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Thanksgiving Fishing Traditions

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November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Fishing Traditions

By Joe Cermele

Without question, Thanksgiving is a hunter's holiday. While turkeys roast at home, in the early morning hours grunt calls sound off, decoys bob, and dog bells jingle. I've hunted my share of Thanksgivings, but not in a while. Not since I bought a boat have I commenced turkey day anywhere other than a quarter-mile off the beach, looking for diving gulls and gannets.

The frost I walk on Thanksgiving morning is not on leaves, but coating the dock before sun rise. The engine will be cold, but she'll turn over on the third try, and I'll follow the long procession of green and red navigation lights through Oyster Creek Channel, around the lighthouse, and into the gray ocean.

On Thanksgiving, the usual cutthroat attitude of the fleet seems to simmer a bit. The regulars know that Uncle Mike and cousin Steve from out of town are stripermen just for today. They'll let crossed lines slide and not get as worked up when a stray jig bounces off their hulls. On Thanksgiving, it's as though everyone wants to see everyone else catch fish. You might even hear a good bite broadcast on the radio, because we all have time limits today...when the wife says 3 o'clock, it means 3 o'clock.

And the blitzes are often epic on Thanksgiving. It can be hard to drive away. So I'll forgo cleaning the boat if it buys another half-hour on the water, I'll skip a shower and say Grace with a few bass scales plastered to my hands, and I'll try not to fall asleep face-down in the mashed potatoes. I won't be much for dinner conversation, but I wouldn't start Thanksgiving any other way.

Anyone else have a Thanksgiving fishing tradition? No matter what you do, good luck, have fun, relax, and be safe tomorrow.

Comments (8)

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from tourneyking734 wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

our thanksgiving tradition is to eat as fast as possible, and then we scoot up to camp for some maine whitetail tracking action.

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from benjaminwc wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

The south fork of the snake on thanksgiving day. Most of the time I got the whole river to myself. Browns are active, fishing egg patterns and streamers. And lots of really big fish. Doesn't get much better than that.

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from Dcast wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

Come hell or high water the anuall morning rabbit hunt will take place this Thanksgiving with all our hunting buddies. Unfortunately this year sounds like we'll need to wear wadders while rabbit hunting! As long as hell doesn't come we will be ok.

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from iowahunter18 wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

eat turkey, take a nap, watch football

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 3 years 20 weeks ago

I have spent many thanksgiving mornings both in my treestand or chasing surf-Turkeys like the one pictured above. This year i chose the tree. Should've chose the surf.

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from jamesti wrote 3 years 20 weeks ago

always a morning deer hunt on thanksgiving.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Joe_Cermele wrote 3 years 20 weeks ago

So...if anyone is checking back, how'd you do? We put a bunch of stripers in my boat. A good morning, but not the most epic Thanksgiving morning ever.

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from jakenbake wrote 3 years 20 weeks ago

the rockfish i picked up from the korean market was deeeeelish - can't have thanksgiving without it

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from iowahunter18 wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

eat turkey, take a nap, watch football

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 3 years 20 weeks ago

always a morning deer hunt on thanksgiving.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from tourneyking734 wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

our thanksgiving tradition is to eat as fast as possible, and then we scoot up to camp for some maine whitetail tracking action.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from benjaminwc wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

The south fork of the snake on thanksgiving day. Most of the time I got the whole river to myself. Browns are active, fishing egg patterns and streamers. And lots of really big fish. Doesn't get much better than that.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dcast wrote 3 years 21 weeks ago

Come hell or high water the anuall morning rabbit hunt will take place this Thanksgiving with all our hunting buddies. Unfortunately this year sounds like we'll need to wear wadders while rabbit hunting! As long as hell doesn't come we will be ok.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 3 years 20 weeks ago

I have spent many thanksgiving mornings both in my treestand or chasing surf-Turkeys like the one pictured above. This year i chose the tree. Should've chose the surf.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Joe_Cermele wrote 3 years 20 weeks ago

So...if anyone is checking back, how'd you do? We put a bunch of stripers in my boat. A good morning, but not the most epic Thanksgiving morning ever.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jakenbake wrote 3 years 20 weeks ago

the rockfish i picked up from the korean market was deeeeelish - can't have thanksgiving without it

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment