by Jerry Vovcsko
They get some weird stuff happening out there in the Midwest. Must be something in the water. Like a couple of weeks ago when a gent named Mike Martin headed out on the ice of Lake St. Clair in Michigan to do a little hardwater angling. The angling gods must have been smiling on Mr. Martin because it wasn't long before he felt the hit and pulled up a bright orange goldfish. A three-pound goldfish that measured out at an eye-popping fifteen inches!
"Basically, I was doing what I always do, trying to catch perch and I thought I had a big perch on" said Martin during an NPR interview. "Definitely not a perch…I've been fishing this lake for 20 years, first one I've ever caught. I called my dad the second it came out of the hole. I didn't know what to do with it…asked him what I should do with it. I've never caught a goldfish. What do you do with a goldfish?"
Eat it or mount it, I suppose, depending on whether Martin craves admiration or a good meal. Either way, it's not something that happens every day although fish experts say the main factors that affect the growth of a goldfish are feeding and temperature, and that in ponds, life spans of 15 to 20 years are not unheard of. Don't know if there's a goldfish category in the record books but, if so, three pounds rates at least an honorable mention I would think.
Locally, it's a case of here-we-go-again as another winter storm is on the way north along the coast and the weather folk tell us we may be seeing snow, rain, sleet and generally slushy conditions depending on where the storm center passes by. A fifty-mile change in direction by the storm can mean the difference between five or ten inches of snow they tell us.
As if heavy snow isn't enough of a problem the forecast includes fifty-knot wind gusts that are slated to produce twenty-five foot waves just offshore. All I ask is that we don't lose power again like the last storm inflicted. These old bones of mine did not respond well to thirty five degree temperatures IN the house. That's enough to get a man thinking seriously about booking Jet Blue for a few days in Aruba or St. Thomas, or anyplace that's warm.
They tell us things will pick up once this storm passes through and air temperatures creep upwards of fifty degree over the next ten days or so. I hope so, because the Mass Wildlife folks are putting their trucks on the road with lots of trout and salmon to stock local ponds. Peters Pond in Sandwich has been rewarding anglers with some nice broodstock salmon and a few browns have been picked up at the Brewster Ponds, Sheeps and Cliff ponds in particular.
It won't be long before the herring begin to run and soon after that the first stripers arrive in our waters and another season of great fishing begins. I mean to concentrate more on the Cape Cod Canal this year. My doctor says I could use more exercise and a few pounds less on my butt and belly so I might combine walking the bike path with a stop here and there to toss a jig & plastic combo into the current just to see what happens.
Management tells us the Red Sox should be "competitive' this season. Seems to me, every time they use that word it ends up with the Sox looking up at the Yankees in the standings come playoff time. Well, maybe this year will be different…besides, when I return from one of my Canal outings with an empty creel and the wife asks me how I did, I can always say: "Well, I was competitive, honey…and can you fix me a gin and tonic while I crawl into a nice, hot bath".
Sure sounds like a winner to me.