I’ve had some great and memorable days in my life, and this is one of them. My good friend said “Hey, you want to go fishing Friday?” and I said “Yes!” I had to go get a one-day fishing license, and I could add crab for a mere 50 cents, so I did.
We met up at 6:30 a.m. and were on the water by 7 a.m. on one of the hottest day’s in Seattle’s summer. As we left the marina, we passed an Eagle. (We thought of you, AdventureMan!)
AdventureMan must have heard us talking about him, because as the sun rises, he calls from Kuwait, eating Felafel sandwiches and ice cream as we watch the sun rise:
And set the crab traps – this is what an empty crab trap looks like. We put turkey legs and old fish heads in the bait box to attract the crabs:
It is a gorgeous morning. As my friends dig out the fishing polls, I admire the mountains and the sparkles on the waters of Puget Sound:
My friend has baited my hook and hands the rod to me. I lower the weight to the bottom, pull it up just a little and – an immediate nibble:
He’s a good size and he’s a keeper. My friend grabs my camera to take my photo with my first fish of the day, I hold the fish up – and just as she is snapping the shot, the fish does a little flip right off the hook and back into the water!
It doesn’t matter – the fish are biting and we are hauling them in. Some are too small; we take them off the hooks and throw them back, telling them to have a good life, grow big and we will see them again, we hope!
After about an hour of superlative fishing, we go back to check the crab pots. They are HEAVY with crab!
You can’t keep any female crab, or any male under a certain size, so any crab you think you might want to keep, you have to measure. You get a HUGE fine if you are caught with undersize crab. As we bring in the crab and the fish, my friend notes them down on our licence records, which have to be sent in to the state at the end of the season, listing fish we have caught, crab we have caught, and how many we threw back.
We catch a couple rock crab – those you don’t have to measure, and you can keep. Most of what we catch is the sweet and delectable Dungeness Crab – my very favorite after Alaska King Crab.
We had just decided to quit for the day – it was getting really, really HOT for Seattle, like 90°F/33°C (and there is an advisory for hot weather, and air stagnation) and we have nearly our limit for crab, and a respectable amount of fish, and we are happy, happy fisherpeople! Just as I am about to raise my line, I get a big bite, and catch the last fish!
Here is our bucket, full of fish. The cooler is full of crab. What a great day to be alive.
One of my favorite times of the day is the magical time when, as the sun is setting in the west, the colors change from the warm golden shafts of late afternoon to the pink and blues of impending sunset, and then gradually into the blues, blue-violets, purples and indigos of nightfall.
It is never the same two nights in a row. I make it a ritual, when I can, to stop and watch the transformation. I’ve tried photographing the changes, but it is the ephemera of the colors that makes it so magical, not any one given instant.
This is just a tiny tiny part of the great, magnificent whole – the sunset fishers.
As I stood on my balcony this morning, drinking my coffee and relishing the sweet coolness of the morning, watching the string of fishing boats out on the horizon, I had one of those moments when you are happy and you know it (clap your hands!) (oops, there comes the pre-school teacher back to haunt me! My first job as a married lady.)
Checking WeatherUnderground for Kuwait I could see that it was a bare 64°F / 18°C, and that this coming Friday, the high temperature for the day will NOT be above 90°F/ 32°C.
You who don’t live here can’t imagine the difference it makes. Right now, you can spend evenings walking around, freely, it is like being let out of jail to have the crushing heat gone. And daily, it is getting easier to be outside for longer and longer periods of time. All kinds of migrating birds are coming back, it is a lovely time of the year in Kuwait.
The fishermen are making full use of the sweet weather: