So Christopher and I decided to go fishing on Saturday morning. There is a fish called a Burbot, which is like a freshwater cod, and they are supposed to be best to catch off of North and South Piers at this time of year. They like the cold water, and they like to be in the deeper waters at the end of the channel at the tip of Presque Isle.
They are also supposed to feed at dawn and dusk, so we got up before 6:00 to get some bait and be on the pier before sunrise. We stopped at Presque Isle Angler to get a dozen minnows. I guess the guy thought business would be slow, and he needed to move his stock, so he must have put 5 dozen minnows in the bucket. (If Krispy Kreme were so generous, we would all weigh 400 pounds.) Then we proceeded to South Pier (see the map on page 3 of this link if you want to know where we were), ready to freeze our butts off to catch a few of these critters.
The parking lot was empty, and we were a bit scared of going out on the pier alone in the dark. Especially since I have just finished two P.D. James novels recently. But we got our gear and walked out on the pier as day was beginning to break. They say that you are supposed to be near the end of the pier for best results, and that is about a quarter mile walk, so we trudged out in the cold, darkness, and wind.
We were just about to bait our hooks when IT happened. We had forgotten that it was still deer season, and Presque Isle State Park was having their annual deer hunt. They have a special 3 day hunt every year to keep the herd at a reasonable level, so the deer don’t defoliate the park and then starve. The hunt is special because since the city is nearby, they have to use only short range weapons. We did not remember this at the time, because our brains were frozen.
At 7:30, it was apparently light enough for the hunt to start, and we heard about 10 shots go off within a few seconds. BOOM, BOOM, BOOM! Just like the hunting scene in Bambi. The shots were probably a mile away, but the sound carried very well across the bay, and then echoed off the shore, so each shot sounded like two shots and it also sounded like a gun battle was starting on the Lower East Side too.
Since we felt surrounded, and one point of fishing is to be somewhere peaceful and quiet, we skedaddled back off the pier, like soldiers running across an open field between trenches in WWI, though we were really in no danger at all. We tried fishing in another spot, but it was not the same, so we came home for second breakfast shortly thereafter.