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.