I didn’t make it to the ranger station at Floyd Bennett in time to get the Gateway pass because I screwed up and went the wrong way and took the Crossbay Bridge, then cut over in the Rockaways and then went back up that other bridge. All in all, I went over that bridge three times and the Crossbay once, so I paid four tolls in about 2 hours. I did see this really weird carnival going on further into FB, sort of like an apparition that lures unsuspecting fun-seekers then kills them or transforms them into donkeys and other pack animals. It was a rainy, gray day on Sunday so that contributed to the spare crowd and enhanced the creepy atmosphere. Wasn’t there a Ray Bradbury story about something like this? Anyhow, my friend had to pee real bad so we quickly jumped back in the car and went back to the ranger station. Just FYI, the ranger station is open every day from 9-4pm. Because of my poor planning, I got there at 4.15pm.
We drove over to Ft. Tilden anyway because I wanted to see the ocean, parking permits be damned. I brought the 10-foot St. Croix with me (a surf rod is required to get the Gateway pass, so bring one if you intend on buying the permit) and a reel, but didn’t bring my plug bag, so we just walked around the beach. It was low tide here and there was a lot of trash; everywhere I looked I saw some garbage: these Catholic mylar balloons—which I can only assume were leftover from the Rapture (or not) as they were still full of air, oil cans, a huge yellow bucket, chip bags, drug bags, lots of braided fishing line wrapped around the pilings that mark the high-water line during high tide. It wasn’t too bad when I think about it, but still kind of sad to fill your pockets with other people’s trash about five minutes after getting there. But not as sad as this sight:
I think these were young thresher sharks as they had that really long tip of the tail, but I’m no marine biologist. I knew enough about science to determine that they were quite dead. I confirmed this empirically by poking them with a stick. The shark in the second picture had a lot of blood around its mouth that looked like someone had yanked a hook out of it. Both of the sharks were about 3-feet long. It’s not too much of a stretch to say they were not stranded up on the beach by the outgoing tide. I guess someone was fishing here and the sharks probably were taking the bait, so he probably got tired of it and caught them and threw them up on the beach. A real asshole move.
I went to smoke a cigarette and walked around lazily taking some more pics of the beach. It was cold out there.
birds by aforementioned Christ balloon.
I make sure I find some of these wherever I go.
Inside that little shack by the parking lot.
I’ve been coming up empty in the Bay lately. It’s still early in the season (though late by a lot of people’s spring standards… I’m chalking it up to weird weather—and now it seems we’re in early summer with no spring) and I’m still plugging away. I’m headed to Mexico for a few days in two weeks, so I plan on doing some surf fishing down there. I gotta stock up on some metals; I want to catch some barracuda, the smaller the better for eating. But on the striper front, they’re still on the way up. Here’s the latest report from my uncle who fishes the Indian River Inlet down in Delaware:
Went midnight fishing at iri last night. I got down there around 10:30 and out onto the rocks at 11:00. The tide was dead low and flat and was just ready to turn in. As I suspected the crowds had died down. I worked my way out to the end of the jetty and saw that there were already several guys out there, but I knew them all as regular jetty jocks. Two of the guys had fish on their stringers. The fish looked to be 10 to 15 pounders and were caught on the outgoing tide. We B.S.-ed as we waited for the tide to turn in. The tide started turning and we all started to fish the rip out in front of the jetty. Things were pretty slow until “Chairman” hooks up—we call him Chairman because he has a folding stool strapped to his belt, go figure. He gets the fish in, a nice fat 12 pounder. He releases the fish since he already has two fish on his stringer. A few minutes later I hook up, another fat 15 pounder. Things slow again so I go back into the first break fish for 15-20 minutes: nothing. I head back out to the end just in time to see Peter hooked up, he says it’s a small one that [keeps getting] hung up in the rocks but I keep hearing his drag go out. In the meantime I cast out into rip, bam! I’m hooked up. It’s a nice 20 pounder. I get my fish unhooked and on my stringer. I notice Peter disappears down the jetty still fighting this supposedly small fish. He finally comes back out to the end with a huge fish. It had to be at least 30 pounds. Things start to get rough out there with waves crashing in front and rolling into the rocks but we all keep fishing. Then we all hook up and the blitz is on. We catch fish after fish until I call uncle I decide to call it quits, even though the fish were still biting, beside the waves were getting nasty. That was a great night of fishing, and to think I was thinking of not going! Let me know if anything is happening up there.
Indeed. Color me jealous; there are fish up here too. I just haven’t found them yet…