The BES Fishing Club took on its first saltwater fishing mission yesterday afternoon. With a trek of just about an hour in total, we definitely got some good cardiovascular exercise and our daily dose of Vitamin D.
People often refer to fishing as a leisure activity, but days like this remind me that fishing really is a sporting activity that requires preparation, physicality, hand-eye coordination, and a mental game plan. Of course, when a lot of people think of fishing, their first impression is someone heading down to their local lake with a lawn chair, submarine sandwich, maybe a soda or adult beverage, and a can of worms, but that’s just not really our style.
As always, morale was high enroute to our destination. We made the trip to Shark River Inlet on the Avon side for ease of access and intent of catching the many different resident and migratory species that call this area a home or temporary home. The water was crystal clear with a lot of signs of life. Blackfish, Cunner wrasse, crabs, and other ocean creatures could be seen clearly with water visibility nearing 8-10ft. Our members were given brief instructions and quickly began catching many Bergall aka Cunner Wrasse, baby Black sea bass, and some small blackfish (tautog) on clams. Also, we had few fishermen with their sights on the now in-season summer flounder which appeals to most of our local anglers this time of year. It didn’t take long before Maxx Wortmann of our 7th Grade to hook into a slot size flounder. This would have been a good eating size for the frying pan, but we released it for good measure. As the afternoon progressed, action was hot with many more small fish species being caught and hooks being cleared of bait. It was a beautiful day and our members’ skill/knowledge is really starting to show.
As a closer, I want to give a special shoutout/huge thank you to our staff/teachers that have helped make this program happen this year. This week, Mrs. Travers and Mr. Alvarez made it a priority to be a part of our first saltwater journey and weren’t afraid to get their hands dirty. If you were at the districts board meeting last night and got a whiff of some maybe not so fresh clams/bait fish it was because Mr. Alvarez was helping bait up our students’ rods so they could get their lines right in the water. He has obviously been a big part of initiating the program with myself and it’s awesome that he has an obvious interest/knowledge for the sport. Equally as impressive is the fact that Mrs. Travers has also not missed an outing and her experience/excitement for fishing has really grown this school year so we are really grateful for that. Lastly, don’t think I can forget to mention Mrs. Veltre and Mr. Dahrouge because they too have made big contributions to the club, coming on trips and helping immensely. They are just as passionate about fishing as the rest of us and their expertise does not go unnoticed.
We have one final trip coming up in a couple weeks so stay tuned for one last big report. You aren’t going to want to miss this one.
As always, a good time was had by all.
Thanks, Mr. Pettersen