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New England Regional Fishing with Tim Coleman | Soundings Online Column

A good charter captain can be a tricky catch

Zach HarveyFriends and I for years have jokingly referred to those who’ve chosen to grind our living out of the sea as “misfit toys,” a square-peg navy on a round-hole ocean. In my own career arrangement as a writer-fisherman, I have spent literally thousands of hours on a multitude of charterboats across a significant stretch of the Atlantic Seaboard to gather supporting evidence.

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A picture and the thousand words it summoned

Zach HarveyThe cold, hard facts of the case made mine a difficult position to defend. It happened thus.

When my wife entered the living room I was yelling at the back cover of a magazine. She asked what was going on, a look of minor concern on her face, at which point I flipped the magazine over, revealing — this is where I blew any chance I might have had of mounting a rational defense — a boat advertisement. Not a fiery op-ed, not a back-page column laden with typos that tend to send me into orbit, not one of my own pieces edited badly or run with the wrong byline. An ad.

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Live bait: unfair advantage or labor-intensive art form?

As Charley Soares noses the bow of his 18-foot skiff toward the edge of the boulder field, I glance quickly at the near-2-pound scup dangling from a treble at the working end of my line and brace my knees under the coaming in preparation for what I know will be an ugly lob, at best.

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Scout out some new spots before the season starts

A problem with scouting is that it often requires you to tune out the gut-level instinct for instant action.

Zach HarveyTournament winners separate themselves from the chumps who run up the first-place payouts by demystifying the quest to put fish in the boat.

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Nautical know-how: a game of learning by doing

Zach Harvey"Fish on, starboard bow,” Capt. Rusty Benn announces over the loud hailer. I set down my fillet knife, hustle across the stern and dash up the rail, determined to be standing on-scene, gaff in hand, before the fearless leader can issue a second broadcast.

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Tim Coleman

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.


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