Saturday, March 23, 2024

03.22.24 When it's 27 degrees out and your boy wants to go...

     Hardcore anglers never die....and at 78 Joe's hardcore. I knew I'd want to get out yesterday before the rain and wind blows in this weekend. On Fridays I work at home I knew I could get out. At some part of the day it was going to creep in just under 50 degrees and no wind... perfect. That was until I talked to Delaware Joe on Thursday night. "Low's at 0830". Yeah, but I thought to myself, "But Joe it's going to be freaking cold". I tried to massage an 8 o'clock start out of him and we kind of left it like, "I'll let you know".

     I was working on a great sleep since I didn't have to get up at may usual 0415 am start when at 0522 my phone blows up. Theresa rolls over and said "Who's that?". I said, "It's Joe, he's going". I woke up and sent some

quick work emails out, made some coffee and headed down to meet him. It was a few minutes after 7 and when I pulled up and saw his car was empty and he was already at the rivers edge. 

It was 27 degrees out. I said, it was 27 degrees out. The water temp was 44. I suited up and put my Boris Yeltsin hat on and made my way down. Joe was already into a bunker head soak

when I came up to him. He was looking at the water like Einstein looked at plans for the lightbulb. If there were fish in front of us surely he would be able to unlock the code and figure them out. Joe's not much of a bait guy as he prefers throwing plugs and other hard baits. But he and the other Joe had made 

the trek down to Keyport the other day and stopped and picked up some bunker just in case it was the only game in town. So after me giving it a go with the fly rod and my casts fouling from the ice buildup 

on the guides I just sat and watched his rod tip. I had to watch his rod #1 because he got up and went down to the water with rod #2 throwing plugs, then rubber, and then came the statement, "Maybe I'll soak some worms". "Worms?", I was ready for breakfast about 20 minutes after I got there, and at that point I was freezing. But you know what,

when you've got your fishing buddies back, you do what the other guy wants to do sometimes. And wouldn't it just have been great for him to have scored a nice fish in just way-to-early and miserable

conditions out there. At one point Joe made his way back to his bucket and took a seat. Little did he know his thing-a-ma-popper was easing its way into the arse of his pants. Luckily it wasn't a 

disaster and he somehow got it out on his own. I don't think it would've looked to passers-by with me trying to unhook the plug from his backside. The other potential for injury came early on when I saw that Joe was sporting his New Balance 608's which aren't the best with low water and exposed mossy

covered rocks. After an hour and a half he was good. We made our way back to the cars and put our stuff away. Then he said "Maybe I'll just throw a few more casts". He broke out the rubber shad and went to work 

as I stood behind him and drank my iced coffee. Now I was cold inside and out. Luckily he bit on my invitation for breakfast and food with some milky milks went down smooth. Being inside 

helped us heat up a bit as we traded stories and predictions for the upcoming year. After breakfast we decided to hit it again as the wind stopped and the sun made it feel warmer than it was. The day just kept going, and going, and going before we called it quits at 130, about 6 hours after we started. As fas as fish all we had was a big smallmouth that tried to eat Joe's 6 inch shad. But we had fun. In fact we had more than fun. Maybe one day we'll catch some fish together.