Thursday, February 28, 2008

Getting Older

33!! I am fine with it. All I want for my birthday is an early spring and a really nice striper to weigh in for the Striper Cup.

We took Thomas to Boston yesterday for some pump information and we decided on the CozMo insulin pump. It is just a little bit bigger than a cell phone and it has many options for keeping track of blood sugars and giving different insulin doses for different meals etc. Christine and I know a few people that have the CozMo and they love it. We were very happy that after we made the choice that the nurse was very happy that we had made that choice as well.

Music in our schools month is coming up which means Christine and I will not be able to take a comfortable breath until after the All State Music Conference. Christine and I look forward to this every year because we get to see old friends and eat nice food in a nice hotel. It is our yearly working vacation.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Boston Sports

Here is the best picture that I could get with the crappy disposable that I bought. I think that you can still get the idea of how close we were. You can see the Knicks players on the bench at the bottom of the picture. It is so exciting to have sports going so well in Boston again. This year is turning out to be similar to the '85-'86 years of the past when all four of our major teams made it to the finals. Celtics won, Red Sox - Buckner, ahhhhh!!, Patriots got crushed by the Fridge, and the Bruins lost to the Oilers. Incredible stuff. I still have a hard time watching the Bruins. I know that they are under new management, but after they traded away Joe Thornton it disgusted me. Now they have some nice young talent and are playing well under their new coach. If the Celtics weren't so good I would probably be watching more hockey. One of these days I will have to get the kids up to a Celtics game. I am sure they would love it. Plus, I think that the new garden is a great place to watch a game. I was fortunate enough to be at one of the first games ever played there when it opened as the Fleet Center. I was in the hoop band at UMASS and they played BC.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Wireless and New Boat

This is the first blog written on our new wireless connection. I have not yet posted pictures of the new boat as they were taken on Christine's really nice camera which I choose not to touch. I have since taken off the bimini top as I do not see the point in having one. It gets in the way of casting and even when it is all the way down it blocks the livewell. Why get a boat to enjoy the sun and have a top to cover you up. Sunblock!! Here is a picture of me launching the boat for our family's first trip on the boat. This was a typical day this past fall. Weather and sea forecasts off by 10 degrees and 2 feet in wave size. We launched out of Megansett Harbor and were able to putt around the covered area before hitting some rougher seas and turning around. I was not into getting everybody wet on our first trip when it was close to 50 degrees with water temperatures in the 60's.

Sunday, February 17, 2008


The pictures I took at the Celtics game came out horrible. It was raining outside and I did not want to risk getting the digital all wet and neither did Mike. I had this crappy disposable and I forgot to hit the button to make it flash even though it was quite bright in the Garden. When school starts up again I will mess around with some of the pictures and see if I can lighten a couple of the better ones and post.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Spring is in the Air!!

Maybe it was just wishful thinking, but after a pretty cold night last night it was quite spring-like when I walked outside. Birds chirping and the sun getting rid of some frost. Perhaps fishing is right around the corner. I sure am hoping it is. Here is a video that you really should check out that I found on YouTube. The video claims that a fish is going to eat one of those birds, but it doesn't quite work out that way. It is a lot of fun. Sorry in advance. :)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Celtics Game

Last night Mike and I went to the Celtics, it was amazing. First of all the dinner at The Palm was incredible from start to finish. Filet Mignon with mashed potatoes and some Hitching Post Pinot Noir. Also, can't forget the Ahi tuna and scallops 'n' bacon we had for appetizers. The Filet Mignon was the best cut of meat I have ever had and it was cooked to perfection.

We were in the first row directly behind the Knicks bench. It was laughable to see Isiah Thomas' demeanor. He looks as if he could care less and when he talks to his players it is like he is just one of the guys. He sat on the bench the entire game and only got up twice to receive his two technical fouls to get ejected. Apparently the only way he knows how to fire up his team. What a joke.

I hope to get my pictures developed as soon as possible and post them.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Celtics Tonight

Mike Kennedy and I will be heading up to Boston tonight to watch the Celts play the Knicks. We decided to splurge for our birthdays and get front row seats. We both thought that we were going to be on the floor accross from the Celtics bench, but it looks as though we may be front row behind the Knicks bench. Either way it is going to be awesome. We are going to go up early and start drin---- I mean eating at the Palm Restaurant at the Westin Hotel. Mike and I went to the Palm twice during our stay in Las Vegas and it was one of the best meals I have ever had. Incredible cuts of steak and veal. I will post some pictures and details of the game ASAP.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Middle Ground - Bad Idea!

This past summer Christine's dad, Paul, told me he wanted me to take him out to catch some fish on the Whaler. I will never pass up an opportunity to go fishing. We went out and the seas were in the 2 to 3 feet area which is just doable in the 13' Whaler. As soon as we exited West Falmouth Harbor we saw the schools of bluefish rise up and we started catching. We slowly made our way south in Buzzards Bay and even went up the side of Naushon for awhile. Paul then said he wanted to go through Woods Hole. I had never done that, but I thought we should try. And why not, as Paul said,"A Whaler won't sink." It was a little hairy in those few spots where the opposing currents meet, but we made it through and eventually went all the way around to Falmouth Harbor. It was the longest and most adventurous trip I had taken in the little boat. This made me a little cocky so the next day I decided to go out to Middle Ground. I had only been to this location one other time when Steve Page took me out. The forecast called for seas 1 to 2 feet until mid-afternoon and then turning to 2 to 4 feet. I left Falmouth Harbor at 5 am and was at Middle Ground in no time at all, before the sun came up. I managed to put a few bluefish in the boat and then the sun came up. When the sun came up, so did the seas. Every now and then I would take some water over the stern that was bogging down the boat a little and I started to bounce around like a cork. After slapping out a lot of the water with my hands and some clever maneuvering and a bunch of luck I was able to make progress back towards Falmouth Harbor. It only took me 15 minutes to get out to Middle Ground, but it took over an hour to get back to Falmouth Harbor. This was the most scared that I have ever been on a boat and at one point I actually considered just driving to the Vineyard and waiting out the waves. I have chalked this up as a big learning experience.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Mr. Bluefish

There are a lot of anglers that do not enjoy catching bluefish. Not me. I love catching these fish. What a great fight. Most fisherman (including me) are drawn to the challenge of cacthing a trophy striped bass. I think that most large stripers see better, are picky eaters and do not like to move much unless they know it will be a worthwhile meal. If I had to chose catching schoolie stripers or catching bluefish I may chose the stripers just due to their lack of teeth, but for the fun of it I would probably want the fight of the bluefish. I admit that most of the time there is not that much science that goes into catching bluefish. Still, pound for pound it is one of the best fights to be had. There are two great bluefish stories that i would like to tell you about.

1. I was in 5th or 6th grade and my dad and I went fishing at our favorite surf spot at Craigville Beach. I remember it being in mid to late October. We had caught a few fish the night before, but nothing too crazy. In fact, to save some money we cut up chunks of the small bluefish that we had caught the night before to fish with on this day. Soon after we got there the water began to bubble. An absolutely massive school of menhaden was being pushed towards the beach by an equally massive school of large bluefish. The tough part about this fishing is that there was so much bait it was hard to get the blues to choose our offerings. The menhaden were jumping onto the shore so we livelined a couple of these and caught a few fish. We had bait for the rest of the season too. I had the smaller of the surf rods and decided to not use a whole menhaden this time and I used some of the bluefish from the night before. I remember casting out in front of me about 10 feet and BAM! I fought this fish for what seemed like an eternity. It was the biggest bluefish that my father and I had ever seen. Our guess was that it was 16-20 pounds. We had caught our fair share of 12-14 pounders over the years and this was much bigger.

2. This past fall before the time change the sea forecast was good and I decided to take the kids out on the Whaler to do some fishing even though it was a school night. Christine was away at a meeting so what better way to be Mr. Mom than to take everyone fishing. The kids were a little apprehensive, but somehow I got them to agree on the trip. They admit that it was a good decision to go. We put in the boat in West Falmouth Harbor and headed North. The water was like glass. As we headed North we noticed it looked like it was snowing over near New Silver Beach. It was birdtastic. I have never in my life seen so many birds in one spot. Plus, the amount of fish was unbelievable. From the outermost point of New Silver Beach all the way to the Norhtern most side of OldSilver Beach there were literally thousands of birds with fish pounding bait all over the place. It was just a monstrous feeding frenzy. There were mostly bluefish in the 4-8 lb. range, but I am pretty sure that I saw some albies and/or bonito mixed in. At one point Thomas had a snag in his reel and when I pulled up the lure there was a black sea bass on the end. This was a great trip because for most of the time I set the kids up with top water plugs and they were able to do the most fun kind of fishing there is. Usually when I fish with them I approach a school and do not get that close as to not spook the school. I would cast, get hooked up and let one of the kids reel in the fish. Not today though. I was able to turn off the engine and the fish were all around us. The kids could cast for themselves, hook up and reel in their own fish. I would say each kid brought 20 blues to the boat. It was all I could do to keep up with unhooking them. When we left the frenzy was still going strong and a few other boats had joined the excitement. Incredible.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Crazy Striper Video

As I wrote earlier I remember too well how rare it was to see stripers around the Cape in the 1980's. When I saw this video I wanted to throw up. Apparently in the area where this was taken you are allowed to net stripers for three days a year. I cannot believe that a fish that was once as scarce as the striper is now allowed to be fished for like this. Admittedly, I am only posting this to see if I can actually get the YouTube video to come up on this blog.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Me and Funny Fish

My first experience with false albacore and bonito was with Mike Earley and his father while on their 18' Parker center console. It was the first time I had been fishing with Mike on his boat about 4 years ago. It was early September and Mike told me that there were reports of false albacore around. False? Why is it called a false albacore? After a brief explanation we were off and running around looking for them. We were in front of the opening to West Falmouth Harbor and Mike shouts, "There." Right off the bow the seagulls and fish just began to break. I was sitting on the seat in front of the console and I stood up and made my first cast at a school of false albacore. I did not even get to crank the reel and I was hooked up. It was a great fight and I was so amazed at the speed at which it travelled. Unfortunately, the fish went under the boat and snapped the line. It wasn't until later that I realized how hard it actually is to hook up with one of these fish. To be honest, I haven't even hooked up with a false albacore since.

Two years ago when I first got the Whaler the "funny fish" season was poor and there were very few reports of these fish around. I did see a couple fish jump one morning in front of Old Silver Beach, but it looked like they were just having fun and not even breaking on bait fish. This past year however was amazing for these fish. On the last week of August these fish were blitzing all over Buzzards Bay. I spent a whole day chasing them around like an idiot and did not even get a hook up. The next day I put a long leader of flurocarbon on and cast into another school and it lined up perfectly as they were heading right towards me and my lure looked like it was part of the school. Bang, my first Bonito. I was psyched that I had a camera and Gwendolyn was excited to take pictures of her proud dad. Now for the embarrassing part. I felt pretty sure it was a bonito at the time, but I started to doubt myself. So I ended up putting the fish back in the water and only after I looked at the pictures and compared with other photos I found online that I was sure it was a bonito. Hopefully the picture will work when I attempt to post it.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Me and Boats

Ever since I became a teacher on Cape Cod I have been fantasizing about having a boat. With the teacher schedule and being surrounded by water how could I not get one? Well, teachers do not make enough, at least when they first start out.

As a kid I grew up down the street from a man named Sonny Troianos. Sonny had a boat and since he sold it when I was about 8 years old my memories of size are probably way off. I do remember countless fishing trips to the Horseshoe and over to the breakwater at Hyannisport. I even remember when we all went over to Nantucket, barely. Another great memory I have is the time my grandparents visited from New York and we chartered a fishing boat. I recall using umbrella rigs and pulling in multiple bluefish at a time. A couple trips I would rather forget involve long excursions out to see for mackerel out of Atlantic City and for Cod out of Plymouth. Puke fest. Admittedly, if I cannot see the horizon in big rolling waves I am screwed. I have been out fishing with Capt. Steve Page on 3 occasions which are probably the three best days I have ever experienced catching large stripers. Also, I have been fishing on Mike Earley's boat multiple times and put a lot of nice fish in the boat.

Two years ago, my wife's father bought a 13' Whaler and since he lives in Reading, MA he decided to keep it at our house. That August I experienced my first boating by myself. I was diligent in checking the weather and sea forecasts and I can still remember my first trip like it was yesterday. I put the boat in at West Falmouth Harbor and before I even left the harbor I saw a large school of bass attacking bait. I honestly lost count of how many fish I caught, but it was amazing. No keepers, but a lot of 20-24" fish. I could have stayed there longer, but my main focus for the day was to get out on the open water. As forecasted the water was like glass. I motored North in front of Old Silver Beach and decided to slow down a bit. Just as I did I saw a few false albacore rise not too far from me. The few casts I could get at them was unsuccessful, but it was pretty neat because for the rest of the season the "funny fish" were not really around as much as other years.

This past spring, summer and most of fall were spent on the Whaler. I had a great time and with the help of Christine's dad I got a little more daring as far as the distance that I would travel. Paul and I actually went all the way around to Falmouth Harbor from West Falmouth Harbor. I know it doesn't sound far, but when you factor in how long we fished in Buzzards Bay and around Naushon Island it was impressive. The turning pont of the summer was when the Clymer's and Borning's decided to go out on a trip and Christine rode with me in the Whaler while the rest of our family went on the Clymer Donzi. Christine was absolutely miserable with all the bouncing and I think this was the turning point in to her really getting on board with us buying a boat of our own. It took a while for us to decide on the right boat. We were going to buy used. A center console with ample seating that could be practical for both fishing and family. We looked at a few good prospects, but we were both apprehensive to buy something when we did not really know how well the previous owner had cared for the engine etc. Finally, after a great weekend on Martha's Vineyard we went boat shopping and found the perfect boat. It a 18' Seaswirl Striper with seating for 7 people on padded seats. It is also a great fishing machine when seat cushions are removed in the front. I have only been out on it 6 or 7 times, but it is amazing and I am chomping at the bit for an early spring trip to the Elizabeth Islands.

Fishing Bug is Bad

I have the fishing bug so bad right now. Ice fishing definitely does not do it for me, not that I have ever tried. I am not even sure that trying to hunt down some hold over stripers would really do it for me either. I have been reading that the stripers are in abundance down off of Virginia Beach including a 73 lb. giant.

Monday, February 4, 2008


I mentioned in my last entry that I was fishing with a Hogy. For those of you that may not know about the Hogy lures they are awesome. Admittedly it took me a while to learn how to fish it correctly, but once I did I was almost guaranteed strikes if fish were around. At first my problem was that I was fishing it more like a rubber worm for largemouth bass. I recall my friend Chris Shrum loving to fish the Slug-go in freshwater, but I was always into my rubber worm. The Hogy is similar to a Slug-go but the plastic is more life like running through the water and the Hogy has many different sizes from 7 inches to 18 inches. Also, with their larger baits I suggest using their tandem rigging which has a second hook that enters the bait further down as to cash in on any short strikes. Plus, I like having that extra hook there because sometimes a plastic bait can have an eratic movement which may effect where the fish strikes the bait. Having the two hooks is better than one, definitely for the 14 inch and 18 inch baits.

When I finally mastered the speed and rod action required to properly fish the bait it was an immediate change in the amount of strikes. In my defense I did not have a lot of practice with the Hogy because my prime fishing months are July and August and I was unprepared to lose a Hogy to a bluefish that often. In the fall, as the stripers were easier to find I got more practice with it. One evening I was down at Parker's with Mike Earley and Kevin Clymer. Just as I arrived Kevin hooked up to a nice bluefish that hit his surface plug, but then after that getting bites were hard to come by. I was able to see a few schoolie stripers go by so I switched to a Hogy and I immediately started to get strikes. I had a few Hogy's ruined by bluefish, but I also had a few schoolies hit it as well. Neither Mike or Kevin hooked up the rest of the night, but I managed a few fish and I feel it was due to the Hogy. The following few weeks I killed the fish at Parker's with the Hogy's. Check out the action on this clip or visit them at

More on the Patriots

I woke up this morning and it felt like I had just broken up with a girlfriend the day before. One of those traumatic events that you wake up the next morning just wishing it was a dream. My son, Thomas, being diagnosed with diabetes was the last one until last night.

The fact of the matter is the Giants defense was outstanding. So was the Patriots', but unfortunately it was not enough. Tom Brady was rattled and rightfully so. He was sacked 5 times and was rushed on almost every throw he made. The Giants were the best team last night and that is at least comforting. It was not bad refereeing or fumbles or interceptions. The Giants played better and won the game. Congrats Giants fans.

Pats and Parker's

I am up and can't get to sleep because the Patriots just ruined one of the best football seasons of all time. I am amazed that in this day of free agency that a team was able to do what they did. I think it will be a long time before I see a team go 18-1. It just sucks that the one game they lost is in the Super Bowl.

Anyway, with Parker's Boat Yard fresh on my mind I might as well tell my best fishing memories from this spot. Two years ago I got word from Kevin Clymer that the fish were really blitzing down in the harbor. It was in late October or early November and the forecast for the next day looked great. I was on kid duty so I took the Whaler and the kids and put it in at the town landing at Parker's. Went out around Bassett's island and there was nothing. Got back and loaded up the boat and the kids were off playing with the Clymer kids and I went to get them, but they were too busy looking at this very large bluefish that someone caught. I asked the guy where he caught it and I was shocked to hear that he caught it right where he was standing. He said he snagged a pogie and the bluefish hit it. I had not seen or heard of snagging pogies since I was in middle school. I had only seen the peanut bunker sized menhaden over the past few years. I looked over and saw some really nervous water. I did not even have a weighted treble hook with me so I put on a nice sized bucktail jig and casted away. Word traveled fast and some of the other people started fishing and someone else was able to snag a menhaden and he began livelining him. The menhaden was easily bigger than some of the blues I had caught in West Falmouth Harbor earlier in the season. After a few casts I hooked up and I had a really nice fish, he came up and I was psyched to see that it was a striper, but unfortunately when he came up he spit the hook. A few more casts and I hooked up again and this time I got up on the dock. 36 inch bass.

In the fall of this year I attempted to repeat the great luck that I had had last fall and I was able to catch 10 pound blues off of the docks for two weeks straight. To top it off, I think I may have lst a nice striper on the last day I could go too. I cast toward a mooring buoy and my Hogy landed right next to it. I took a couple quick reels and then let the lure sink a little. Once I started to crank again I got a hit, but I missed the fish. When I reeled in I was happy to see that the Hogy was still intact and without teeth marks. I cast back and replayed the same exact events complete with the missed strike. Third time was the charm and I set the hook firm and I had him good. Unfortunately, my fickle drag decided now would be a good time to stop working. Why am I soooooo cheap!!!! I actually did a good job of coaxing the fish in on a 6 foot rod, but as I brought him in he was moving under a sailboat docked right beside me. He went under the sailboat and as I started to pull him from under it my leader snapped. This was only the second fish I had snap off all season. I never did get a chance to see it. Could have been another big bluefish, but why did I not have the teeth marks on the previous two strikes? Most of the stripers I had been seeing there were of the schoolie size. Lesson learned, I have gone online and since replaced both of my spinning reels.

This year I am looking forward to fishing Parker's in the spring when the Herring start to run. I think I will take advantage of my new waders and check it out.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Parker's Boat Yard Today

Went down to Parker's Boat Yard in Red Brook Harbor today. I absolutely love this location. Kevin Clymer's Will and my Thomas were playing together there and Kevin was building a new seat for his Donzi. It was a very beautiful day today so we went for a walk all along the edges of the harbor and outward. Both Kingman's and Parker's have their boats all winterized and out of the water so it is really interesting to look at this area without all the sailboats. At one point a sailor did sail through and I imagined that he really enjoyed sailing his 30 ish foot boat around this area with all this room and no other traffic to speak of.

My intentions for this blog are to not only tell stories and keep you in touch with what my family and I are doing currently, but to fill you in on other events that are memorable in my life as well. I am sure, like in a lot of blogs that I will write a lot now and at the beginning and not a lot later, but only time will tell.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Fishing Obsession reborn

One late spring while working at Falmouth High School, the school nurse and band parent told me her husband was an avid fisherman. I jokingly said that I am looking forward to going on a trip with him and only a couple weeks later it was set up. I was very excited and knew that we would be in search of some striped bass. Embarrassing enough, I must admit that this 27 year old (at the time) life-long Cape Codder had never caught a striped bass let alone a keeper. I had been fishing only a few times with my father when I actually saw people get stripers. Of course every time that I thought that I was about to land my first it always ended up being Mr. Bluefish. In the 80's when I did most of my previous saltwater fishing stripers were scarce, but menhaden and large bluefish were plentiful. I would say that my father caught at least a half a dozen stripers while we were out fishing together and I came up with the goose egg. There were also times that when we were fishing we saw other fisherman catch stripers as well, I can only think of two and no one had caught a keeper.

Liz Page, the wonderful, now retired school nurse set up a fishing trip in early June with me and her husband Captain Steve Page. Steve looks like the old man of the sea with the big long gray beard and all. He also has the most amazing slip location ever. His boat, the Obidiah, is situated directly behind The Landfall Restaurant in Woods Hole. On this day we headed out of Woods Hole and before we were too far Steve said, "It doesn't look like we will have to go that far today." I am assuming that he was talking to other boats and learned that there were many stripers at Middle Ground. As we approached Middle Ground Steve went underneath and came up with two boat rods rigged with squid skirts. I vaguely remembered these lures from when we used to troll with my fathers old fishing buddy Sonny Troianos, but that was about twenty years before this. We approached Middle Ground and Steve told me to drop it in the water. I was expecting to troll around for a while and honestly did not know what to expect other than that. After about 30 seconds, BAM, big fish. My first striper, my first keeper, a massive 44 inch fish. Steve and I continued to fish for probably another 2 to 3 hours and landed around 30 fish. More than 20 of these fish were over the 32 inch minimum at the time and the smallest were all keepers in todays 28 inch size limit. This in itself was amazing for me to learn because I remember that throughout my entire childhood the size limit was 36 inches. The fish that we caught on this amazing day were the biggest fish and the most amount of fish that Steve had ever seen at Middle Ground. Lucky me, finally. The stripers were all over squid on this day. I remember looking at a school of stripers working to the surface and saw these large dark orange squid literally jumping directly out of the water. The seagulls loved that as many of them swooped down to fly off with a squid of their own. I also remember being able to see the school of stripers rise up from the depths to attack our squid skirts. It was incredible to see these 40 inch fish come up so fast and hit so hard. This was a fishing day that I will never forget.

Friday, February 1, 2008


My first blog ever. I have always considered myself a fisherman even when my life has been focused on other things. As a youngster I grew up on Cape Cod fishing mostly salt water from the shore with my father and occasionally from a friends boat. As I got older into my teen years fishing with my father happened less and less and fishing with my friends happened more often. However, fishing with my friends was mostly freshwater fishing for largemouth bass, small mouth bass and pickerel. Mike Kennedy, Chris Shrum and Jeff Byrne were my main fishing buddies. Mike and I created a fishing style that was unlike any I have ever known, but it was very effective. We each had small rubber boats that we fished from. We would go to these very small ponds in Hyannis and catch dozens of small largemouths in a couple hours and have a blast. Chris Shrum was fortunate to live right on Long Pond in Centerville, MA and he had a canoe as well as a small motorized aluminum boat. Chris, Jeff and I would not quite catch the number of fish that Mike and I did, but the size was a little better and Chris and I both were able to take a few bass that bordered the 4 to 5 lb. range.

I graduated high school in 1993 and from then until 10 years later I could count the amount of times I went fishing on two hands - very depressing. Four years of college as well as one year teaching in West Springfield, MA kept me far away from the ocean and I was unfamiliar with any ponds in the area. I am sure that if I fly fished that there were some great areas for trout in western Massachusetts. In the fall of 1998 I received the high school band director job in Falmouth, MA and even though I graduated from the arch rival, Barnstable, I was excited to be back on the Cape. The process of building a successful high school band program is grueling to say the least and I honestly did not even meet any other teachers in the building for the first three years I taught there. It wasn’t until a fishing trip sprung up out of nowhere in 2002 that I would start to regain my fishing bug.