My mom and dad stopped by Annapolis recently for a few days’ visit. Dad wanted to go fishing and Mom was interested in cooking and shopping with my wife, LisaMarie. Guilt-free fishing for me!
It could be a replay of the weekend where I caught and released over a dozen rockfish (I did manage to pull in one over 18-inches, which I kept). We feverishly cast our 3/8 oz. Kastmaster Fire Tiger’s, trying to get a few of these two-year-old striped bass to take our treble-hooked lures.
However, there was something else at play. We were hoping to break The Spell, bad luck that my dad has been suffering ever since he sold me his 26-year-old Steiger Craft fishing boat last September. His ‘fishing’ ability never waned, but his ‘catching’ ability waxed and was frustrating him.
During the Spring trophy season he lost a big fish only ten feet from the stern of the boat. The fish its head left to right, snapping the 50-pound test line (the GoPro video replay showed the whole thing, including the look of total disbelief on his face). To make matters worst, every few weeks when we went creek and river fishing, he wasn’t racking up what the family calls Big Category Numbers: first/last caught, biggest, largest variety, and — the most coveted — highest number caught.
Bottom line, he was sure he had some type of angler spell on him because he sold me his treasured boat.
My season had been pretty good, in fact I was happy with the amount of filets we had in the freezer; rockfish, perch, pickerel and catfish.
And then it happened. Dad snagged his first ‘Rock’ at the bridge. It was short of the required limit, but it broke it spell and we fished on.
Later that afternoon, I asked Dad if he would be interested in trying a new spot. He, of course, said, “Sure.”
This time we were going to be casting shoreline structure, such as fallen trees, rocks and tall river grasses. When he asked me the name of the creek, I said I wasn’t sure and didn’t see a name when I checked the chart. He said, “That’s odd, we should make one up.”
Instead, we spent the better of an hour-and-a-half shooting our lures in every crook and cranny we could find. It was great fun and we brought in quite a few keepers. I’d forgotten about Dad’s comment.
The next day, I invited LisaMarie’s brother, Dave, a frequent participant in our ‘on the water’ activities (and a great mate), my best friend Charlie and dad to join us for a morning expedition. We started out before 7am to a breezy, cool and cloudy morning. We made our way to the sewer pipe, just north of the eastern side of the western span.
By 8am the spot was crowded with recreational and charter boat captains looking for the elusive ‘keeper’ rockfish. After an hour and a half of chumming, we decided to jig the spots where dad and I were the day prior. Not even a bite on this day.
Dad said, “Let’s go where we were yesterday,” so off we went.
Once we arrived, Dave and Charlie were amazed at the beauty and serenity of this new fishing spot and we had a great time trash-talking each other’s fishing prowess. Then Dad made his announcement.
“I know what I want to name it.”
“Name what?” I asked.
“What?” I didn’t quite understand.
“I officially am naming it ‘Upschitz Creek,’ a good German name,” Dad declared.
I just looked at him incredulously, then smiled and thought, “I never know what to expect of this 80-plus year-old fisherman.”