by Jerry Vovcsko
It may be a bit early for striper action but that doesn't mean nothing's happening locally. For instance:
The annual Fisherman's Yard Sale is set for Saturday, April 16 at the Riverway Lobster House in South Yarmouth. There are roughly 30 booths with used gear for sale. All proceeds benefit Cape & Islands Veterans Outreach. Good stuff at a good price…can't beat that.
Plenty of rumor floating around of a 16 pound largemouth bass caught in a Cape Cod pond or a Plymouth pond (depending on who's telling it.) No pictures, though, and the story goes that the person who caught it, ate it…hmmmmm.
There's a new reef in Nantucket Sound, about three miles out from Saquatucket Harbor. Locals might recognize parts of it as the man-made reef is formed with busted-up pieces of the old Harwich High School. It's kind of nice to envision wetting a line and maybe hooking up with a big tautog or jumbo fluke drawn to the spot by a pile of cinder blocks that lined the old high school gym once up a time long ago.
Writer Jim Harrison dead at 78….he wrote novellas and short stories loosely based around his life growing up in the forests of Michigan. Outdoorsman, yes, but equally at home around the banquet table befitting a Paris gourmand. Harrison is perhaps most famous for "Legends Of the Fall" which he wrote after obtaining a trunk full of family journals. He was blinded in his left eye as a nine year-old when a girl he was playing with jabbed a broken bottle into his face. "Brown Dog" and "A Good Day to Die" are among the many books he wrote, but the thing about Harrison is that pretty much anything he wrote will grab hold and drag you right in to the tale. He was a master storyteller and we were lucky to have him for his seventy nine years on the planet.
And of course, there's the matter of the headless alligator whose remains were found dumped in the woods in the area of Briggs Road and Christopher Circle in the North End of the town of Westport. Detective Sgt. Antonio Cestodio, a spokesman for the Westport Police Department, said the remains were discovered laying in the leaves and under some briars by a passerby walking in the area about 9 a.m. on March 18. The head was not with the remains and police have not located it, he said.
Donna Lambert, the town's animal control officer, and a police officer responded and the animal control officer mentioned that the alligator showed "little to no decaying," according to Cestodio. The alligator appeared to be about 4 feet long when the head is included, he said.
It is illegal to possess either an alligator or a crocodile in Massachusetts and police do not know any of the circumstances concerning how the alligator came to be dumped so they are asking for the public's assistance. Anyone with information is asked to call the Westport Police Department at 508-636-1122, he said.
And, finally, the meeting between the Chatham Waterways Advisory Committee and another committee that oversees the town's Aunt Lydia's Cove - which was filmed and posted on the town's website - became heated after about a half hour as two men shouted curses and threw punches at each other.
David Davis, a member of the Waterways Committee, jumped out of his chair after calling Cove Committee Chairman Doug Feeney an expletive. The two then traded insults before Davis lunged at Feeney, knocking another committee member out of the way. Davis struck Feeney first, and Feeney returned the blow before the two were separated by other committee members.
The meeting had been called to discuss the Waterways Committee's position that docking fees on the Chatham Fish Pier should be raised from $300 to $1,000 for non-residents, plus extra fees associated with boat size. The proposition was controversial because many non-residents who would be affected may have grown up in Chatham and moved to neighboring towns, but have been part of the fishing community for most of their lives, according to Selectman Timothy Roper, who was at Thursday's meeting.
The two committees approved the increase two weeks earlier, but some members had been absent and requested a reconsideration of the vote. This request "provoked the Waterways guys into a certain testiness," Roper said on Saturday. No injuries were reported and no charges filed, he said. Roper pointed out that the two men involved in the fight have known each other within the fishing community for years, and that "it was more like a family fight than anything else."
Following the brawl, the meeting continued for another hour and a half in a "very civil" manner, according to Roper, who added that the "explosion helped clear the air and people got back to work." The discussion on docking fees will continue at a future meeting, Roper said.
So, yeah, the stripers haven't arrive yet, but there's plenty going on locally and that's not even mentioning the five inches of snow that landed earlier this week…or the four inches that's supposed to fall this coming weekend. They say it has something to do with El Nino but I think it's just another New England spring and it'll all sort itself out once the warm weather arrives. I mean, the Red Sox got snowed out in Cleveland on Opening Day so that should tell us that things are not exactly running on schedule just yet. Once that first striper comes over the gunwhales, all will be well once more and the 2016 striped bass season will be underway. So have a little patience…better days are coming.