FishTales 2018: The Rosh Hashanah Schvitz

A soggy nor’easter inaugurates the Days of Awe

RITUAL FISHING: LeeBob casts a line upon the moving waters

September 12, 2018: For Montauk surfcasters, the Jewish High Holy Days are the ceremonial start of the fall surfcasting season.  So, I ask you: this you call a beginning? What kind of chosen people choose wet, windy and wild weekends? Instead of the celebrated Rosh Hashanah “blitz”, we got a veritable Rosh Hashanah “schvitz”!

Not that we surfcasters haven’t suffered during past Jewish New Years: 2013, for example.  However, over the course of many, many years, Rosh Hashanah is the surfcasting season’s better than even chance at many, many fish.  So why, for heaven’s sake, is this year different than this one, or that one, or any other in the recent past?

STORMY MONDAY: What should have been a surfcasting slam dunk turned out for me to be a no fish “skunk”. Click here for video

But perhaps it was to be expected after the somewhat tepid summer in the surf experienced by The Faithful. Despite their best efforts to feed my smoked bluefish fetish, from May to August their take was lots of short bass, only a handful of keepers, and not nearly the bumper crop of bluefish compared to previous years. Certainly no “fourties or fiddies” for us daytimers.

Now, with September not nearly halfway done, and Labor Day weekend’s hot, hazy and humid heat wave only recently behind us, a gnarly nor’easter blew in for the Jewish Holiday weekend.  It should have brought God’s good grace and forgiveness in the form of cooperative, blitzing fish. Instead, the storm turned the beaches, and all who dared venture onto them, soggy and sad.

GNARLY FISHING: LeeBob tasting the fruits of his Rosh Hoshanah enthusiasm on Montauk’s North Bar

All, that is, save LeeBob N. He greeted the wind and the rain as if they were apples dipped in honey. LeeBob is truly one of God’s chosen people to judge by his hard-won results. As the storm enveloped the East End on Sunday, LeeBob gleefully fought the incoming tide from a slippery perch bathed in whitewater among Montauk’s south side rock pile.  Just before the sundown Shofar blew, LeeBob hooked into a short striper that he landed and then cast back upon the rushing waters to wash away his sins.  LeeBob would have stuck around to sweeten his lot—as in more and bigger fish—but the ocean rose ominously around him. Heeding the will of heaven, LeeBob returned home for the evening blessings.

The following day, I joined LeeBob to fish the outgoing tide on the North Bar of Montauk.  Wind and rain honked in our faces but did not deter LeeBob’s optimism or enthusiasm.  “It’s ON,” he howled above the wailing windswept waters as a schoolie striper inhaled his 1.5 ounce white bucktail lure.  Later, a bluefish with a confused look on it’s devilish face chomped on LeeBob’s line like a pervert on a pomegranate.  Both of the fish–and LeeBob–however, were home before it was time to share the fruit and challah.

I was skunked the the entire two day holiday. Clearly, repentance is called for in my immediate future.

Admittedly, FishTales ain’t no Book of Life.  But for my money, LeeBob is destined for a very prosperous future—on the north and the south side of Montauk—this season and beyond.

And y’all know what’s next, right?  Yom Kipper….come hither!

Shanah Tovah, baby!

SPRING STRIPER: Verizon Charlie near Accabonac Harbor

GANGSTER BLUEFISH: Heading for the smoker

FISHY HANDFUL: Amazing Randy with an early season keeper bass

OCEAN COCKTAILS: June bluefish for BBF on the town beaches of Montauk

BASS FOR BILLY: Stripers in the summer surf

STRIPER on the sand…..

….GRILLED BLUEFISH on the platter…


LET THE FISHING BEGIN: FishTales 2018 has commenced

YELLOW EYED DEVIL: I’m keeping an eye out for bluefish

2 Responses to “FishTales 2018: The Rosh Hashanah Schvitz”

  1. Santiago says:

    A pervert on a pomegranate ? Essplann…

  2. Felix says:

    Fred-you’re really getting a “Yiddisha Kup” !

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.