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rockfish and rice

Even a small rockfish makes a tasty dish.

Howdy everyone! The seasonal rains of fall and winter are here and with it the wind and the giant man-eating ocean swells. 'Tis the season of wave watching at Shore Acres State Park! It's just the beginning mind you, and there will be much bigger and better weather events to come as the season continues.

We've been having stellar weather up until now with sunshine, warm weather, minimal winds and great fishing so I'm not really complaining, that much. I know it's not technically winter, but I do classify this as the first of the winter storms and I was standing right in the middle of it when the first part of it hit.

This past week Hunter and I decided to meet up early in the wee hours of the day and do some bay fishing off the bank. We usually do pretty good out there and this day held all sorts of promise with no rain and light wind as we greeted the sunrise. We parked the truck, readied our gear, and took up positions. That's when it happened. It was a light rain at first, then some wind, then a little more rain, then all the rain the sky could possibly muster with enough wind behind it to make it sting as it drove into our faces. Well, this was stupid.

We talked about taking a rain-check when I got a strike. It didn't hook up but that still meant fish were biting and that meant we stayed. A few more casts and we had fish in the bucket, a small one but it counted. About this time the wind had increased drastically and was so strong that we could barely hear one another from only 20 feet apart. Another measure of how strong the wind was is by what I now refer to as the “Basin Tackle eel grass velocity method of wind detection and measurement” or “btegvmowdam” for short. You pronounce it just as it is spelled. This method was discovered completely by accident and works as follows: When you have eel-grass stuck on your line and you peel it off of your lure and drop it to the ground the wind carries it in a straight horizontal line and smacks Hunter in the face. Depending on the language and utterances from Hunter you can determine how hard it hit him and from this you can gather wind direction and velocity.

My measurements indicated a velocity of “get out of here and go home” but, like, the fish were biting so that wasn't an option. A few more minutes and another fish joined our friend in the bucket but this one was much larger, we were definitely staying. It was somewhere around this time when a wave, well, more of a wall that a wave took up position and crashed in front of me. Let me state at this time that we were far away and high up from the potential of being sucked out to sea but not quite far enough for a few hundred gallons of sea water to come crashing on me. I was hit with so much water that my boots, which were laced tight were full of water. I'm still not completely certain how that works but it did. Salt water and fresh covered me from head to toe with a nice light layer of sand blowing off the rocks and sticking to me like a giant sugar-cookie. At this point my rain coat was holding in water instead of keeping it out.

With every Rob-drenching crash of the waves Hunter would laugh, between picking eel-grass off of himself of course. After some time passed and we couldn't catch another fish a wee bit of sanity took hold and we decided to call it a morning and head out. (If fish were still biting this “sanity” I speak of would have played no part) We shook off as much water as we could, threw our coats in the back of the truck, jumped in, and headed for home.

Within moments, not minutes, but moments of being in the truck the rain stopped and the wind subsided to a gentle breeze. Within 20 minutes there were blue patches in the sky. I'm not exaggerating even one tiny bit and with this sudden burst of nice weather I started to talk about turning around and going back but Hunter was the voice of reason and we continued on our way.

I ate those two fish for lunch on a bed of rice and savored every bite.

I know the calendar says otherwise but the beginning of winter season is here folks. There will be nice days in the mix but its time for dangerous road conditions, slippery rocks, flooding, and sneaker waves so I implore all of you to start using a little extra caution out there.

Whether y'all are out in the ocean on a nice day or on the shore on a bad one I hope to see you out there!

Rob Gensorek is the owner of Basin Tackle www.basintackle.netin the Charleston Marina and can be reached by phone at (541) 888-FISH, by Facebook at Basin Tackle Charleston, or e-mail at basin_tackle@yahoo.com. Robs fishing reports can be heard daily at 6:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. on KRSB Best Country 103 out of Roseburg and his Basin Tackle Outdoor Show can be heard Wednesdays at 3 p.m. on kwro.com. In addition to all this he sometimes actually gets out and catches a fish or two.

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