My son encouraged me to tell this one.

I was just a month under 4 years old on Jan 1 1970.

My dad kept his boat in the water year round. Until we got a new fiberglass boat in March 1975, we had a 30' wooden boat that was custom made by a man named Yellott who owned a chemical company. It was a fun boat, but it had a round bottom and boy did she roll. A double planked mahogany hull with steam bent ribs, Yellott had built this boat to ocean fish which was a little scary because it had a single Chrysler Greymarine 318 with twin side draft carbs that tended to flood in heavy wave action. Even with the sidedrafts, the deck had a 6" step up from the back deck into the wheelhouse. It also had this huge 2 way tube radio built into the cabin bulkhead which made fascinating noises (to a 3 or 4 yr old).

Cold, rain, wind, snow...back then nothing stopped us lest we be labeled 'candy asses'. We went out in some sketchy weather. So a snow forecast did not deter. And the forecast did not disappoint. We had a slow start to the day which at that time meant only a few dozen fish by noon. That did allow time to eat the Italian cold cuts with extra onion, oil, and vinegar which made a disappearance as well as half of the stack of Pabst cases. Generally 2 cases were on ice prior to leaving the dock at 5am and usually there were 7 or 8 more stacked in the corner. Hopefully that would be enough to get through the trip so we could get home and the men could move up to highballs watching football...this was every weekend, mind you. I was sitting on the remaining cases under the hard top watching the snow fall and a fish get pulled in from time to time. We trolled from The Stake (a public oyster bar marker) to Bloody Point where bloody hell broke loose. Fish were breaking everywhere, birds were screaming, and every line was lit up. We ran 6 rods and 2 dummy lines with planers. The fish were a little bigger than usual, about 24" or so, whereas at that time of year 16" to 20" fish are the norm. As soon as a fish got pulled in the line got put back out and another fish was back on. Mayhem.

I was too young to reel in trolling the heavy iron, but the experience is no less profoundly memorable for me than if I had pulled them in. Watching rock flopping all over the deck in 6 inches of snow while the men were slipping and sliding around the deck in the storm was quite a picture. It was one of those snowstorms where the sun would peek out from time to time and overexposed your retinas.

Crazy