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Old 10-16-2009, 06:39 AM
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Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is offline
Writer, Hunter, Surfcaster
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 30,458
Default Re: A Tribute to Al Bentsen

The rigor of the time was to fish the Back Beach on the incoming after dark and follow up on the dropping tide at the Second Rip which is about halfway from the Coast Guard Station (now the Gestapo Headquarters) and the Race Light. Best tide was when the water was pulling east, left to right, at dawn. One morning when it was like that the bluefish came in with their pants down. These were never considered money fish -- our reason for being -- but at the time many of us, me included, had never seen such bluefish monsters, what had become known as "African Blues". A child could see their progress as they blew up the sea out front, dropping down toward the back. Al was in his Wagoneer chasing them and I put the kitchen pans in the sink and drove the big camper buggy after Al and the blues, wife and kids all wondering what ta heck I was doing moving the big rig. By the time I caught up Al had put a few jumbos in the buggy and was fighting one. These were all over 16 pounds, some lady on the Back Beach had taken a 23 pounder and we were hearing about others over twenty. Back then the World Record was only 24 change, so beating it was doable. I was horsed. All were throwing Reverse Atoms, I could tell, because they whistled when you layed into them. There I was fishing my a$$ off, Al hooking up every cast and I couldn't get arrested. I wanted to puke. I was crowding him, trying to see what he was doing bein' as how he caught every cast and I failed every cast. He could sense my frustration and called over, "put a bucktail on that Reverse." Now, I'm at the valise of my buggy with pliers bending on a bucktail treble with the shakes and Al is leaning into another one, a flippin' African blue. (my takin' too long with this?) So I runs out with my magical Reverse, roadkill white hair on the rear treble, and lays into it. Three pops, five turns on the Squidder, and I was on too. He looked over like a proud father, grinning with delight. I wanted to kiss that freakin New York sonofabitch. By God, I felt sorry for those bluefish; I really did. Tomorrow, or next time, I'll tell you something about compliments, considering the source with Al Bentsen.
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