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Home » PEOPLE AND PLACES » MAINE » Fishing New England
Fishing New England

By Michael F. Bisceglia, Jr. | October 21, 2014

I read someplace that the definition of a fisherman is “a jerk at one end of a line waiting for a jerk at the other.”

Okay, so call me a jerk.   I truly love fishing. I love fishing New England.   I love it even when I get skunked.   (It’s a lot better, however, to catch something).

Weather doesn’t bother me.   Just let me give a body of water with the possibility of something lurking underneath, and I’m a happy camper . . . more aptly, a happy fisherman.

I haven’t fished all of New England.   That prospect, alone, gives me a reason to live a long, long time.   There are lots of bodies of water in this blessed region, and so many of them have lunkershunkering (alliteration intended) near the bottom just waiting for me to toss in a line.

It would be nearly impossible and cause tremendous raging debates if I were to state boldly, “I know the best place to fish in all of the six state region.” Here, the argument would begin.   Best how? Most fish? Biggest fish? Most scenic? Cleanest air? Place where the best times may be had? Uh-uh, not me.   I’m not going down that bear trail.   Suffice to say, from northernmost Maine to southernmost Connecticut, there is some kind of fishing to please just about everyone.   (Sorry, there’s always someone out there who is not pleased by anything).

Let’s start with the big pond to the east . . . the Atlantic Ocean.   How do you want to fish it? From shore? From a jetty? From a dingy? A trawler? For my money, no fish tastes better than a fish pulled out of the North Atlantic.   From the Gulf of Maine, to Buzzard’s Bay, to Narragansett Bay, it’s a great place to fish.   Cod, haddock, blue, flounder.   The list goes on and on.   What a treat!

My wife and I took a charter boat excursion for some mackerel fishing.   What an amazing day! Believe it or not, not one of us on board used bait.   Almost as fast as we could drop a line in the water, a fish came out.   In the matter of a few hours, all of the ice chests were filled.

And, in no particular order, there’s stream fishing, lake fishing, and ice fishing. I will admit, I haven’t tried sitting by a hole in the ice waiting for hungry fish (see definition), but I’m game. I’ll try anything once. Twice, if I get lucky.

Like most fishermen, I have some great stories to tell about the big one that got away.   Mine are different; mine are true.   I don’t want to regale you with all of them, Let me just share one.

An elderly gentleman neighbor and I went fishing in the Wachusett Reservoir in central Massachusetts.   We were going after horned pout (catfish, to you non-New Englanders). Yours truly was not having any luck, while my neighbor was wearing out his wrist reeling them in.   He was filling a bucket, while I practiced my cursing.

Suddenly, I had a bite- nothing spectacular, just a slight tug.   I began to crank, but there was no resistance.   The old man and I laughed at my bad luck, until the fish broke water.   It was huge - a land-locked northern pike, and over three feet long.   It flew out of the water like a surface-to-air missile, and promptly knocked over the old man’s bucket of fish.   The monster and all of the escapees made it safely back into the water, while Mr. Chuckles and I tried to pick ourselves out of the dirt.   No last laugh.   No fish.   But what a great time.

In New England, bodies of water are nearly as plentiful as maple leaves.   Next to a great book, and a bowl of fine tobacco, I can’t think of a more relaxing way to spend a few hours than by fishing. I wonder if that lurking lunker in Wachusett is still yukking it up with his cronies telling his version of my fishing story.

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