Sobering remembrances of TWA flight 800 in 1996 and Zen-like fishing techniques
After another thirty minutes of fly casting, with the wind picking up, we decided to switch the method of fishing. This was new to me but it is Anita’s specialty: drifting with live bait. Armed with our pickel barrel filled with three live bait fish, we set out against the tide with the aim of drifting back through the channel along with the live bait hooked safely on the line and weighted down with small sinkers. So we headed out to the ocean side of the inlet sadly made famous as the closest point of access for attempting rescue after the fateful crash of TWA’s flight 800 in July of 1996. We talked briefly about the tragic story and how busy this small inlet must have been on that day and then we rode the last of the incoming tide in from the edge of the beach toward the bay.
In short time Anita had a fish on! I was taken back by her Zen-like style of fishing. Quietly and calmly she reported that the fish was drawing line from her reel. We’d been fishing for a few hours without a look, and now, as the tide drew our small boat toward the bay, Anita took her time to set the snelled hook.
No tugging in this method – you needed to FEEL that the larger fish had taken the live bait that held the hook. Once on, she slowly, cautiously reeled in the fish exhibiting very little emotion – limited excitement, maximum determination. As the fish neared the boat, we all identified it as a bluefish, and from the chefs description, just the right size for dinner.