I admit it. Sunday night after “Homeland,” I watched the third episode of “The Affair,” which, in case you’ve been at sea for a month or so out beyond cable, is a soap opera based in Montauk, a place I have called home for nearly a half century.
The next day, I went downtown to Paulie’s Tackle shop, always an interesting place to be, especially during this, the height of the fall striped bass surfcasting season, a shop that the writers of “The Affair” might have thought to visit.
I was returning from a dump run the other day, and for once did so without having plucked some doodad from the freebee table of claptrap, jettisoned painfully or not from a Montauk neighbor’s horde of bric-a-brac — gizmos with wires, romance novels, and a turkey-handled potato peeler that probably hadn’t skinned a spud in years.
Stephen Lobosco of Sag Harbor, whom many of you will know as the man with an impressive antique fishing lure collection, was coaxed out into the rain by a friend on Saturday morning, a morning that turned into an all-day, arm-wearying, catch-and-release marathon in one of Montauk’s easternmost, south-facing coves.
Jordan Enck and Tike Albright leaned against the split-rail fence just west of the Montauk Lighthouse on Monday afternoon beside their bikes with fat tires meant for peddling through sand. The bikes were outfitted with PVC tubes, scabbards for surfcasting rods.
Capt. Burt Prince and his mate Gary Starkweather took the Susie E charter boat about 20 miles south of Montauk the other day and returned with a rarity, a porbeagle shark, 7 feet long, 54-inches in girth, and weighing just under 400 pounds.
“He stayed deep. We circled him and he corkscrewed up. Strange. We thought he was a mako, but he did not fight hard,” Prince said.
On Friday, Surfers Healing came to Montauk once again. Israel (Izzy) Paskowitz and his band of Hawaiian surfers travel the East Coast each year visiting popular beaches to take autistic children surfing. Parents travel hundreds of miles to give their kids a day in the waves, an experience that calms and delights them more than just about any other, they say.
One of our Ditch Plain regulars, while sitting on a bench in front of the former East Deck Motel, noted that David Schleifer, retired New York City firefighter, surfer, and the kind of fisherman whose name causes fish of all kinds to quiver in fear, looked like he was sitting on the toilet out toward the horizon.