Beach Fishing Blues

I can remember reading The Rime of the Ancient Mariner at some point during my school career. Honestly, the only thing I remember from the long poem was the line that everyone else remembers: Water, water, everywhere and all the boards did shrink; Water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink.

Each year I spend a week at the beach with my family. This year, the destination is St. Augustine, Florida. My mom and dad have been giving my brother and sister (and their spouses) a hand herding my four wild nephews and this year, they have a new task — getting my two newborn nieces to go to sleep and stop crying. Needless to say, there is a lot going on and since I’m unencumbered, I have plenty of time to slip out and cast to my hearts content in the surf. The problem I am facing is: The surf is frikken huge, the current is raging and the beach is jam packed with kite flying kids, shell collecting geezers and health conscious joggers.

Making a backcast is like getting a drink at an overcrowded, understaffed sports bar. I try and politely wait my turn but I know as well as anyone, when cheap beer is evolved, there is little hope for order. To get served, you have to be aggressive. I stand in the booming surf and try to wait for a hole between all the tourists but nobody cares — nor do they seem concerned by the fact that at the end of my line is a very sharp hook.

I’m feeling like the Ancient Mariner right now. As of this moment, I’m surrounded by salt water but it’s virtually un-fly-fishable. Is it time to break down the 8-weight and rent a surfboard?