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Tuckernuck blues


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Mark Stephens caught these blues in a fast rip at the northwest corner of Tuckernuck when we paddled there from Muskeget last fall. The large school was feeding about four feet from shore, leaping out of the rip like popcorn popping in a pan without a lid. Mark caught these two from shore.

We then threw a piece of wood into the water parallel to the stern of Mark's beached kayak. Using a one-one-thousand, two-one-thousand count and a formula Mark lifted from Dowd, we counted how many seconds it took the block of wood to float the length of Mark's boat. I think we calculated the current at 3.75 knots, less a comment on our abilities than on the remarkable strength and power of these fish. They hurled themselves around in this rip for a quarter of an hour, chasing sand eels. When pulled seaward by the current, they regrouped and surged shoreward again.

Mark had capsized earlier in this rip with a fish on. He rolled, blinked, and landed the fish.

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