At Saturday’s Fishing Rodeo at Harbor Island , kids from kindergarten to 8th grade came out to try their luck in the 20th annual competition sponsored by the Village of Mamaroneck Recreation and the Harrison-Mamaroneck Rotary Club.
With the nearby soccer fields soaked with water, cancelling the day’s games, all of the action was down at the fishing pier behind the beach pavilion.
This is a popular spot for all sorts of fisherman. My son Max who participated but didn’t win, says it’s an unlucky place, sour grapes perhaps. But regardless, the Rodeo event provided clams for bait and decent casting weather.
Every day can be a fishing day if you’re a ‘fishhead’ like the owner of the Harbor’s bait and tackle shop, Molly Roze, likes to call kids like Max.
He and his fishing buddies have been spending time at Larchmont’s 22 acre Sheldrake Lake in the 60 acre expanse of the former reservoir off of Weaver Road. It’s known that the perch are abundant right around the hour where the mosquitoes are also feeding. A note of warning for the drivers of these avid anglers; bring your own chair and use the facilities beforehand.
Or you can opt to hang at the creek behind the Mamaroneck train station where not only do the carp come-a-bitin’, but the eels do as they thrash their way through the garbage sitting bedside left by weary travelers. Make no mistake, these American eels are actually edible, even if you would rather get a hook in your eye than eat one.
You could drive to New Rochelle to the lovely Paine Lake, 2 acres of pond run by Parks and Recreation but nestled in a suburban enclave of pricey homes that cause these passer by-ers to wonder why you’re just hanging around their ‘hood in your car.
We used to fish off the dock at our own Greenhaven Beach in Rye, but when Hurricane Irene took out our pier, we could only go out in waders during low tide, when the smelliest of fish made the whole sport rather questionable.
Last week we went to the pier at Rye’s Playland. Instead of being immersed in the pursuit of striped bass, I was distracted by the grieving family, all dressed in white flowing clothes, carefully handling a small altar table filled with fresh flowers that were thrown into the water along with what appeared to be ashes. Without wanting to intrude even mentally you couldn’t help but think it was a whole new twist to Jersey’s swimming with the fishes.
But like the great, troubled famed fisherman Ernest Hemingway believed, ‘fishing was healing’.
Even if this includes catching what was considered the elusive (a whopping ten pounds) catfish like Max did this summer in the Chesapeake, sitting on it until we came in from a boat ride, and then asking the neighbor fisherman to behead it because no one amongst had the guts, or rather the experience, to do it.
The Fishing Rodeo should be a popular thing. I think with the Jewish holiday weekend there were less kids then there might have been and evidently the fish were in the know; it was the first year that no one actually caught a fish. The first prize went to Mike Barbieri, and then two other boys for catching crabs.
Oh well. Like the nature guy Henry David Thoreau liked to say, “Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.”
Kim Berns is a writer and interior designer living in Rye. photo: Bob Bruskin, Harrison Mamaroneck Rotary Club