Walking into the Seafood Shop in Wainscott, for a moderately obsessed recreational fisherman like me, brings to mind the fans of the New Orleans Saints in the bad old days, when the team stank so much people in the stands took to wearing paper bags over their heads to avoid embarrassment.
Not that there is anything wrong with the Seafood Shop. On the contrary, it is high on my go-to list. It’s just that for all the thinking and talking about fishing and messing with gear I do, I should be able to put a few fillets on the table without suffering the ignominy of paying for them.
I have a good excuse or two, at least this year. First off, it is difficult with a toddler in the house and two girls at different campuses of the Ross School to make time to go fishing. The second is that my boat has been out of the water since the middle of August, first for engine repairs, then because of Hurricane Irene, and then for more repairs. I haven’t seen the bill yet from my friends at Gone Fishing Marina. I assume they are keeping it from me for my own good.
Last I heard, the yard had sent the outboard’s fuel injectors out to be rebuilt. Once they get returned to the yard, the boat will go back in the water. With any luck, the weather will cooperate, and I will be able to enjoy a minimum couple of days into October and beyond on the water.
Good intentions and dreams of glory lead me to keep the boat operational deep into the fall. There is the last of the false albacore run to be chased, bass to target, herring some years. One of these days, too, I am going to figure out the blackfish game. But probably not this year. The way things are, Lisa and I are basically running two parallel households. One parent deals with the 18-month-old, the other with the girls, ages 7 and 10. Given that each of us has a full-time job, there’s little time for boating, chores, paying bills, or much else. A quick predawn run to the ocean beach with a surfcasting rod remains do-able, though I have to be back by 6:45 to help get everyone up and make breakfast.
Like it or not, if I want seafood for dinner, I have to go shopping. And the paper bag over my head? I can use it to carry home what I buy.