I was fortunate as a child to spend 2 weeks every summer at the home of my Grandparents. Our family would pack up the car, 4 kids and a dog and make the 2 hour drive from our home in New Jersey to the shores of Long Island. Our days would be spent at the ocean, running up and down the enormous dunes. Some days were spent poolside at home. My job in the early morning was to skim off whatever debris had landed in the pool overnight. The net I used was enormous in comparison with my 8 year old body. Its long pole unwieldy as I attempted to scoop the leaves from the water. I can remember the quiet of those mornings, the stillness of the water of the bay that surrounded the house. The excitement at finally getting that last leaf out of the pool, and running to the house to announce we were ready to go!
My grandfather owned a boat, so we usually would go out fishing with my Uncles at least once during our stay.
My Uncles would always put the bait on the line for us, and cast off, and when we felt a tug we knew to give a yell so they could help us reel in whatever had taken a bite. Usually it was a blowfish, or puffer fish, a small round fish weighing less than a pound. When caught they puff themselves up into a balloon shape. We would always throw them back. Sometimes we’d get a Rock Lobster, also to be thrown back. Then one day I felt a pretty strong tug on the line. I started to try to reel in whatever it was, but was having a hard time. My Uncle came to help and I remember the look on his face, it wasn’t so easy for him either. Whatever was on the other end of the line was putting up a good fight. Amazingly, as the fish broke the water, he realized it was a Blue Fish. I remember my Uncles, Grandfather & Father cheering, and saying Grandma would be happy when we got home as there was tonight’s dinner. Truth be told, I didn’t partake in dinner that night. My 8 year old self was a bit overwhelmed by all the commotion over my catch, and I felt a little bad for that fish. I recently came across this photo which reminded me of that eventful day, and some wonderful summer memories.