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Posted: Thu Nov 15, 2018 9:36 am 
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Big ORCA Fan
Joined: 10/24/18
Posts: 17
Another story my kids insisted that I share. It's my Dads story. He died last Christmas Eve and with that time again approaching his memory is turning our family back to some of his crazy adventures. I hope that it's ok.

My dad was born in 1929, and his huge family suffered during the Depression. His dad wasn't the greatest, really by a long shot, but one of the things that they shared and what bound them was their love of fishing. In the 1930s they would ride the street cars to the ends of their lines which was usually a fishy spot repleat with pilings and rock jetties. He learned how to fish these structures as a child and taught me the same starting when I could hold a fishing rod. We were always fishing bridge pilings. It was what we were good at. I asked him how he learned how to target structure.

Here's what he told me.

When he and his dad had a couple of extra pennies, they would take the street car to Pier 5 in Baltimore which I think was on Light Street. They would take the Love Point Ferry, getting on about 4am and landing about an hour and a half later at the pier in front of the Love Point Hotel. They would rent a rowboat....couldn't afford one with an outboard....and row north to the oyster beds and anchor. To hear him talk about it, the beds and rockpiles yielded a cornucopia of treasure....perch, rock, croaker, spot, an occasional trout (weakfish, grey trout, sea trout among the colloquial names). I'm sure it was hard for him at 7 or 8 years old to row the boat because he was a really little guy. This was prewar, 1936 to 1938. Growing up in/around Eastern Shore marinas, it isn't hard for me to set the scene in my head. Hollow sounds of oars hitting the insides of the boats, the smell of low tide, the smell of crabs trapped in pots rotting in the sun in the pot stacks, the diesel of the oil train engines, the burnt ozone smell of the street cars, the sweet smells of the soft crabs as they were jointed and parted out....

On one summer trip the ferry was late leaving for some reason and by the time they got to Kent Island all of the boats had been rented. So they bought some soft crabs and proceeded to fish along the edge of the ferry pier with mixed results. The tide changed and their luck got better. A storm came up and trapped most of the rowboats out on the bay. My dad and grand dad made a run for the row of --- houses. They were out near the end of the pier, individually divided outhouse style johns that were really only holes where you did your business....which then dropped to the water 10 feet below.

Ever the eccentric, my grand dad baited up the hooks and they took turns fishing through the toilet hole. According to my dad, when you looked through the hole all you could see was a forest of barnacled pilings. They caught 13 rock over 10# including an 18#. So I guess the rock just sat down there waiting for something to fall. When the haggard rowboat fleet finally made it back they were startled to see the fish lined out on the dock. My Grandmother, no fan of my Grand dad, backed up the story. She told me that she was just glad they brought something back to eat which I understand was a big issue in their house hold. There is a picture of the two of them showing off on the pier in my aunt's collection so it's TRUE. To say my dad displayed a --- eating grin may be taking it too far.

Whenever I complained to my dad that we were fishing in a crappy location, he would bring up this story.


Posted: Sun Nov 18, 2018 10:53 pm 
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Joined: 2/06/06
Posts: 226
Location: Louisville, Kentucky
Think we should submit this to the gourmands journals for consideration.

Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2018 12:52 am 
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Big ORCA Fan
Joined: 10/24/18
Posts: 17
Interesting, and although I'm not a fan of rock (striped bass) to eat, crabmeat seems to be the big hit around here for stuffing a filet or as a prosciutto wrapped braciole (BTDT), and not stuffing with what those fish usually waited for.

Posted: Tue Dec 11, 2018 6:57 am 
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Joined: 5/01/08
Posts: 262
I would love to see that picture! That is a great story!!!
Ray Hencken

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