6:30 a.m. skiff running wide open and silent but for the already warm racing wind sun starting its upward creep steady growing fire and orange reflection til it’s suddenly high and baking baking baking we’re on the hunt for birds in their wheeling fleet focus hunting backcountry shrimp hunting for the surface while tarpon give themselves away in glorious porpoise rolls wide-mawed cruising circling breathing eating the day before we ran from Big Pine through the same backcountry maze scouting settling a one-off shot or two at one-off fish on the run again and again the day before that spent oceanside patrolling open sand grass breaks on the rising tide looking for northbound bodies prehistoric strings following the coastal contour shots looks turns follows snubs spooks at noon eleven o’clock right here at nine or three shit where’d they come from some riding high most low and cruising discerning their attitude their presence immense in this immense space but this morning birds and tarpon raiding the calm surface as I let go of forty fifty thirty feet of line with my rookie and un-aggressive double haul lay it down now stripstripnowbumpbumpbumpbump everything halts my heart my breath my eyesight all hope for another day on this planet my mind empty but for the noise of adrenaline car battery and cables jumpstart arc between my ears suddenly airborne airborne airborne reeling off yards everything un-halted multiplied the silver exponent I’m not ruined but I’m damn close.


Filed under On the water, Poetry


  1. I’m exhausted and exhilerated after reading this – just as, I assume, I would be after tangling with the silver king. A wonderful piece, Matt.

    • fishingpoet

      Thanks, Mike. For all the waiting you do looking for a shot, it’s amazing how much energy it takes out of you.

  2. That was amazing. It was like watching it unfold right in front of me. Excellent as always.


  3. Ross aka the flytyinfreak

    Carmac would be proud! Its refreshing to read something done with cleverness and skill, and baby youz got skills…… Had to put these in here to make up for the lack of them in that awesome piece above, rumour has it there’s a occupy punctuation group headed for your laptop as we speak.

  4. That pic is pretty sweet. I will set a hook on a Tarpon one day. Locking into a silver torpedo looks like too much of a rush to pass it up.

  5. Joel is the tarpon whisperer. Just make sure he stays well stocked with marlboros and dew and you always get plenty of shots.

    • fishingpoet

      I think I had him running through more smokes and Dew than normal. Packing a duffel for him next go-around (and a better double-haul for me).

  6. Ok, not to toot any horn at all, but here: The double haul made easy. Forget aggressive, just keep the line tight, my friend, and all will be well.

    BTW, above post re-blogged on Flatswalker. Fantastic read.

    • fishingpoet

      Thanks, Davin. Half of my issue is needing to practice more. Not much call for the double haul in western NY…at least not the kind I’d need in the salt. Thanks for the advice – and the shout on the blog. Good stuff, bro.

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