We had a great Thanksgiving, and walked for miles in Brooklyn and Manhattan. I was impressed with Brooklyn; it was much nicer than I expected. The highlights were a couple of restaurants within walking distance of Bimini’s apartment, shared with two fellow students, and seeing Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf with a fabulous cast.
It is always really nice to get back home to Stuart, and in the evenings watch the egrets, herons and ibises come in to roost in the mangroves across the creek. I finally got to shoot some sporting clays and did OK. I knew Richard (Dickie) Merritt for close to 40 years, so I was pleased to win AA class and win a nice belt buckle in the first annual Richard Merritt Memorial Tournament. Dickie was a master-class shooter and angler and was a yacht broker specializing in sport-fishing boats for many decades. His dad, Buddy Merritt, was brother to Allen and uncle to Roy, who now runs the family’s famous boatyard.
Erin had to go to work for a few days, so yesterday evening I took my beloved little Hell’s Bay flats skiff out by myself, for the first time since getting it serviced almost a month ago. A decent east-northeast breeze and outgoing tide gave me a perfect drift along the edge of a sandbar that is one of my favorite spots for pompano. Had I had any kids or Yankee friends along, I would have stayed there and caught heaps of ladyfish, any one of which would be the thrill of a freshwater trout angler’s fishing life!
I checked out a few more spots and got into some jacks, and think I lost a couple of bluefish, but the pompano evaded me. On the way into the Manatee Pocket, I trolled a big swimming plug, hoping for a snook or tarpon, but had to settle for a cutlass fish. It’s a favorite bait of the kingfish tournament circuit. I had forgotten how pretty a live cutlass fish really is! Their undulating silver sides reflect light, and they look like a wavering stream of molten silver or stainless steel. They also make good swordfish bait, but I released the toothy critter — very carefully! They have wicked teeth!
It was another great day, topped off by one of my “health drinks” and a dinner Erin had left for me, and then an NFL game.
–– Peter B.