If there is one recipe that reliably yields top-flight fishermen — in terms of basic human traits, talents, root skills — I’m reasonably certain that a hard-wired scientific bent is the key ingredient.
Me? I’m a humanities guy. A creative type. A science guy might base his angling strategy on months and years of careful observation conducted with absolute objectivity and a highly systematic approach to technique.
Outside the charter fleet, where rigid schedules and the need to catch on command force captains to lean on high-percentage methods, you won’t find many anglers singing the praises of wire-line or downrigger slow-trolling. Nor will you encounter many casual anglers with a powerful urge to spend their free time monkeying around with cumbersome ground tackle.
“You see ’em?” asked Capt. Russ Benn, pointing at the slick-calm surface. I almost jumped out of my deck boots at the sight of at least a dozen large shadows, one of them the size of a compact car, speeding this way and that, down deep where daylight faded. Nearer the surface, the electric-blue backs of the tiny skipjack tuna I’d been watching swarmed, picking off the silvery bits of butterfish chum as they slid down-drift out of the hull’s shadow-line.
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Tim Coleman died May 3, in Weekapaug, R.I., doing what he loved to do best at that time of year: scouting the salt ponds and outer beaches for spring striped bass. He was an exceptional saltwater angler and a prolific writer. Thousands of readers lost an advocate and authentic storyteller for fishing in the Northeast, and anyone fortunate to have known Tim lost a good friend.