For Better or for Worse - The Fisherman

For Better or for Worse

Wedding day with sunset
Image by StockSnap – Pixabay

It was ever so obvious that my sister Sue and my best friend and fishing partner Gary were going to exchange wedding vows in the near future as the two had google eyes for each other since the day they met back in the mid ‘80s. You see, back in the ‘80s, I was big on surf fishing as was Gary, along with our buddies Doug and Andy. The four of us had beach vehicles with permits and we would take turns each fall weekend prowling Montauk’s shorelines. As for Sue, she quickly adapted to what life would be like married to a fisherman fishing on the weekends.  She was a good sport accepting the fact that Gary’s absence was only during the fall.

Then the day finally arrived, Gary proposed and it was time to set the wedding date. I mentioned to Sue that April is a great month for a wedding since the flowers are blooming and the temperature would be perfect for us guys in the wedding party being comfortable in our tuxes. Sue stared me down with a blank face for what seemed like forever when she suddenly burst into laughter and laughed so hard I thought she was going to give herself a stroke. “I know what you’re trying to do you s.o.b., you want me to have my wedding when it doesn’t interfere with your fishing season,” she stated. “Well let me tell you something buster, I plan to have my wedding in mid-October when the foliage is at its peak for my wedding pictures. And as for my reception, I saved up my spare change over the years to have it in a catering hall at Amagansett overlooking the ocean on a Saturday,” she added. Now, I didn’t know whether to pretend to jump for joy or call an ambulance for myself as I felt I was starting to hyperventilate and go into shock. “How can she do this to us, she knows it’s our time of year,” cried Andy as Doug, Andy and I treated Gary to a night out of bowling for his bachelor party since none of us were drinkers. “Gary why not talk to her and knock some sense into that brain of hers,” I suggested. “You kidding, you want to go to a wedding or a funeral,” replied Gary.

The big day finally arrived and the ceremony went off without a hitch. The limo ride to the reception hall is where we made our plan. “Okay our 4x4s are loaded for bear and once this thing is over, we’ll take the wives and girlfriend home, change clothes and catch a couple hours of the tide.” With the cocktail hour over and the guests directed into the reception room, the DJ introduced the wedding party, while Andy, Doug and I focused our attention outside the huge window overlooking the Atlantic. But it wasn’t the ocean that caught our eyes, it was the huge mass of birds wheeling overhead an incredible school of stripers feasting on a big pod of moss bunker just east of where we were standing. By the time everyone gathered around for the Hokey Pokey, Andy was rushing for the door. “Where you going?” I asked. “To my truck, grab my s**t, and slam some bass.” Andy said sternly. “But what about the reception for God sake, and you’re in your Tux,” I reminded Andy. “Except for you guys I don’t know anyone, nor do I plan to see any of them again. I’ll deal with the wives, but I may never see a bite like this again and as for the tux, it’ll dry,” Andy stated. By the time I got back to the reception, most of the guests along with the DJ were at the window, laughing and wondering who the guy fishing in the tux was. That’s Andy and he’s into a big fish. From where I stood that bass was all of 30 pounds. “Where you going Doug? Oh for God sake not you too, I have to return these tuxes in the morning, you guys are killing me.” I shouted. “They’re right in front and practically on the beach, I don’t care or even like these people, I’ll deal with the families later, but I am not missing out on this bite,” replied Doug. The attention was no longer on “the bride cuts the cake” but rather on the two guys in tuxedos wading out and releasing big bass. I walked over to Gary and Sue and told them they were catching moo bass. “Don’t even think about it, those two jackasses already ruined things for some stupid fish,” Sue cried. I replied, “Susan, I told you April was a great time for a wedding and you knew October was our time to fish. You coming Gary, I brought an extra stick in case of an emergency, and this is an emergency.”

Once the dust settled, the boys and I released close to 20 bass between 30 and 35 pounds. As for the rest of the wedding, Gary finally tracked down Sue at her girlfriend’s apartment and the two are still happily married today. As for those tuxedos, I placed the four in a tightly tied plastic bag, tossed them on the counter and made a run for it before the gentleman behind the counter could see what awaited in the bag. “Wait” was the terrorizing voice that echoed through my shivering body with fear. “Do you want your bag back?” he asked. I shook my head no and ran for my life.


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