’easter.

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.

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.

 

 

 

Another Super Moon?

This will be 2/3 tonight with the last on Sept 9, 2014

The bite is all over the place.. lots of YFT, flying fish and mahi. Bait fish are stacked in the back.

Find someone sweet and take their hand tonight and watch the sky work magic!

Enjoy!

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Life becomes more meaningful when you realize the simple fact that you’ll never get the same moment twice.”

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I began to realize how important it was to be an enthusiast in life. If you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it full speed ahead. Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it and above all become passionate about it. Lukewarm is no good.” -Roald Dahl

Snap The Clip

 

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That sound set the tone for mayhem to take place again recently. Reeling in all the other lines and working the fish to the boat.

Making some memories.

It’s Tuna time and since my move it’s tuna time all the time last couple months. But it’s also been learning time. Learning the correct way to do things from reading the water, identifying species, actively participating in running of a boat and rigging my own gear. With that being said I would like to share a link from my friends over at USiA   and the IMPORTANCE of knowing some basic information that could save your life/crew or your captains. It’s titled What if You Were Suddenly in Command? It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of being out there. But a responsible Captain will always be sure to have a well-informed crew, radios on, up to date safety gear and legitimate float plan.  The Boaters safety course is another thing for your crew to attend.

https://usia.com/2014/07/what-if-you-weresuddenly-in-command/

My evenings have been filled with wonder. I feel like everyday is lesson full of  hands on material. I find myself packing the bird book with the surf gear and camera. Getting  into some areas when the tide is out that are a little slice of heaven.

The last couple weeks the   juvenile Osprey have become quite vocal. At the first sign of light I hear them outside calling for fish to be dropped in the nest. It’s been great watching them grow daily. The bird that has my attention the most has been the Black Skimmer. To see them glide the shoreline at sunset, beak open, in unison with others is a beautiful dance on the water. The Common Turns and Least all have chicks that sit on the beach and wait to have food dropped into their open beaks. The have no fear and will come sit right beside you and cry while waiting.

The ocean has given up many of it treasures along the shorelines and I always find myself putting something in my pocket. Some not though and I take a picture and research as much as I can about it.

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It was no surprise to see so many Lions Mane Jelly fish last week with the water temperatures as low as they were from the upwelling.

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Just last week fluke fishing out on the ocean we saw the water filled with jelly fish and a week later they were all over the beach.

Comb jellies are named for their unique feature: plates of giant fused cilia, known as combs, which run in eight rows up and down their bodies. The combs act like tiny oars, propelling the comb jelly through the water. Many microscopic organisms, such as bacteria, also use cilia to swim—but comb jellies are the largest known animals to do so. The comb-rows often produce a rainbow effect. This is not bioluminescence, but occurs when light is scattered in different directions by the moving cilia.

Many comb jellies have a single pair of tentacles (often each tentacle is branched, giving the illusion of many tentacles) that they use like fishing lines to catch prey. They are armed with sticky cells (colloblasts) and unlike jellyfish, the tentacles of comb jellies don’t sting.

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We are all born with particular dispositions–likes, dislikes, talents, etc. We move towards certain things and away from others, and those preferences–and our response to them– determine our fate. – Sara Eckel

 

Sometimes I get so excited about all this I want to take everyone by the hand and show them.. these simply things that can bring so much happiness into your life that are happening all around us.  Conversations with friends lately about how wonderfully simple nature is. Which leads to conversation of getting to this place in life of surrounding yourself with whatever and whoever brings you peace and happiness. That those things will only contribute to an already happy you. I don’t know what the answers are .. I know I was laying on the dock looking up at the super moon a while back and no one was around. It was so quiet and yet I could hear fish jumping….the shore grass rustling… and looking up at all those stars I felt like the universe  just gives you the greatest hugs sometimes. I am grateful.

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