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Catching Dog on the Boston Harbor

11 Oct Fishing, News | Comments
Catching Dog on the Boston Harbor


This past weekend my closest friend Adam from MD and my brother were in town for what we hoped would be a successful fishing trip on the Sunset Bandit. Armed with my new fishing charts, a cooler full of beers and dreams of a sea bass dinner we headed out.

Oh..let me back up. Before we ever left the marina I discovered that the Bandit was leaking. When I was at the marina early Friday preparing the boat for its impending guests I noticed that the bilge area was full of water. Apparently the automatic bilge had decided to stop working…and that I had a leak somewhere. I immediately drove up to West Marine and purchased a new one. I spliced it all together and drained the bilge. The boat was now dry, but unlike the water, my concerns were still very much present.

The bilge area turned out to be a major concern our entire trip. Despite my brother’s efforts we were never able to get the automatic feature of the bilge pump to work. We did our best to monitor the bilge area while still having a good time. But, after one period of apparent ‘good times’ we soon discovered that the water was about 8 inches deep. Goodbye good times. The culprit was soon identified as one of the drain holes on the transom. Rather than passing from the motor area to the ocean and vice versa, the water was passing through the hole and straight down into my bilge. Later in the weekend I purchased a couple of plugs to block both sides of the hole and the problem was temporarily fixed. But…I know that the water surely did it’s share of damage to the transom. But back to the first day of fishing.

The fish are hiding from me. I probably hit half a dozen spots that were considered great according to the chart and some that were told to me by other boaters at my marina.  Still, nothing. After 5 hours we called it a day and took our broken dreams home.

Josh hard at work on the bilge

Adam hard at work on the bilge

As we return with our dreams crushed, others set out to enjoy theirs.

Day 2

I took the next day off from the water and instead spent the afternoon and evening showing Adam the city via an impromptu Bicycle and Brew Tour of Boston. Turns out I’m far more adept at catching a buzz than fish. Finally some success.

Day 3

The weather reports for early Sunday morning predicted temperatures in the mid 30’s so Adam and I (my brother had left by this point) bundled up as if we were members of the Deadliest Catch and headed out. Coming along for the ride were my two dogs, Porter and Cassidy.  Before we shoved off an owner of a nearby boat swung by and gave us some frozen mackeral to help our chances.

The harbor was packed with other small crafts out there fishing and we quickly anchored and were casting lines. With each cast I heard a low wimper from my dog Cassidy. She’s a 65lb chocolate lab mix that would spend her life swimming if she could. After about an hour of watching us cast she could take it no longer. With my back turned I suddenly heard Adam cry out , “Cassidy, NO”. Which of course, was immediately followed by a splash of water.

I turned and immediately screamed for her to come back to the boat. Now I’m not sure if it was power of the ocean or the wrath in my voice, but I could see in her eyes that she knew she had made a mistake. When those first few doggie paddles weren’t bringing her any closer to the boat, I started to prepare myself mentally for my impending dip. But, thankfully a slowly rolling yet sizable wave came along and she was able to ‘slide’ down it and gain some momentum. I leaned over the transom and with one hand I yanked her out of the water and clear onto the passenger seat.  Adrenaline can be a very powerful thing. Unlike Bill Bixby, gamma rays were not required.

Needless to say, that pretty much ended that morning’s fishing adventures. We motored back and headed out to watch some football.

Later that evening I took Adam over to the familar confines of the Barking Crab. Despite how often I’ve been out there on the harbor at night it never ceases to impress. I could tell it had a similar effect on Adam. Of course, hearing him say “I want a boat” might have given it away.

So, in the end, I discovered that I’ve got a bit of a water problem to address. A bilge pump to fix. A fearless dog who loves swimming more than she loves to live. And last but not least, an abysmal fishing record. Oh. But I did get my first legitimate “Capt’n from someone other than a friend or fool.”

Adam checking out the fishing chart in hopes of finding a winning spot.

dropping and/or pulling in the anchor can be a dicey experience when the ocean is rock'n and rolling. Today was not the case. Adam was just a weenie.

Cassidy is clearly plotting her plunge

Seriously. Cassidy has only one thing on her mind.

I've been on the water just over a month now and clearly it is reshaping my looks.


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