Sunday, April 25, 2010

A Bloody Mess

Running to put the rod in the sand spike after casting a clam off the Long Branch surf.
When: Saturday, April 24th, from 6am to 11am
Where: The beach in Long Branch
What: Surf fishing with clams
Weather: High into the 60's, light wind.
Tide: Outgoing, low at 10:41am.

Injuries are just as much a part of fishing as they are a part of football. Anglers are in constant contact with hooks, knives, teeth, spines and gill plates, and it's inevitable that from time to time, blood is going to flow. Also, just as in football, the main focus after an injury is to fix it as fast as humanly possibly and get back to the task at hand.

So naturally, when I sliced my fingertip off retrieving my clam knife from my bag, my only real concern was stopping the bleeding as quickly as possible so I could get back to fishing. It never crossed my mind to pack it in and my largest concerns were how much quality time I was missing tending to the wound and that the cut was on the index finger that I hold the line with when I cast.

With a little pressure, a little patience, a little time, a small piece of T-shirt and some braided line, I had myself a bandage and was ready to get going. I needed to learn how to use my middle finger for casting, but for anyone who ever finds themself in the same situation, it's not that difficult.

Now, it would be wonderful to end this tale a 36-inch striped bass, but that just wasn't in the cards. I've been having a pretty good year so far, so I'm not going to get too upset over one skunk.

Lindsay came down to hang out later, and I did have one good runoff, but I didn't hook up.

All in all, it was a gorgeous day to be on the beach. I learned my lesson about the sharpness and proper storage of clams knives, and if you ask me, at a perfect time since next week is the first big hike and my finger will have fourteen days to heal before I need it again.

Next up: Hiking with the crew, then a charter on the Last Lady II on May 8th.