So I removed a split shot from the six-pound test of one of the rods, and cramped it on to the line of the same strength of the other. And then I must have spit a dozen times, because to cramp soft lead with teeth means--for certain--that trace amounts of lead get in your mouth. I have needlenose pliers in my tackle tray. My friends and I were damn fools in our teens, tooth-crimping lead with abandon.
I had a pound of Lund's California squid for bait, and pinfish responded quickly to pieces of it. Wallace Channel cuts right in close to the shoreline, and with tide racing out at very fast pace, it seemed a wonder any fish successfully fought that current. I took a break and tried it myself. No way could I hold my place, swept downstream as I swam as if in a flooding river.
With the Tica and a two-ounce bank sinker, I fished as deep as perhaps 20 feet two years ago. And I caught a lot of flounder, though not one met keeper size. With the split shots, I got about eight feet deep at most. Nevertheless, a bluegill-sized pinfish fights pretty hard on a light rod. These subtly colorful fish get their name from dorsal fins a lot sharper than any sunfish. Like pins. I always try to avoid them, but never seem to avoid getting pierced. They're good to eat, but I tossed the handful I caught today back into the slightly stained, Pamlico brine.
And I caught a snapper bluefish of about nine inches, shortly after something struck hard and took the whole rig--hook, line, and sinker. I resorted to fishing squid weightless and caught a pinfish and the blue. Before I got snagged and lost the second hook, I had it figured out that using the squid heads attracted the most attention and possibly would result in a larger fish. Pinfish nipped and tugged at the tentacles, but the integrity of the mess held together pretty well, as I tugged the bait away. I would have put the rod on the sand and followed the line to a snag to unhook manually, if the line didn't break first, as I tried to shake it loose upstream of the catch. So that ended the fishing.
If you ever fish a shoreline that looks like it's the same up and down, and you're compelled to stay in place, even though you're not getting many takes, take my advice and walk the bank. I went upstream about a hundred yards and found a lot more pinfish. The reason why doesn't matter as much as that they were there, and not where I had left.
A nice late morning and early afternoon I didn't let slip away altogether, just because I had been careless before I got there. Matt took interest in shells, and found another Scotch bonnet like last year, complete and undamaged, but with a couple of barnacles attached. He also found an olive shell, but with part of the top end broken off. When I was young, I used to get up before dawn to scour the beach for shells at the tide line. Now I'm content to watch for differences in clouds overhead.