Strange Allure of Surf Fishing
A chilling northwest wind blows in menacing clouds. My hands barely function in the numbing cold.
“Anything?” asks Paul. He’s been working the shore about 100 yards away. We haven’t spoken a word in hours.
“Not a damn thing.”
“Wanna call it?” he asks, as drops of rain start hitting my face. Another zebra splashes in the darkness.
“How about five more casts?”
“Fine by me.” He heads to shore, Noctiluca sparking as he walks.
The ocean starts shoving me around. Flashes of lightning add to the storm’s bombast. Muttering at the stingy sea, I finally get a hard tug. I let the line go, slowly count to 10, and set the hook with a hard yank. My rod is instantly parabolic. The drag whines and my heart races.
But after a few seconds of fury, the line goes slack. An hour later, we exit the water. The howling wind drowns out our voices; we’re reduced to sign language. I arrive home at 2:00 a.m., still without a fish.
My last day is like the day I arrived — unseasonably warm and cloudless. The ocean breathes in gentle swells. For the first time in a week, I see some leaping baitfish.
A good sign? Who knows. You can study the water and the tides and the winds and the water temperature, and probably improve your odds. But the fact remains, we never know when the fish will show up, or if they’ll be hungry when they do.