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Castle Neck, Sat. 6/7/03


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My girlfriend Montserrat and I went up to Pavillion's beach on Saturday for an attempted circumnavigation of Castle Neck. I was very clever to print up a good chart of the area and to use it to plan the route. I figured if we put in a few hours before low tide, we could fight the outgoing tide just a wee bit to get behind Castle Neck and then ride what was left of the ebb out the other end to get to Coffins Beach. then we could paddle across Crane's and then ride the flood back to the put-in.

Well these plans were dead WRONG as there wasn't nearly enough water so close to low tide to get behind Castle Neck. So instead we went back out of the sound and into the open ocean and then paddled along Crane's beach. I was surprised at the amount of boat traffic: there were numerous powerboats and fishing boats out there and, also quite a few kayakers too! Later in the day, I heard the angry buzzing sound far off in the distance (not unlike a cloud of locusts) that signifies the arrival of jet ski season.

We went along Crane's beach, watching the terns diving for small fish along the way. We did some rescue practice and also surfed some small waves along the way. There were also quite a few fisherman wading out on the flats so on the way back, I hauled out my fishing rod and got Montserrat trolling away. We'd look for groups of diving terns, figuring that there might be some stripers feeding on the same baitfish as the terns were. Sure enough, as we approached a group of diving birds, I started seeing the tell-tale swirls of larger stripers lurking below. I told Montserrat to get ready as we were "amongst 'em". Sure enough, after just a few moments, I saw the pole dancing frantically away and I told Montserrat to paddle over to me so I could get the pole out of its holder. She said "I can't" as the large striper on the other end pulled her away from me. I got over there, got the pole in her hands and she reeled in a huge striped bass. I lipped the fish and measured it (26", just 2" short of being a keeper) and so I let it go. still, not a bad fish for Montserrat's first (she'd never gone fishing before).

After we got back to Pavillion, the heavens opened up with yet more rain for our parched state of Massachusetts. Well, it wouldn't be a paddling trip without rain I guess. Still, it was a great trip!


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