be sure to check out Joan's latest on her website:

be sure to check out Joan's latest on her website: (usually she updates her blog every Sunday evening but she can and will surprise you) **Special Note: all of Joan's archives are now up--almost ten years of 'bitter girl.' As Joan says, go wild!**

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Fishermen vs. Fisherfools

The beach was back yesterday and I was back at the beach, almost alone. This happened last year also--once you hit Labor Day, everyone kind of gives up on the beach unless it is really, really sunny out.
Yesterday there was some cloud cover, but I still got some sun. No baby sea turtles but lots of bait fish in the water, which some sharks were feeding on. All you can eat, as they say. The school of fish started out huge--hundreds of feet in diameter--but became dismantled by the later parts of the afternoon. It happened to coincide with my return to MacArthur Park on the way back and I followed its mostly southerly sojourn down the coast.
I tried to get some video but the small sample I've previewed didn't come out that clearly--you can't see detail, parts of which were spectacular. When the four or five foot sharks would go in after the six or seven inch mullet, the smaller fish would jump out of the way, sometimes out of the water, and the sharks would follow suit. Sometimes you'd have two or three fairly large silver sharks coming out of the water at once and it was quite a show.
But back to the fishing--the only times that I see successful fishermen on the beach is in the spring and again in the fall, when the fish are on the move, because of the changes in the seasons. (The fisherman pictured here was working the inlet, which you can see in the background, as this faces south, so the land you see behind him is Palm Beach. This was taken in August and the fish is some kind of jack, similar to tuna. It took him about ten or fifteen minutes to land the fish and he said he was going to throw him back. I don't know what kind of bait he was using, but I remember it wasn't a lure or a spinner.) Where I go, Singer Island, is the point in the entire U.S. Eastern Seaboard where the continental shelf is closest to the land--here, it's maybe five miles out, as compared to over a hundred miles up by, say, Virginia. So as a consequence of that, when fish are on the move, they do come fairly close to the shore here, and attract larger predators.
Up in Juno, south of the pier, they'll set up about five or six large rods and reels apiece and they'll mostly catch pompano, which is about as good as what you're going to get around here. Sometimes the bluefish are running, and you can pull in as many of those as you want or have the energy for, but they are a lesser grade.
Fisherfools, on the other hand (forget the trip to the dictionary--it's not in there), spend an enormous amount of money on boats, tackle and bait and wind up with exactly nothing worth eating. Now I realize some people fish the way some people play golf--just as an excuse to get out of the house and avoid someone you may be married to but whom you may not get along that well with, so you 'fish' as a way of passing the time, if say you're retired and you don't have anything else to do. I guess I'm more utilitarian--I prefer to accomplish a lot of things at once.
As for the honeys, they were out also, and not just at the beach. On my way home, a young brunette babe driving what appeared to be her mother around in perhaps the family car did smile at me when we were side by side and stopped at a stoplight, so if you're reading this and you were at the wheel of a white Mercedes convertible going west on PGA Boulevard Tuesday just before five o'clock, wearing your hair up, and you happened to see some guy in a silver Acura who looked like he just came from the beach, driving without a shirt on, that was me, so if you'd like to leave a message, please include your name and phone number so that when I call, I don't sound like a complete idiot.
The landscaping people have arrived this morning with their many machines--their weapons of suburban warfare--to do battle with the lawn again. They may hold the upper technological hand, but the grass is resilient, and has secrets of its own, along with the resolve of nature, so the struggle continues there also. Got some more work done on the sequel but otherwise still waiting for some response, any response. Everything that I've been reading suggests this is a lost hope and a forgone conclusion--if you're not already a published author or if you're not a famous person, just forget it. I guess the publishers have been burned once too often by picking something up and no one paying any attention, no matter how well written it was, simply because whoever wrote it was unfamiliar. They have a saying over in Japan--the person you wait for never comes. Sometimes it feels like that, but we'll see. TTYL.

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