Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Beach Trip, Part II - Fishing

No trip to Ocean City with a 9 year old boy would be complete without a fishing trip or three. Left to his devices, my son would fish all 7 days and skip the beach entirely. However, because of random acts of violence, we prefer that an adult be with him at all times and we don't feel like fishing all day every day.

The Believe in Tomorrow Foundation provides activities for visiting families and this trip they provided fishing on the bay. We were told to be at the Ocean Pines Yacht Club at 9am, so we promptly arrived at 9:07am. There were 3 families going fishing and thus 3 boats. Our captain was Captain John and first mate Tim, but we called him Captain Tim. Both are firefighters, though I'm not sure if that was their full-time job or just volunteers.

Captain John piloted a pontoon boat that seats about 6 or 7. Since there were 7 of us, I'll say it seated 7. We ferried out of Ocean Pines along the eastern edge of the bay, though I'm not sure if it is considered Isle of Wight Bay or Big Assawoman Bay, though according to Wikipedia, the universal source of factual information, says that 'Big Assawoman' is a tongue in cheek reference to the body of water.

Captain John gave us a tour of the big water-front houses, many of which I fantasize that I own. Check out this series of houses. Which one do you want?

We then made our way to the U.S. Route 50 draw bridge, then over to Assateague. I loved the sounds of cars going across the drawbridge as we passed underneath. Brrrr......brrrrr.....brrrrr.... This bridge was constructed in 1942. This bridge is now almost 70 years old. How do you feel about crossing it? The current plan is to replace it in 2035, only 24 years away!

We saw this interesting partially sunken ship. Apparently the owner does not have the necessary insurance nor the funds to raise the boat, so I guess he's waiting for nature to decompose the entire ship. Having toured the shores of Baltimore's harbor and seen other sunken ships, I would expect this decomposition to take over 100 years.

We then found some inbred ponies munching on the salt water grasses along the shore. The pony on the left is checking out his Aunt Sister Mom in the center.

By now my son is getting irritated and asking when we are going to fish. I think he's worried that this is turning into a boat trip rather than a fishing trip. We finally head back north of the U.S. Route 50 bridge and drop some lines. It's not too long before my oldest daughter lands the first fish. I soon follow, then I follow with another, then finally (gasp of relief) my son catches one, too. Altogether we caught 9 flounder and several crabs. Unfortunately, they were all too small to keep. However, I did have the honor of catching the largest flounder at 16". A keeper is 18". Captain John said that a keeper is caught about once a week.

Check out this commercial fishing pontoon boat in the background. Great name!

We finally wrapped up and headed back to Ocean Pines. Captain John and Captain Tim were gracious hosts and would accept nothing more than a hand-shake. Thank you Captain John, Captain Tim, and Believe in Tomorrow for this wonderful opportunity!

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