But occasionally a large school of fish will come surging into a harbor or bay to the delight of local fisherman, and this teeming mass of fish is sometimes called a "fish run". And I saw one today. Holy crap, did I see one today!
We live on a shallow harbor on Long Island's North Shore which leads into the Long Island Sound. The tides are pretty drastic and at low tide there are entire sections of the harbor that are nothing more than mud flats. Well, this morning I awoke at around 6:30 and the tide was pretty low, but I could tell it was coming in rather than going out.
After taking care of some business (going to the bathroom), I started up the computer and started reading some email and all the new posts in my feed reader. Our living room faces the harbor and since it has been so crisp and cool lately, all of our windows were open as well as the sliding glass doors. At around 7:15 I heard a repetitive sound that reminded me of applause. Like there was a bunch of people out on the harbor clapping.
I looked up from the computer and had to rub my eyes. It looked like the the harbor was boiling! I rushed to put some clothes and sandals on and I went down to the water. It was a massive school of bluefish that had somehow made their way into the harbor. Probably chasing a massive school of smaller bait fish. I had never seen anything like it. And the tide was still coming in so the water was pretty shallow. That added to the effect of these fish surging and flapping and leaping in the water.
It was amazing and beautiful!
Around two hours later it was high tide and the hordes of local fishermen showed up. From the causeway at the end of our block and all along the parking lot of the church next door there were dozens of folks literally throwing shiny hooks into the water and pulling out big, mature bluefish. I've never seen such a fish run in my life. According to the guy who lives on a boat next door, it happens every five years or so. But he doesn't recall any as impressive as this one. The full moon and the extra high tides might have had something to do with it.
I walked over to the church parking lot, which borders the harbor, to see what folks were pulling out of the water and I was amazed at the number of big fish they were catching. 10 pound blues weren't uncommon. I sincerely hope everyone was eating what they were catching and not just doing it for sport, because there were some magnificent fish in there.
I just wish I had snapped a few pictures of the action. Our neighbor says that the last time it happened it lasted for a few days. So if the fish come back tomorrow morning I will make sure I update this post with some pictures. But I doubt it will approach the pure spectacle that today was.
Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. Fish don't fuckin' run!