We pulled in behind the old blue pickup truck and unloaded our fishing gear. Poles first, then bait board, then knife. The bait came out last. Spot and bunker. I scrambled down the rocks, glad that I had worn my old moccasins instead of my flip-flops. I settled down on the warm rocks and looked out at the Chesapeake Bay while John rigged his poles – two of them – and cut bait. While he was finishing up I walked up to the blue truck to say hello to its occupant.
We had talked a bit the day before. Just “How’s the fishing?” and “Where are you from?” kind of talk. He’d told us he lived in Stafford, Virginia. Neither John nor I mentioned we had two homes and that we were spending the weekend in our home in Solomon’s. That would have sounded like bragging even if it wasn’t.
“I brought that picture I told you about yesterday.” He followed me back to our truck. I opened the back door and pulled out the copy of the Bay Times open to page 24. John grinned up at us. He was holding a 43” rockfish, its weight evident in his face. This was bragging.
I realized we hadn’t introduced ourselves. I held out my hand. “I’m Brenda.”
He took my hand. “I’m Ed”
Ed pointed across the causeway to the spot where a young boy was fishing. “That’s my great grandson Trevor. He caught a couple with that Shakespeare I bought him and now he’s an expert.”
Ed and I walked around to the back of our truck where John was ready to fish. His first cast was awkward. Unaccustomed to fishing from rocks, his cast was off-balance. Ed took note. “I heard it hit behind you.” John nodded and began to reel in. The second cast was better. John stuck the rod in the pole holder he has wedged in the rocks and baited his second pole. Ed and I watched as he made a good cast on his first try.
When John had secured the second pole, I pointed to my kayak. “How about helping me get this down so I can go for a paddle.” Together we loosened the straps that held my orange and yellow “Pungo” to the roof of the pickup and lowered it to the ground. He helped me walk it across the causeway so I could launch it – right behind the sign that said “No Swimming – No Boat Launching”
“There’s chicken in the cooler” I called over my shoulder as I glided away from where he stood on the shore. “You’re coming back, aren’t you?” he shouted to my back. “Eventually” I replied as I pointed the nose of my kayak toward the pines on the other side of the cove.