Thoughts from the Porch (fluke edition)…

Thoughts from the Porch (fluke edition)…

red yellow and black bouy on body of water during daytime
Photo by on

I was perusing the fish section of my local Wegman’s supermarket today, and they had Fluke, now Fluke is often referred to as “summer flounder” and is a very east coast thing, especially this time of year as they migrate close to shore abandoning their deep ocean homes, because like everything in jersey, it flocks to the shore in the summer, even the damn fish… I haven’t seen Fluke in a while, maybe I wasn’t quite looking, or maybe happening upon it today was just a fluke… they remind me of summer, day boating, or as we more common in these parts referred to them as “party boats”, you can do the math, but suffice it to say they were quite lax on allowing libations as stowaways, hell, you could not even spell “fishing charter” without ‘beer’, I must say the night boat trips were rather interesting, so yeah, I used to fish for Fluke as a kid, one of those very summer memories even though you can fish for them year round surely, I recall the party boats were with friends, but I remember the times with my dad more vividly, on my uncle’s boat, I don’t even recall how old I was, but the whole routine, getting on the boat not falling in, untying the ropes and such, the shiny white surfaces, chugging out slowly out of the marina, stopping at the gas station dock for fuel, food and bait-fish, eventually picking up a little speed out of the harbor, passing sandy hook, then skipping along the water until whatever destination was chosen was met, casting out our lines, catching mostly sea robins, and the occasional fluke, large enough to keep and then consume, that feeling when as the smallest person on board and you catch the catch of the day, the biggest fish, not often but sometimes, following the seagulls around as they spot schools, casting out to catch some blues among the frenzy, spending the whole day on the water, hours not mattering, starting at sunrise and finishing near sunset, all in a blink, I so romanticize it now, forgetting the work, getting up before dawn (ahem, not my specialty, ever), scrubbing everything down on the boat, the slime of the fish on your hands, the gunk on your shirt and shorts, that time my brother was unloading the catch and picked up my fish (the champ, the trophy of the day) and dropped it… back into the water, right by the dock, my heart swam away with the fish I lost, the rank old dead fish odor of the fillet station on the dock, the errant old scales all about like shiny little plates on a tangled fishing line wind chime, gutting the fish, evisceration of organs, the seagulls and shore birds in a veritable orgy of gore that they found so tasty as we threw the scraps and bits into the water next to the moored boat, and then becoming the bearer of a proud ziploc of perfect triangles of fish, to be had later as a reward or frozen – never seen from again… but my immediate recollection was all the positive things, and maybe just maybe that should be my focus when experiencing life, as it seems that is what we most remember anyway, there must be a reason for this, some biological thing I suppose, I doubt that it is just… a fluke…

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