A poet remembers landing bluefish after bluefish, the sweet aroma on the grill and the new neighbors who were surprised by the culinary delight.

The summer Sound uprising
in splashing rings,
breaking gull cries and dipping wings.
We cut the engine,
cast our chrome and feather jigs — hooking one
after another — leaps and runs, tin-blue
two and three pounders
flashing over the side into the cooler.
Incredible, my brother and I high five.
That’s bluefish, Uncle Bob nods,
a car mechanic enjoying his one day off.

We pull out the old cutting board
and fillet under more swooping gulls.

Back home, cracking afternoon beers,
the blues soak in cold milk. At five we slather mayo,
sprinkle pepper, parsley and fresh dill,
crown with lemon and wrap for the grill.

The new neighbors —
a doctor and his lawyer wife — stop by.
Bluefish? we offer.
No thanks. Too dark, too gamey.
I want to argue — sweet steam rising from the grill —
but Bob just slides sizzling pieces onto paper plates
and hands them forks. Delicious, the woman says.

The husband is too busy eating to talk.
That’s bluefish? she double checks.
That’s bluefish, Bob nods.


This article originally appeared in the Winter 2019 issue of Anglers Journal magazine.



Growing Up Viking

Since he was a boy, fishing has been a driving force in the life of Pat Healey, the head of Viking Yachts.


One Helluva Fish

Why the bluefish, an animated chopping machine with a public relations problem, just might be the perfect game fish


Ultimate Mahi

Whether trolling or “running and gunning,” mahi are great on the rod and on the table. And pound for pound, a big one is a handful on a fly rod.


Center Consoles

A venerable design that’s nearly 60 years old, the center console reliably takes anglers to wherever the fish are


Secret Order of Scup

A boyhood summer day spent landing scup by the dozen — think cut-offs and bicycles — planted a seed that grew into a lifetime of fishing.