Taking Route 36 from the Parkway towards Sandy Hook, the sun surprised us, brightening a drab day into a florid display of May greenery. The relief moved me deeply because I had forgotten to pack rain gear and jackets. When we parked at the first beach area, the wind drove the chill like nails into our skin, but by the time we had covered half the distance out to the tongue penninsula the temperature improved enough to make things tolearable, especially with all that sun.
I decided to begin with a bunker chunk, just my gut feeling--which wasn't promising anything at all. For some reason the tide rose much higher than normal, and at 3:45 remained a long way from high tide crest. The fishing situatiion didn't feel right, and sure enough half a dozen drifts with the bunker chunk produced no hits. Then I went in and had my sub sandwich.
I knew the uselessness of encouraging my son to wade out and fish. Although I had dreamed for months of his hooking big bluefish on this day, hey, he'll have plenty of opportunity to hook king salmon in October, and steelhead in November. Today's unfortunate turn of event didn't put me out, and I kept fishing, just in case blues would show up. In the meantime, my brother-in-law did show up. He casted an Ava 27 and worked it through the water column at varying depths, while several other metal throwers showed up and fished persistently. No one would take so much as a hit.
But I did, on my bunker chunk. Thinking I had hooked a small blue, it turned out I had caught a large sea robin, at least 2 1/2 pounds, maybe three. As good as they are supposed to be on the table, I chucked this fish back. I tried sea robin once and didn't like it. A thunderstorm rumbled just to the north. The tide kept rising and threatened to flood the last bastion for our stuff. I had chilled fairly severely by having persistently waded up to my thighs in shorts and bare feet, while wearing only a short sleeve T-shirt.
So we left a small contingent of metal throwers who seemed to me deeply caught up in the activity of working those lures, the essence of which was possibility, and I think today remained so. But they had chest waders on, and it's not that my son and I don't have pairs of our own. Well, what do you know? It's only mid-May as yet.