“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.
If you’re like me, you rely on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to see who among your friends and colleagues is catching all the fish. Keep up this intel-gathering activity with any regularity, and you’ll see patterns emerge.
If you’ve logged even a modest number of hours kicking around the docks, monkeying around in the basement with terminal tackle or keeping track of who’s been catching what around the marina, you’ve no doubt run across one of fishing’s more widely accepted nuggets of wisdom: “Ten percent of the fishermen catch 90 percent of the fish.”
I don’t remember the oyster stew itself — just the raw materials in the fridge, the sight of Mom leaning over a copper-bottomed pot at the stove, meticulously stirring the milky broth clear of a boil-over, and the smell of savory broth against a crisp olfactory backdrop of fresh-cut balsam or blue spruce from the living room.
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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.