Perfect night…not!…Cuttyhunk Chronicles 2012 part 2

Its two days after a new moon and I am swimming out to a perfect rock in Cuttyhunk , in  a perfect cove. As I bob in the water I look around me, and I see no one. Perfect. Another five minute of swimming and I am   standing on a rock for two with a gentle waves washing over my knees. Even the rock is perfect. Unlike many gorgeous rocks on this island that are big and flat, this one you can actually get on top. There is even a  “step” in front of the rock which I used to get up on it. It is even slanted upwards on the back end so if the wave pushed you backwards you don’t slide downward and are easily holding your ground. Hell, being alone on this rock, I can make four steps backwards if I get pushed by a wave and still not fall off the rock.

I checked my gear, making sure that everything survived the swim to the rock. The perfect size rigged eels are safely tucked in the Commando front pouch, plugs are where I put them, the belt, camera and all other stuff is where it should be. Even the perfect live eels in my eel bag appear that they endured the walk here on a hot summer night without a problem.

The conditions are something I could only dream about. Gentle wind over the right shoulder, flat ocean, 15 to twenty feet deep  clean water in front of me. Even my broken casting finger ,which has given me such pain lately seems to be itching to go.


My friends decided to go to another spot. Although I am quite uncomfortable here in the darkness, I did this dance before. The first thing that comes to my mind, and I am sure it’s the same for many of you, what if something goes wrong? I am a hundred feet offshore, with no house for miles, and no surfcaster in sight. But I push those feelings aside as I am too excited to make my first cast. In the long run, we are all dead, I reason with myself. Might as well make most out of my time here on Earth.

I check my watch and it reads 9 pm. There is still a little bit of light present, in about half an hour this cove will be black as coal. I decided to start with plugs. Few casts with Super Strike Darters, followed by Lemire’s needlefish and swimmer find no takers. It’s ok I say to myself. For one, it’s still early and two, I has nights on this rock where is quiet for two hours and then the place erupts with fish. One of the best nights ever happened on for me on this rock with six fish over thirty pounds ate my eels.

I checked my watch and its 9 21

Time to try a rigged eel. I pull out a sixteen inch rigged eel out of the pouch. I just rigged them an hour ago before heading out. There was a reason why this eel was on top of the other ones, Unlike the other two, this rigged eel has a black belly, and very black back. Just the way I wish all eel looked like. Did I mentioned it was perfect?

I lost track of time as I am casting a rigged eel repeatedly. I am guessing that I been at it for an hour or so but my watch says 9 21 pm.


Is it possible that I misjudged the time? I guess. Maybe I read the watch wrong before. So I keep casting. But after every cast I check my watch to see if the hands moved but they remained stuck on 9 21. Oh Lord, this sucks I say to myself. I keep casting the rigged eel for another, well, I have no idea how long but I was getting bored so I cut the leader off, tied an Gami hook and opened my live eel bag and grabbed the biggest eel I had.

For those of you who don’t know me, I don’t fish live eels. Or I haven’t been in at least 5 or 10 years, no idea when was the last I cast. But I know this is one part of my game that I am not that good at. So instead of accepting that, I figured why not challenge myself and learn. The eel did not liked the feeling of a hook penetrating his jaw and out trough the eye one bit. I attached the eel bag to my belt and started casting.

So far , everything has been perfect, perfect conditions, lack of crowd, perfect size eels, gentle swell of the ocean, perfect clean, deep water. Everything except the stupid watch was stuck at 9 21. But that is not a big deal, is it? After all, that is just one thing that went wrong out of hundred that could but didn’t. I was still on a perfect rocks in my little cove casting perfect eels under optimal conditions, right?

Not so fast

In short order I stared to wonder what time it was. Was it 10? Was it 11? Or even midnight? I had no idea. My friends were at another spot which produced best at the last of the flood but the flood was at midnight. Is it too late to join them? What if it’s already midnight and they left? I would be making a loooong walk for nothing. Besides, I didn’t want to get there and find that the current is finished.

In ten minutes I went from being totally content to losing my mind on the rock, and all because I could not tell the time. I kept casting another hour but I did not know if it was closer to morning or evening. I guesstimated the time but that gave me a little comfort. Where before I was praying to be alone in the cove, now I was hoping someone, anyone with a watch would walk down the path.

I got myself all worked up, I jumped off my perfect rock, into my perfectly deep, clean water and swam to not so perfect shore. I walked for a mile on bowling balls, casting interment but halfheartedly.

In a span of an hour I went from being the world most content surfcaster to a cranky, confused soul, stumbling on the rocks with no idea what time it was.

Do yourself a favor and lose that Mickey Mouse watch you bought on sale that is “water resistant”. That will do for the shower at home but not much more. Get yourself a real waterproof watch so you won’t be as dazed and confused as I was.

So much for perfection….

When I got back to the house and joined the rest of the crew for some after midnight lasagna, I was dumbfounded that none of them use a watch when they fish. And they were ok with it, but I am not.

And they were ok with it, but I am not. So I take some friendly ribbing from them. Actually, by the end of the night,I feel like a coo coo bird for wearing a watch.

But I need to know when the current turns, when the water slacks or how long have I been on a rock…maybe I am just weird like some people say but I need to know what time it all times

more Cutty rumblings coming up


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May we ask for a huge favor and try to post and tell us if you got a “timed out request” message when you try to post? We tested about a dozen PC and Mac’s today but until you tell us we cant know for sure..or have a giveaway 🙂


65 comments on “Perfect night…not!…Cuttyhunk Chronicles 2012 part 2

  1. mattm

    I use an iPhone in a water proof case around my neck i have everything on it from water to tide to moon and winds plus its a decent camera but the flash doesn’t work thru the plastic

  2. Josh

    i always wear a watch.. i too like to know what time it is and what stage the tide is in. so what time was it when you got off your rock?.. was your guestimations correct?..

  3. David Strom

    Recently finished _A Season on the Edge_ by John Skinner, and it seemed like some of his “spots” were very time of tide dependent, so I would venture to guess that he wears a watch. Whyn’t you ask him?


    PS, if you see this, I was able to post from Firefox on Windows XP.

  4. Rich S.

    Zeno,,,I would die without my watch on a rock in the dark. The only connection between myself, and the real world at that point in time. Heaven. On a rock in the dark in that place, under those conditions.
    Couldn’t help but think of Al Pellini in your first couple of paragraphs. Just about a year ago……life is too short. Fish as much as you can, when you can.
    Microsoft XP,,Firefox.

  5. Mike S

    I don’t wear a watch I use my cell for the time.Usually around every hour and a half or so.I too just like to know how long I been in a spot,so I know when to move to another spot.

  6. Pete F

    I wear a watch 24/7 all year long. It is more than 10 years old. I think it was 25 bucks plus I bought a Spiedel band for another 10. It has had a few new sets of batteries. It is a Timex, not sure if they are still as good!
    I bet your camera tells time ya know.

  7. Ed L

    Clicked the link you posted on facebook and here I am. Was a slight delay but only seconds. Am browsing with Firefox on a PC using vista. Hope this helps move you to the next give away.

  8. sioca

    You must learn how to read the cosmos, like the Maya.

    No, of course not! But MM watch?

    Windows XP + Firefox And Explorer = OK

  9. Sean Kearney

    Always need to know the time, as it relates to the tide, and so I know when I have to stumble into work and make some coffee. I bring my iPhone in my plug bag stored in an otterbox case, very convenient.

    BTW this is from an iPhone, will test from my Mac when I get home

  10. Sean Kearney

    Always need to know the time, as it relates to the tide, and so I know when I have to stumble into work and make some coffee. I bring my iPhone in my plug bag stored in an otterbox case, very convenient.

    BTW this is from an iPhone, will test from my Mac when I get home.

  11. CTMatt

    Test post….
    Usually the time I can’t tell the time is when I am catching Luke crazy. On a skunked night the minutes are slllllooooooooooow

  12. Richard aka Woodwker99

    Great story. I too have to have a watch. but my gshock keeps glowing on every cast. I’m thinking this could be why I have the skunk on me recently as this has just started happening.

  13. Mike T

    I just have one thing to say. Casio Pathfinder fishing watch WR 100M. They are on sale @ Sears. Can`t beat them.

  14. Jason

    If I plan to bounce around and want to be at a given spot at a given time than yes I have a watch. But more often than not I am targeting one specific area and can move to various spots based on how the current feels or tide stage in that specific area.

  15. Steve M

    No problems lately posting or with the link. Regarding the watch….I like to have it just to keep me patient. My problem is if I feel nothing is going on I tend to get itchy to move. Often what feels like an hour is more like 20min.

  16. Rav

    LOL – sounds like a Soap opera

    when the current turns…. :o)

    i think you should of had a cell phone
    with ya….(even in a baggy)
    being out in the dark all alone
    you’d be able to call for help in an emergency… like suddenly stepping into a hole between some rocks that traps your foot.

  17. Hector Vasquez

    For some people time is a very different thing. Time does not exist for some, for others there is no future only present. Some think time goes in spiral.

  18. Mohee

    The same thing happened to me the other night. This time I forgot my watch completely. Hit the beach at 11pm with plans to fish to 1am at most. Eventually I check my phone clock which is in the waders and hard to get to and its 2:45am. Yeah I’m with you I need a watch when I’m fishing.

  19. fishinthedark

    Z, I wear a cheap waterproof watch for many reasons and you had some help in making sure one made my trip to cutty this year as well: you actually mentioned it in one of your books as required gear and I thought it prudent to include it on this trip.
    Our Cutty Trips overlapped, the last of our group left Saturday morning including myself and Cutty is as dark as dark can be on the new moon, I know I don’t have to tell you .
    Having a watch and knowing what time it was helped us get back on fish once we were finally able to find them .. and finding them wasn’t so easy on this years’new moon as you might/might not know.

  20. Bdubbs

    Z. Check out the lowdown model tide watch is the way to go if ur in the market for a new watch


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