Have you been there ?

By Bill Wetzel

I gotta tell ya I have had it with the non- faithful, no believing, no patience, I gotta have a fish right now type of high tech, million dollar gear wearing friends of mine. Every since I can remember, which ain’t long anymore, there has been that guy I fish with that wants to leave after 15 minutes because there is no bite. You know the
drill. The bite should start at about 130am and last until about 2am because that is when the rip sets up just perfectly over that underwater boulder field. You are completely stoked to get out there, and make the walk a tad early. You arrive with the bug spray on your fishing hat mixing with your sweat making a solid effort to burn your eyes from their sockets. Making the first cast at 1230am neither of you get a touch for 45 minutes. Your buddy with all the latest and greatest wants to go home, and states ” this isn’t worth it. I have to work tomorrow” You know that bite is going to start in 15 minutes, but your buddy drove and he wants to leave. Reluctantly you give in and
head home. You enter your cozy bed, but wake up your loving wife or God forbid the kids. That turns into a small fiasco that you will no doubt hear about the next morning. Too make matters worse you can’t sleep because you are haunted by the all the fish you missed and you know every one of them were potential world records. At least you don’t have to wake up in the morning, because you already have been up the entire
night. A shower, a cup of Joe, and you drive to work obsessing on how your going to sneak past your wife, and get back to the spot without your buddy knowing. Only now the tide is 230am, and you know damn well that you’re going to somehow have another sleepless night. Been there?

Editor’s note;

Bill Wetzel is what we like to call “The Hardest Working Guide in the Surf”. A quintessential Montauk Regular Bill works hard at teaching his clients the secrets of Montauk coves and consistently puts them on the fish. No wonder most of his customers come back for more year after year. Bill also runs a Surf Rats ball, Subscribers only forum at www.surfratsball.com. There he exchanges ideas with his subscribers and of course, logs each and every one of his trips for all to read. Check it out at www.surfratsball.com



13 comments on “Have you been there ?

  1. Jim M.

    “Work in the morning” – Even at my age, that still means getting there in time to hide the bluefish blood, scales, sand and corkers while hoping I have enough deodorant left to mask the fragence incurred from the night before. All a matter of priorities, and you can sleep when you’re dead!

    Perhaps a NEW lucky hat can turn the tide against hipster/yuppie “negative waves”! Is it spring yet?

  2. Jim J.

    Been there many times it’s never fun so over the last few years I have resorted to going it alone. Thanks Bill and SJ

  3. Vito Orlando

    Bill is not only the Hardest Working Guide That I know, but is one of the finest Gentlemen on the coast. His work for Camp Adventure (Camp for children with cancer) should be commended. Thanks Bill.


  4. JohnP

    I hardly ever fish with anyone anymore. I can’t (and shouldn’t have to) explain why I want to stay, why I want to move, or why I want to go home. I don’t want to discover a bite, and then wonder how 3 other guys knew to stand exactly in my footprints the next tide.
    I’ve left early and wondered what I missed, but then I’ve done enough harcore all-nighters when I should not have. I’ve stayed the whole night (just 15 more minutes, just 15 more minutes), and realized that distant glow in the east meant I was going to have to drive home, shower and then work a whole day in the city on ZERO sleep. Or I’ve pulled over on the side of the road to get an hour of sleep when I realized I was going to kill myself (or someone else) if I did not. And I didn’t want to ever have to justify this to anyone else. Yes, a few times it would have been great to have someone take a picture of a few of those memorable fish, but its almost better that I keep it to myself. If I want to fish with others, I’ll go on a party boat. I do that too sometimes. 🙂

  5. Ted C

    this was hilarious. Yes! Been there. I guess the main reason i still carpool as much as i do is that i feel there’s few things better than shared fishing experiences– someone to relive the moments with. (and verify my accuracy, later).

    1. Bill Dickinson

      I fished with one guy for about 20 years and often one of us wanted to fish longer than the other. We had a simple agreement. One was never to do anything to keep the other from staying longer or starting earlier. If you and you partner have such and agreement it can make you frienship stronger.

      Crazy Bill

  6. sioca

    Z if you get this: On the next blog dated the 16th. = “John Skinner on Slug-Go’s”
    the leave a comment function appears not to be working…

    Have not seen any comments and cannot post any either.

  7. Bill Wetzel

    Hi Crazy/Wild Bill-
    You are still the hardest and best surfcaster I have ever known. Hope to see ya in Montauk again, fishing next to the boys! Thanks for the nice words guys!


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