Saturday night, an hour before sundown. The ferocious northeast wind from the day before has died, the only reminder a thick blanket of seaweed covering the rocky north shore. My friend and I are fishing. He has entered the derby; I have not. We trade off using two rods, one big, one small. The small rod has a sluggo, apparently the lure of choice for catching bass this year, the large one a popper.
Another lone fisherman stands in the rocks several hundred yards away. We can hear the quiet whine of his reel as he casts far out into the setting sun. We cast and talk a little, caught up in the quiet, meditative rhythm that is fishing and the extraordinary beauty of this isolated shoreline. At times the water is boiling with bait fish. Bunker, we think, maybe bunker. I clean a little seaweed from my line, telling my friend about the bluefish they are bringing in at derby headquarters. Just then he has a hit. Reels in. The sluggo has been bitten in half. A bluefish.
The sun disappears behind the Elizabeth Islands. We cast some more and then stop to eat peanuts and drink cold beer as dusk settles around us. The other fisherman stays in his spot, a silhouette in waders, casting into the darkening water. I’m betting he caught something.