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Wednesday, August 03, 2005 

pier fishing

What I like about pier fishing

A lot of people laugh at me for fishing off of the pier. Most fishermen would much rather fish from a boat. I like that too, but given the chance I love to stand on a pier and fish.
First there is something romantic about piers. My favorites are long ocean piers. I love to walk out at night on the pier, and walk to the end and stand and stare at the seemingly limitless ocean; it is like walking out a short way into, and gazing into infinity. I wrote a poem to my wife when we got married comparing getting married to walking out onto a pier, hand and hand into a limitless opportunity.

I love being around the people on the pier. They are weird folks. But, some of them come as families. They come for a day on the pier and the kids and the old man fish, while most of the wives display what can only be termed as unending patience, and read or take care of whatever ailment or injury befalls the kids. My wife will probably fall into this category one day. I married a good one. Some of the families’ kindly let the Moms go shopping at the local retail outlets. My wife usually does this but gets bored and comes to find us.

There are other folks there. The locals who are usually kind if approached with humility, they offer assistance to newcomers and are rarely rude if you know the etiquette of that pier. I also like being around crazy people. Fishing piers are full of nuts. I once saw a guy lower his self off of the pier with a rope into a small kids rubber raft. He then paddled a 5-pound dead fish 100 yards off the pier and left it to sink to the bottom. This was his bait. He latter caught a huge shark with this bait. I also saw a reasonably attractive woman change her clothes down to her underwear, as if she did this everyday and public nudity around hundreds of people was no big deal.

Cigars. I like to smoke huge cigars. I only do this while fishing from a pier. If you see someone smoking an expensive cigar that is 8 to 10 inches long for several hours it is most likely me. It keeps away all unwanted insects, and unwanted people. If a person cannot stand to smell my cigar while they talk to me the conversation will probably be about stocks, work or news anyway, this conversation is prohibited while participating in fishing of any kind. Cigars are wonderful to smoke the problem is that afterwards you have a taste in your mouth as if you slept with your mouth open and a seagull pooped into it, yuck.

Old people. I like to sit and fish with old people. The kind that catch and eat any fish that they catch. They have great stories to tell. One guy and I refought the battle of Bougainville. I once gave an old guy the fish that I caught. He cried and said I was an answer to his prayers and his family would not be hungry that night. I gave this guy my hundred dollars that I was saving for food. He cried more. I went home with him and had the most gracious meal I have ever had. I went back last fall and he had passed away and his family had moved. I could tell more but hey this is a blog not a novel.

When I fish on a pier I usually get there at 5:00 am and stay until midnight or latter. My goal is to not leave the pier at all. Most of the people I fish with are not this hard core so they leave and come back to find me still fishing. SO if you are at a pier and see a guy fishing there who seems entirely happy and content smoking a huge cigar, walk up to him and say “any luck Snagley”. I will give you a beer. And loan you a fishing rod.