The alarm usually goes off around 3:00 a.m., signaling it is time to grab the gear, brush the teeth and head out for a daytrip to what has been some solid fishing for cod, haddock, pollock and more over the last few seasons.
Blessed with a lot of friends with boats, I’ve been fortunate enough to fish over the years with people like Dave Jermain aboard his 26-foot Strike, Jimmy The Greek on his 31-foot Sea Vee, Pete Shea with a his beautiful 36-foot Mitchell Cove and the Admiral Emeritus himself, 42-foot Wesmac. All leave from Manchester to Gloucester to the Annisquam River, bound for what has been full coolers of great eating fish, in some cases not far from the dock.
This flies in the face of recent stock news from National Marine Fisheries Service in Gloucester but that’s the way of it. I leave it for you to decide what factors are at work but, in the meanwhile, we get back to the task at hand: what to bring if you fish for cod on somebody else’s boat?
TOOLS OF THE TRADE
All the following fit nicely into the canvas carryalls available at lot of larger marine supply stores. These bags take a lot of knocking around, last for years, requiring only cleaning with cleanser and bleach to keep the mold at bay.
Besides jigs, I also tote around a small plastic box with extra teasers of various kinds, spare treble hooks, swivels and single hooks to replace the trebles if we stop on a wreck. The single hooks cut down a bit on the loss of gear. Other items include a spare set of glasses and sunglasses, sunblock of at least 50 spf, a small tube of Neosporin for knife cuts and some bandages to pure over same. There is also a small tube of Icy Hot, a cream for aging wrists and forearms after a long day of jigging, plus a small bottle of aspirin.
There are also some sinkers and a few bait rigs for haddock fishing along with pair of cutting pliers, hook file and small scissors to cut braid. I also carry 50-pound mono to tie leaders for both jig and bait rigs. An additional small plastic container holds 80-pound mono for tuna leaders and butterfly jigs in case some school bluefin pop up our boat in the warmer months.Over the last three years, we’ve landed a 70-pounder on a cod jig and, on another trip, fought a bigger tuna that also grabbed a cod jig tossed into the middle of some fish breaking not 100 feet off our starboard side as we drifted quietly along east of Stellwagen Bank—you just never know!