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  • While the calendar may not officially state it, winter is here. By any measure, Saturday’s slushy snowfall, our first of the season, was a rather benign event. Yet, the wet, heavy snow, which was enforced by a rather strong northeast wind, made it feel much colder than the 33-degree temperature. It was a raw, nasty, bone-chilling day. For most, it was a day better spent indoors.
  • With my boat now firmly planted on terra firma for the winter, it’s time to turn the page. The number of recreational boaters and those in the pursuit of finfish have now dwindled to the true hard-core types.
  • With each day that passes, I try to extract every moment I can with my boat before it gets hauled out for the winter. Only half a dozen boats remain in the water at my local marina; about 150 of them now reside onshore, snuggly wrapped tight in white, sturdy plastic.
  • Wicked winds meant little fishing activity as of late.
  • I like cold weather. I always have. But the wicked change in temperatures this past weekend was truly jarring for me. Just a few days prior to the freezing conditions, which were enhanced by the bitter northwesterly wind, I was walking around in shorts and a light T-shirt. I was reluctant to say goodbye to our warm weather.
  • The alarm was set to wake me up at 5 on Monday morning. But I was up well before dawn. In fact, I hardly slept at all that night. There was just too much anticipation running through my body to allow for a sound, deep sleep.
  • While I have always enjoyed fishing on my own boat, I truly appreciate joining some friends on a charter trip.
  • Culling through the pile was no easy chore. Many were well worn and encrusted with white, dried-out barnacles. But others were in good shape.
  • There were some decent reports of cod a week earlier, but the ever-present black sea bass could be a problem. While they are widely proclaimed to be one of the tastiest fish, sadly, we would not be able retain any, as the season for them in Rhode Island and federal waters (more than three miles offshore) remains closed until this coming Sunday.
  • Blackfish, or tautog or tog as they are also commonly referred to, will not win many underwater beauty contests. Compared to other fish like the exalted and highly prized striped bass, they’re just not the prettiest to admire from up close or from afar.