Chapter 187

The drive to Chincoteague on Saturday morning took three hours, but we were still there by 10. By noon we were walking on the beach and in the surf in the smallest bikinis we owned. The sand was hot and the water cold. The ocean reached its warmest temperatures of the summer in late July and August. But after an hour on a beach towel the cool water was wonderful.

Not far from us there were several girls playing volleyball. There were not enough of them to keep a good volley going very long. They had set up a nice net and were having fun in the sun.

Lorrie walked over and asked if they would like a few more players for a while. Lorrie and the girls had played on the KCC team. Lorrie withdrew from the sports program after she had been attacked. I had played in school and then I had played some in the sand box to kill time. I knew Jenny had been into softball.

With all of us playing that put six on each side. We had some long volleys and good games. We played for most of the afternoon. As the play improved, the crowd grew.

There is something about hot sweaty girls playing volleyball in the sand that will do that and so will a lot of skin bouncing out of the bikini from time to time. They were as hot as we were. There were several drink breaks. They had plenty of water and beer and were glad to share.

The sun was going down when we said farewell to our new friends. We took hot showers and then chose a restaurant from a list that was on the table. Uncle John had them rated with a little note by each: expensive, very good, try the steak, great wine selection, need reservations, things like that.

We picked a steak and seafood place on the main road by the fire house. The food was great, the people were better. We had a nice time. We drove back to the beach and walked out near the water. The six of us huddled as a group as close to each other as we could and watched the moon shining on the ocean. Soft words, soft kisses, sweet whispers; it was the kind of evening that we as lovers would remember forever.

Sunday brought more of the same; we were up early – one of those habits that is hard to break even on vacation. Breakfast was at one of the restaurants that were open early.

Then we loaded the surf fishing gear in Dad’s truck with the beach access tags. I stopped at the bait store for bait and ice. They told me there that they were biting on clams and squid. I bought some of both and a case of beer, ice and salt water fishing license for all of us.

In the parking lot I stopped to let the air down in the tires. That was something that you had to do to drive on the sand. With the tire pressure low, the tires rounded out more and that helped them pull more and kept the truck from getting stuck in the soft sand.

In the parking lot Lorrie, Vicky, Ching Lee and Marcy piled onto the bed of the truck. We had driven both trucks to the parking lot. Dad’s truck was only a single bench seat; Jenny was with me in the front.

We drove past a few other early birds that were feeding the fish. At lot of that happens with surf fishing, the fish nibble on the bait, stripping it off the hook and not getting hooked. I drove down to the area that Uncle John’s map had marked as nudist and a good fishing area.

I threw the frozen pack of squid onto the tailgate to thaw out while I gave a lesson on surf fishing. After shoving a sand spike into the sand to hold the rod I hooked a heavy sinker so the girls could practice casting with the long surf rods; they were at least 10 feet and longer.

I showed them how to release the lock and let the bail drop spin backwards, letting about four feet of line out. Then I showed them how to place your finger to hold the line in place so you could flip the bail out of the way. Then carefully bring the rod sideways until it was over your shoulder and swing it hard, over and out towards the ocean, letting the line slip from under your finger until the rod is past the 12 o’clock position. A few seconds after the rig hits the water, flip the lever and wind the slack out of the line.

I watched each of them cast once, and then told them to practice some more while I cut up the thawing squid and made up the rig with hooks, weight and bait for each of them. I made up three rigs with the strips of squid and three with clam strips.

I hooked up Marcy’s first, as I was cutting the squid in strips I kept watching the casting practice. She got the hang of it quicker than the rest. Soon all of us had a baited line in the water.

With my rod in the sand spike I threw my shirt and shorts over the side of the truck so they could be retrieved quickly if needed – the others soon followed.

Ching Lee was the first to catch. She yelled loud enough for everyone on the beach to hear, “I got something!”

She got back to her rod just as it was about pull over. She grabbed it and yanked it back, setting the hook good in whatever was on the end of it. By then we were all there with her.

Ching Lee was fighting to reel it in, just when she had made some progress it would try to run, slipping the drag on the line until it tired. Then Ching would make progress again. This went on for at least fifteen minutes. Vicky had her phone and was taking pictures of the action.

Several trucks of fisherman that had been headed down the beach to the other end had stopped and walked across the sand to us to see what she had caught.

It took another few minutes for the fish to tire out and finally be pulled ashore. Jenny and I lifted the fish so Ching Lee could hold it for a picture. I recognized from the fishing chart that Uncle John had left on the table as a black drum.

It was at least 50 inches long and I would guess 60 pounds. It was a very nice fish. We laid it on the tailgate. The men that had stopped were looking it over good. They were measuring it and checking it for DNR tags. The scale that dad had in the truck was not big enough for the men to weigh the fish.

One of the guys went to his truck and came back with a bigger scale. The drum weighed 64 pounds, two thirds the weight of Ching Lee. One of the men asked her if she was going to have it mounted.

“Yes, I want to hang it on the wall of my office and have a picture of me with it.”

Dad always kept several of those disposal cameras in the glove box to record his good hunting and fishing days, and sure enough, there was a new one still in the box. I took several with the girls helping her hold it. It never crossed my mind that we were still naked.

“Put your top and bottom back on and we will get some good shots of you holding it,” I said. One of the guys took a group picture of us helping her hold the fish.

One of the men showed her how to hold it by its mouth so it would not touch the ground. We took several pictures with the cameras and cell phones just in case. Then they helped put it in the big cooler with some ice. They also told us where we could get someone to mount the fish, but it would take several months to be finished.

By 10 we had all caught some fish, but none as big as the one Ching Lee had caught. I completely covered the fish with plenty of ice and we headed out. We stopped and picked up the other truck and then stopped to pump up the tires to the proper inflation by the exit gate.

Edit by Alfmeister

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