Fishing in Jupiter
May 10th, 2010
Well, I was down in West Palm last weekend attending, my son, Giddeon‘s wedding. It wasn’t much of a fishing trip nor a streamside tale of caught fish but an enjoyable weekend none the less.
The Sunday wedding was upon the beach sand of the Florida coast with the reception in an open air pavilion up the stairs from the wedding sight overlooking the ocean. There was a cool ocean breeze, Sunday, which kept the pure sunshine rays from being scorching hot. The waves rolled in upon the beach and against some sandstone rock formations just up from the wedding sight. The wedding was wonderful and the beach and ocean setting made for an event to always remember.
I did, no doubt, want to fish the ocean with my son but being with the wedding and all I wasn’t sure it would happen or be proper. Everyone else was leaving Florida on Monday to go back home but I elected to leave not until Tuesday in hopes of fishing some. I found out that Giddeon’s friend Adam, who drove up from Chattanooga, also wanted to do some ocean fishing.
After the Pen’s game Monday, with the new wife’s permission, Giddeon called Adam and told him where to meet us for an evening of fishing.
It was dark as we entered the Jupiter Park parking area. From the parking area I wheeled a cooler of refreshments and carried the short ocean rod I was to use. Giddeon filled a back pack with a small tackle box and a few other needed gear along with long sleeve shirts. He grabbed the longer surf rod in the back of his truck and we waited for Adam to collect his gear and the small cooler of bait. I noticed his ocean rod was a bit thicker and longer than Giddeon’s. From the parking area we proceeded out along the cement pier walkway away from the beach. The railed wall to our left separated the pier from the man made inlet channel that connected the intercoastal waterway to the ocean. This is a wide deep thoroughfare for yachts and boats to maneuver easily to the ocean from their inner coastal docks.
Out at the end of the pier I found the ocean wind was to be a constant forceful unkind bit of company through our late night dark evening. The dark cloud cover was only noticeable by a thin outline of dim light of the hidden moon. Looking out into the ocean white bubbly waves would rise, tumble and disappear before ever reaching us at the end of the pier. Nearer we would watch the undercurrent create a new set of waves that roared and crashed against the huge boulders that sat between the full body ocean and the end of the cement pier.
‘Even if we did catch fish,’ I thought, ‘it would be a challenge to get the fish up out of the darkness and over or between those huge boulders.’ I guess we still had to catch the fish first though before worrying about the outcome.
I stood holding the shortest ocean rod as my son prepared the offering. He made a loop in the 30lb test line and connected a double eyed swivel to this. In the light of his headlamp I could see he was having trouble with this with his big stubby thumbs.
“I could do that with my eyes closed” I razzed him a bit.
To this he attached a leader and then a combination duel hook. The hook shank of one of the big hooks was through the eye of the other hook of the same size. He reached into a plastic bag and pulled out a 6” to 8” long frozen sardine.
There I stood watching, educationally, holding the rod while he baited my hook. It was if the roles were now reversed from his first days of fishing with me in his youth. He was now showing me what he had learned and now teaching me how it’s done. It brought back memories, that’s for sure!
With a heavy round weighted sinker, I reared back the thick rod and stepped into my forward cast, letting go of the line. Line peeled off the spinning reel and through the large rod eyes. Somewhere in the darkness, upon the ocean, I heard a kerplunk. I waited a second or two before closing the spool and than reeled in some line until I felt the heavy weight upon the bottom of the ocean floor.
“This is boring fishing” Giddeon commented as he sat upon one of the huge boulder tops against the pier. He knows well that I am a stream fisherman, liking the movement of ‘search and find’ that he even grew accustomed too in our trout fishing journeys together.
The evening drew on as I watched the white waves appear and disappear in the distant sea. Waves rolled into and along the inlet channel constantly with no rhythm or pattern. Occasionally a big wave would crash against the huge boulders and a rush of water would rise into the air. The ocean wind would catch this rising water and spray a salty mist upon the pier.
Other waves would tumble and roll shoreward causing a constant rumble to be heard. They would break just before the shoreline emptying their waters up against the sand bubbling and foaming. The final push of water skimmed upon the sandy beach then receded back into another small wave of water.
I’d watch my 28 year old son heave the heavy rod towards the ocean time and again. I watched when he baited his hooks with either sardines or shrimp. I eventually baited my own hooks when I needed to. I’d light up a Macanudo Maduro leaf Ascot from time to time and drink a beer as the time passed by.
I either sat upon the wall rail or stood upon the cement pier on the ocean side of the rail keeping hold of my rod. Giddeon and Adam would maneuver around the pier and atop the boulders casting out and than relaxing waiting anxiously for a bite. Adam finally hooked into something big but it broke his line shortly after he tried to reel it in. Just after that Giddeon had hooked into a fish also. He had first thought he had a snag as he tried dislodging the sunken hook. The line all of a sudden went slack. He started reeling in the line when the line all of a sudden tightened and the rod bent and line shot out of the reel and rod eyes into the darkness. The line finally broke with the suddenness of it all. When he got the rest of the line in he could feel the abrasions upon the line and figured the snag he thought he had at first could have been a shark.
My own fishing consisted of reeling in my bait where the sardine’s stomach was eaten out or I was just left with the sardines head on the end of the hook and no fish to show for it. I was told there were crabs in the water and most likely were feeding on my offering.
We fished into the night until about 1:00am. The wind got stronger and the waves bigger. I looked at my son now and then wondering when he and Adam were ready to call it quits.
I sit here now remembering watching my son Giddeon sit there upon the boulder, his baseball cap on backwards, as he looked out into the ocean. I remember watching his muscular frame and broad shoulders each time he would cast the heavy thick ocean rod. It brings me back, recalling, when I would watch his small boyish broad shoulder frame casting and sitting along the bank of a small trout stream here in Pennsylvania.
The time spent with him that evening wasn’t just about fishing at all!