Thursday, June 20, 2013
So I'm sitting there, just waiting on some poor fool to make a run for his truck and get his gear put away before I tackle him into the sand and say, "On a scale of 0 to 10 with 0 being the least and 10 being the most, how satisfied were you with today's trip!?!!" to which he answers "A ten up until you fractured my rib cage, you psycho!" And I gets to thinking about all the characters you encounter whilst on the jetties, or anywhere for that matter. But for the purpose of not deviating from the more important things in life, we'll stick to fishing the jetties. So come take a walk with me, down the rocks, through the spray, across the snot-slick algae and try not to get eaten by the jetty rats that are lurking in the cracks, and let's meet some of the Rock People:
The Crusties: We'll start with these old farts that have been here as long as the jetty rocks themselves. Why, when they were your age, there were no limits. You could catch a trout on a rusty pop bottle cap and a piece of whip coral on a cane pole. They remember back when every rock was placed on that Jetty. Hell, they helped build it. They had their own limits, and never kept a redfish that was under 18 inches, even though back then, they were all as long as your leg. From years of watching it happen, they can tell you right when the brownies will migrate, and the hoppers (pink shrimp for all you who haven't met this guy) are so thick you can snag 'em by the dozens on a crappie hook. I personally love to talk to these guys, because even though you might know the answer to everything they are gonna say, they have a different way of telling it all. Some of them have even been there long enough that if you look real close, they have barnacles growing on them. Which brings me to my next subject....
The Barnacles: Sometimes you wonder if they are even still alive. On the jetty for 14 straight hours in gale force winds, lightning and waterspouts, these guys hardly seem to move at all except to occasionally pull up their lemon rigs and put on another shrimp. They know the spots, and they know exactly where that 32 inch red lives, because they have caught him in that same exact spot... just to the left of that jagged rock...no, the one to the left of that one...about five feet further out than that one that has black flecks in it that kinda look like the face of Don Knotts if you're sitting in the right spot, which you aren't because he is....every day of the last full moon in September for the last 5 years. As you can imagine the Barnacles are very closely related to the Crusties. They just aren't quite as old or likely to be as talkative.
The Barnacles might well have evolved from our next subject, one of my least favorite of the Rock People....
The Bird Dogs: You ever walk out on the jetty and just see a spot where the current is hitting a rock formation just right, creating a nice little eddy and just sit down and start pulling in fish left and right? This is when the Bird Dog takes notice of you. The first fish is okay. The second fish, now, that is a cause for investigation. So the Bird Dog shifts ever so slightly closer. It really depends on the Bird Dog's temperament how quickly he jumps in there and flushes you out. A good Bird Dog will creep up closer and closer until he's almost on top of you, in that magic spot that you just so happen to be sitting before flushing you out when you get up to grab something out of your tackle box. There are some that lack such finesse and will spot you from 100 yards away, pick up all their gear, making a dead sprint right at you to plop their gear right in with yours, sit on your lap and ask you what they're biting on. It's times like these that you just gotta break out the newspaper and swat the ever loving piss out of them and holler "BAD DOG! NO!" Or, as I like to do, send a lead-eyed clouser whistling about 90 miles per hour right by their head.
The Sorrys: Sorrys and Bird Dogs are very often one and the same, given their love for being in close proximity to any action that happens to be taking place. One Bird Dog gets a little too close and instantly becomes a Sorry Bird Dog. The Sorrys that keep a respectable distance are the ones that probably should have paid attention in casting class. He winds up, he rears back, and he hurls that 4 ounce spider weight!....45 degrees to the left of where that cast should have gone, right across your line, causing a godawful tangled mess! "Sorry, gosh, I'm so sorry! Boy it's sure windy out here." he says over the 1 foot swells and through the howling winds that are probably topping the charts somewheres around 5mph. And if you think that's bad, wait til one of the Sorrys hooks a fish. Up the jetty he goes, over lines and under lines, breaking rod tips, kicking over bait buckets, and otherwise causing all kinds of minor catastrophes. But wait, now that red is making a run back to the beach. And here comes the Sorry making his way back down to break those rods that he forgot to on the way up. As my dear friend, Lieutenant Shiddy Britches would say, "There's nothin' more worthless than a Sorry Bird Dog."
Except for our next subject...what I like to call, the Indaboxes.
Stay tuned for the next Shiddy installment of Rock People.
Oh yeah, and if any of you ever come across this guy....I've got no name for this type of Rock Person yet...
Stay Shiddy my friends.