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John Merwin lives in Vermont, where, when he's not tying flies, building lures, or digging up worms with his backhoe, he writes the monthly Fishing Column for Field & Stream magazine.

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December 23, 2008

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Cermele: Putting It To Bed

Sing with me now..."it's the most MISERABLE time of the year!"

I'm sorry, but I always get depressed when the boat officially comes home for a long winter's nap. It's not so much that I can't go out anymore, but the symbolism. If the Tunacious is on dry land, it means the stripers have packed their bags for the waters of Virginia and North Carolina. The blackfish and sea bass now reside over 50 miles offshore on the canyon edges. Tuna are a distant summer memory. There's ice on the bay. It's over on the inshore grounds, fellas.
But the real depression this year stems from sadness that I had to put my baby away wounded. When I got the call from the marina that the boat was out and winterized, they also mentioned that one of my trim tabs was missing. I know it was there during my last trip, so I immediately suspected that they banged the boat around when they pulled it. I became certain when they offered to fix it for free in the spring because they "have a bunch of tabs just laying around."

To make matters worse, there's also a fresh gouge in the fiberglass near the bow, and a big scrape mark from the lift. If you ask me, beating up another man's boat is no different than slapping his girlfriend around. Unless I make it way out for cod on a party boat or travel south this winter, it's all trout and pickerel from here.



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Blue Ox

Aw, cheer up, JC! I'm sad when I put my boat away too, but then I bust out the sled and my auger and I end up feeling alot better!
Hardwater season, baby!!

Tom Ocasio

Nice Truck


Ox, I'd be down with hardwater, but it hasn't frozen that solid around here in a long time. The last time it did I went out with an axe because I had no auger and I punked out. I decided walking out and hacking at the ice wasn't worth it for a few perch. I only kinda-sorta thought it was thick enough to support me.

Tom...it is a beautiful truck. Thanks again for the haul buddy!

Alex Pernice the 13 year old fly rod winner

Blue, ur wasting you're time with hardwater? The fox is still good with huge schools of carp that hit big nymphs, quit messing aroung and go for carp on the fly. ( I need to find A cat food company that will buy them again.)( and now, there is like 3 feet of snow, and you cant fish at all.)


hard water rocks!!!!!!!

Alex Pernice the 13 year old fly rod winner

But open water is better.

Blue Ox

Never say can't, Alex. (especially when it pretains to fishing!)
Where there's a will, there's a way.


I have to say JC,.... I find this to be the MOST WONDERFUL time of the year given that it is the non fishing season. I much prefer the summer season when we are planning where we are going to troll for tuna or set up to shark in the mudhole and beyond. That being said, my psyche and emotion trails off rapidly as we enter the dormant Jan through May period when the best we can do is attend a local boat show or rigging clinic (fun and educating as they are) to bide some time.
That being said, in terms of your b!tch being slapped, I'd probably be equally angry and look for the most flamable part of the boat yard owner's property which is susceptible to message sending so he never f'd up my girl again.... Your friend,
The Filthy Animal


Nice boat. It definitely has me rethinking my priorities. Where did I go wrong? How have you managed to obtain such a thing and have the time to spend on it while also being familiar with the area small streams. Teach me O Master!


jcarlin...I don't do family functions. I don't do shopping (unless for fishing gear). I don't have a social life. Basically I'm a loser, but whatever it takes. There I've spilled the secret. I also have no kids and a fiancee who I can truly say is cool with the obsession.

I always say "it could be worse, I could be addicted to crack."


I've always known it was because I ran into the 'right' girl. I keep thinking when the kids grow up it'll pay off. I've been slowly growing more nervous about that philosophy as I see my Dad attending his grandkid's functions. So you're saying I've already doomed myself?
Avoid crack,

Joe Carlin



I'm not saying you've doomed yourself. Honestly, I wouldn't know since right now I've got a girl who "tolerates" my frequent absence and I don't see little ones in the near future.

Things change, so I'll fish hard now!

Jim in Mo

Buy a boat with an American made outboard and you'll get more respect at the harbor.


ooooh...geez Jim. I get plenty of respect. I hear what your saying, but that Yammie has treated me too well to trade her.