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Reel Tails

Fish Gut Friday

Delmarva Outdoor Expo
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Me holding a big pond bluegill and there are two on the cleaning board

Fish Gut Friday
By Suzanne Martin


So Rich has asked me to produce another Fish Gut Friday story, great … I really have no fish guts to report of.  While it looks like boat fishing for Sea Bass and Taug has been awesome, and a few stripers  have been caught mostly off boats, and a few in the surf, I personally have not been out fishing much the past few weeks due to work, and preparing for the holidays, so what does a girl have to write about?

I have a wood stove and I have to get up to add wood at about 3 AM every night.  This morning I was waiting for it to warm up so I could close the draft.  I looked up at the ceiling of my basement at the many rods that hang there , all of them from my childhood, and thought of the stories they could tell.  I really can not remember the first  time I had a fishing rod in my hand, or that first cast, I was that young. I do know that it was a push button release, on a light fresh water rod.  The first cast was most likely on the pond I live on now with my Grandma Martin directing me. I would catch Blue Gills, and Bass all day, releasing most of them, and keeping a few larger ones for dinner. My grandmother had me cleaning fish most likely before I was in kindergarden.  I will never forget how intimidating the next rod was, the dreaded flip bail. It would sit there while I would grab the push button, and grandma would encourage me to just give it a try.

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Fishing the house pond with Dad I was 3 years old

I can remember exactly where I was standing when I “got it“.  I thought I was a badass five year old with that flip bail reel. I used that rod many years for bass and trout .  When my son was little, my grandpa’s old fly rod turned up in my hands some how. I would put Jonathan in the stroller and go out and work with this fly rod at the house pond.  I realize this sounds like a sure trip to the emergency room, a baby, a fly rod, and inexperience.  To this day, some how the boy still has two eyes, and was not hooked, at least not by me.  I was very touched when a few years ago my son gave me a fly rod for Christmas to encourage me to try it again.  Now I will not say I am good at it, but at the first break of spring when the pond starts to get active.  I find it relaxing, and once I get back into the grove , even catch a few fish.


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Fishing off the dock

I remember the days when casting a surf rod straight was a challenge, not to say that I still don’t cross a line, on a July afternoon on Cape, but it has greatly improved from 10 yrs ago. A few weeks ago I added a new rod to the collection, a small rod with a little bait caster on it, for those little fish in the surf, and maybe the pond.  Now I can throw three quarter to one-ounce Hopkins or Kastmasters . Thanks to Barney for getting us “hooked” on your set up!  I blame you for my gift to myself! I look forward to getting used to it, and falling in love all over again, just like I did with the flip bail many years ago. I hope my Grandma Martin is watching.   She was quiet the character.


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Suzanne Martin snatching up her bluefish during a surf fishing tournament.

A quick Christmas story from the past.  I was seven or eight years old, it was Christmas morning.  I received  a Ken doll from Santa, I was so happy!  When Grandma arrived at our house to spend the day with us, I ran up to her and handed her Ken, “Look what I got grandma!” She looked him over, and the preceded to drop his pants! I was sort of shocked, and asked,  “Grandma,what are you doing?” Her response, ” I just wanted to see what he had”……this might explain some of my “issues”                                                                                                                                                       May this Holiday Season be Peaceful for everyone, with loved ones, a warm hearth, laughter, awesome food, and good drinkys! Give a child, or a loved one, a gift that will inspire them for a lifetime, but most of all, give them your time, patience , and memories, it is what they will remember when they look back on their life, at 3am , while feeding the woodstove.

Fish Gut Friday

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