With Spring somewhere in the near future anglers are getting anxious for the upcoming deep sea fishing season.  Early to mid spring is spawning season for haddock as well as cod and fishermen flock to the coast in hope of catching fresh fish for family and friends.

Look for the haddock around mid April and the inshore cod around mid May to mid June. light stiff tipped rods such as the  Ugly stick Tiger, small fast retrieve reels such as a Daiwa 40 Saltiga loaded with braid line are the ticket over the old fashioned and heavy meat sticks with their Penn 4/0 mono loaded reels.  Years ago the only alternative to mono was Dacron, which was great for deep water as long as the tide wasn’t a factor because of the drag on the large diameter cloth line. Modern day braid is strong, sensitive

Spring cod

Spring cod

last june

last june

Early June

Early June

a happy camper

a happy camper

, and ultra thin making it far superior to mono in deep water. I prefer the Power Pro in 50 pound test. I splice on about 50 feet of 40 pound test mono for stretch factors when fighting a fish. This rod, reel, and line combo allows fishermen to feel the bite as well as set the hook when fishing in deep water, (150-450 feet).

I make my own double rigs using 6-0 hooks above the sinker around 12-16 inches apart. For sinkers I like as light as possible,( another reason for the braid line) from 6 0z. up to 16 oz.

For hooks I like the sharp semi-circle Eagle Claw or Owner in 5/0 to 6/0 size.

As haddock are a extreme bottom feeding fish sometimes the Florida style of rig will work. This is a single hook on a 12-18 inch mono leader attached to the mainline with a snap swivel. above the swivel the mainline is run through an egg sinker to allow it to slide. Circle hooks are best. The trick with this rig is to let the fish run with the bait for a short distance before snaping the bail shut to set the hook. Let the fish hook itself with a circle hook, do not yank on it.


The highwayman

This is English, but always makes me think of revolution era western Mass.

The Highwayman
The wind was a torrent of darkness upon the gusty trees,
The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,
The road was a ribbon of moonlight looping the purple moor,
And the highwayman came riding–
The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn door.

He’d a French cocked hat on his forehead, and a bunch of lace at his chin;
He’d a coat of the claret velvet, and breeches of fine doe-skin.
They fitted with never a wrinkle; his boots were up to his thigh!
And he rode with a jeweled twinkle–
His rapier hilt a-twinkle–
His pistol butts a-twinkle, under the jeweled sky.

Over the cobbles he clattered and clashed in the dark inn-yard,
He tapped with his whip on the shutters, but all was locked and barred,
He whistled a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there
But the landlord’s black-eyed daughter–
Bess, the landlord’s daughter–
Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.

Dark in the dark old inn-yard a stable-wicket creaked
Where Tim, the ostler listened–his face was white and peaked–
His eyes were hollows of madness, his hair like mouldy hay,
But he loved the landlord’s daughter–
The landlord’s black-eyed daughter;
Dumb as a dog he listened, and he heard the robber say:

“One kiss, my bonny sweetheart; I’m after a prize tonight,
But I shall be back with the yellow gold before the morning light.
Yet if they press me sharply, and harry me through the day,
Then look for me by moonlight,
Watch for me by moonlight,
I’ll come to thee by moonlight, though hell should bar the way.”

He stood upright in the stirrups; he scarce could reach her hand,
But she loosened her hair in the casement! His face burnt like a brand
As the sweet black waves of perfume came tumbling o’er his breast,
Then he kissed its waves in the moonlight
(O sweet black waves in the moonlight!),
And he tugged at his reins in the moonlight, and galloped away to the west.

He did not come in the dawning; he did not come at noon.
And out of the tawny sunset, before the rise of the moon,
When the road was a gypsy’s ribbon over the purple moor,
The redcoat troops came marching–
King George’s men came marching, up to the old inn-door.

They said no word to the landlord; they drank his ale instead,
But they gagged his daughter and bound her to the foot of her narrow bed.
Two of them knelt at her casement, with muskets by their side;
There was Death at every window,
And Hell at one dark window,
For Bess could see, through her casement, the road that he would ride.

They had bound her up at attention, with many a sniggering jest!
They had tied a rifle beside her, with the barrel beneath her breast!
“Now keep good watch!” and they kissed her. She heard the dead man say,
“Look for me by moonlight,
Watch for me by moonlight,
I’ll come to thee by moonlight, though Hell should bar the way.”

She twisted her hands behind her, but all the knots held good!
She writhed her hands till her fingers were wet with sweat or blood!
They stretched and strained in the darkness, and the hours crawled by like years,
Till, on the stroke of midnight,
Cold on the stroke of midnight,
The tip of one finger touched it! The trigger at least was hers!

The tip of one finger touched it, she strove no more for the rest;
Up, she stood up at attention, with the barrel beneath her breast.
She would not risk their hearing, she would not strive again,
For the road lay bare in the moonlight,
Blank and bare in the moonlight,
And the blood in her veins, in the moonlight, throbbed to her love’s refrain.

Tlot tlot, tlot tlot! Had they heard it? The horse-hooves, ringing clear;
Tlot tlot, tlot tlot, in the distance! Were they deaf that they did not hear?
Down the ribbon of moonlight, over the brow of the hill,
The highwayman came riding–
The redcoats looked to their priming! She stood up straight and still.

Tlot tlot, in the frosty silence! Tlot tlot, in the echoing night!
Nearer he came and nearer! Her face was like a light!
Her eyes grew wide for a moment, she drew one last deep breath,
Then her finger moved in the moonlight–
Her musket shattered the moonlight–
Shattered her breast in the moonlight and warned him–with her death.

He turned, he spurred to the West; he did not know who stood
Bowed, with her head o’er the casement, drenched in her own red blood!
Not till the dawn did he hear it, and his face grew grey to hear
How Bess, the landlord’s daughter,
The landlord’s black-eyed daughter,
Had watched for her love in the moonlight, and died in the darkness there.

Back, he spurred like a madman, shrieking a curse to the sky,
With the white road smoking behind him and his rapier brandished high!
Blood-red were his spurs in the golden noon, wine-red was his velvet coat
When they shot him down in the highway,
Down like a dog in the highway,
And he lay in his blood in the highway, with the bunch of lace at his throat.

And still on a winter’s night, they say, when the wind is in the trees,
When the moon is a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,
When the road is a gypsy’s ribbon looping the purple moor,
The highwayman comes riding–
The highwayman comes riding, up to the old inn-door.

Over the cobbles he clatters and clangs in the dark inn-yard,
He taps with his whip on the shutters, but all is locked and barred,
He whistles a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there
But the landlord’s black-eyed daughter–
Bess, the landlord’s daughter–
Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.

Alfred Noyes

On A Cold Winters Night

As I sit and write I am enjoying one of my favorite things in life, a vodka martini. This one is a special one, a jalapeno martini. I simply pour vodka over the rocks and add two Trappeys pickled whole jalapeno peppers, then add a dollop of the juice and stir. This is a VERY spicy drink, be careful.

This morning before running off to work I threw together some venison meatballs and a mushroom 143437819_cc4134aeb3sauce in the slow cooker and set it on low. Tonight when I walked in the door I was greeted with the sweet aroma of meatballs and sauce cooking. MMMMMM, I can’t wait for dinner.

The week-end looms, there are a number of people to get out and see. This has been a bad year for folk getting sick. The sweet essence of the forthcoming golden years. Warm weather is predicted, as warm as 40 degrees can be, I ‘d rather be in Fiji. Maybe I’ll dump off some goodies for the deer to eat.

Here’s a meal to make you happy on Valentines Day.

Twin baked stuffed lobsters surrounding a Chateaubriand with all the veggies surrounding the platter. Side of Bearnaise sauce, and full tilt boogie on the melted butter! Lobsters are stuffed with a crab meat stuffing made with Ritz crackers, butter, finely chopped onions and dry sherry wine.

Off to a good movie on video, Pulp Fiction, a couple of beers and into Ga-Ga land.


this is an actual marine engine in use –

what's in your charter boat?

what's in your charter boat?

– actually I had just started to refurbish and clean up this ‘ole gal. Notice the alternator is missing on the left side. There was a steering pump just forward of it also. They both were sent out to be rebuilt. I replaced all the belts and hoses in the front of this engine, and also brushed and cleaned everything up before re-installing the rebuilt parts. This mess was the result of years of neglect.