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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am pretty sure it was 2007, I know it was early June, I returned home early from work to go fishing. There, I met a guy who had been hired to do a project for me. He was just finishing up while I was loading the boat. We got talking about fishing. Before long, he was grabbing his pole and tackle box from his truck and we were on our way to the Narrows. We sailed into Eastern Bay and started looking around on an oyster bar I had been keeping an eye on in recent days. We picked away at a few for a couple of hours when some Laughing Gulls started getting agitated very nearby. Suddenly the water came alive, in a very big way. Over the next hour and a half we each caught 30 fish ranging from 26 inches to 40 inches. Topwater and then, when we were nearly worn out, switched to jigs. It was the best fishing experience of our lives. We went again the next day, he and I. And then 40 to 50 times a year for the next 15 years. We have fished well over 500 times together and never did that well again. But we have logged some incredible fun together in our feverish addiction to Rock fishing. We call it fish therapy.

My friend has been quite ill in recent months. Medical issues very severe by anyone's standard. As a fishing buddy, not much I can do but offer to cut the grass or make some food that he can't eat. Couldn't even visit him in the hospital. All I could do was text him fishing reports and encourage him with thoughts of our next fishing trip. And pray.

Yesterday, though he is weak and exhausted, but slowly gaining strength, even his wife agreed that he needed fish therapy. So he and I, along with our other close friend, launched into the mid bay to find some fish for the first time in way too long. We went to an oyster bar where I had serendipitously found some Rock while I was Perch fishing last week. He caught a fish right away and I can't describe the look on his face - pure adrenalin. Right away he said it was huge! We knew better (it was about 24 inches) but we were so happy for him. We caught a few more but it was slow so we went to the shorelines. (Those were the first fish we had caught jigging all year. They were in 13 to 15 feet of water.) Picked away at some 22 inch fish and one at 28 inches. Hot as blazes, fishing was slow, and he was tired so we did not push too hard (like we usually do). Finished up at sunset back on the oyster bar and he caught a few more up to 24 inches and the day was done.

Note: We were fishing barbless, reeled fish quickly to the boat and released without leaving the water. Water temp was 87. Felt a little bad about it so won't be fishing for a while.

Sorry, no pictures this trip

Fish therapy indeed - I feel MUCH better.

Pat
 

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You're a good man Pat.
 
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Fantastic story. I hope and pray that your friend makes a full recovery so that you all can start going regularly.
 
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I am pretty sure it was 2007, I know it was early June, I returned home early from work to go fishing. There, I met a guy who had been hired to do a project for me. He was just finishing up while I was loading the boat. We got talking about fishing. Before long, he was grabbing his pole and tackle box from his truck and we were on our way to the Narrows. We sailed into Eastern Bay and started looking around on an oyster bar I had been keeping an eye on in recent days. We picked away at a few for a couple of hours when some Laughing Gulls started getting agitated very nearby. Suddenly the water came alive, in a very big way. Over the next hour and a half we each caught 30 fish ranging from 26 inches to 40 inches. Topwater and then, when we were nearly worn out, switched to jigs. It was the best fishing experience of our lives. We went again the next day, he and I. And then 40 to 50 times a year for the next 15 years. We have fished well over 500 times together and never did that well again. But we have logged some incredible fun together in our feverish addiction to Rock fishing. We call it fish therapy.

My friend has been quite ill in recent months. Medical issues very severe by anyone's standard. As a fishing buddy, not much I can do but offer to cut the grass or make some food that he can't eat. Couldn't even visit him in the hospital. All I could do was text him fishing reports and encourage him with thoughts of our next fishing trip. And pray.

Yesterday, though he is weak and exhausted, but slowly gaining strength, even his wife agreed that he needed fish therapy. So he and I, along with our other close friend, launched into the mid bay to find some fish for the first time in way too long. We went to an oyster bar where I had serendipitously found some Rock while I was Perch fishing last week. He caught a fish right away and I can't describe the look on his face - pure adrenalin. Right away he said it was huge! We knew better (it was about 24 inches) but we were so happy for him. We caught a few more but it was slow so we went to the shorelines. (Those were the first fish we had caught jigging all year. They were in 13 to 15 feet of water.) Picked away at some 22 inch fish and one at 28 inches. Hot as blazes, fishing was slow, and he was tired so we did not push too hard (like we usually do). Finished up at sunset back on the oyster bar and he caught a few more up to 24 inches and the day was done.

Note: We were fishing barbless, reeled fish quickly to the boat and released without leaving the water. Water temp was 87. Felt a little bad about it so won't be fishing for a while.

Sorry, no pictures this trip

Fish therapy indeed - I feel MUCH better.

Pat
Good man! That's what we do for our friends
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thank You!

I am getting confident that my friend will stick around. And I am very grateful for that. I am sure many of you have lost fishing buddies and, I will tell you one thing for sure, they are up there urging you on to get out there, make a cast, and get your fish therapy.

Pat
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Jason Russ passed away. He was a superstar friend and a world class human being. I will be stepping away from this space for a little while to get myself together. Please pray for his family.

Pat
Water Sky Vertebrate Fisherman Lake
 

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That's terrible Pete. I have lost five good friends and a Sister in the past year. It's hard to swallow and you just can't believe they are gone forever. Surround yourself with friends, family and memories right now. You, Jason and family are in my thought and prayers. It does get easier as time goes on. Think of him often, talk to him and think of all the good times you had together. You will see him again..........Gary
 
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