Teeth Dreams, by C.J. Chivers (continued)
Out at the edge of the Mud Hole, a quick test drift showed that our 26-foot Jones Brothers center console would travel northeast. We set up at the southwest corner and dangled a perforated bucket of frozen chum off a cleat.
The boys began ladling their home brew as I slipped bluefish fillets onto hooks, suspended them beneath grapefruit-sized
balloons and 10-ounce sinkers and let them drift behind us in the slick.
“How long do you think it takes before they show up?” Jack asked.
“No idea,” I said. “Maybe they don’t show up.”
Something happened almost at once.
The deepest line, about 120 feet down in 140 feet of water, began to move. The balloon bounced along the surface. A fish was toying with the bait.
The reel clicked, but slowly.
I was suspicious; this did not seem right. I reeled in, felt weight, and applied pressure so the circle hook might bite.
The fish pulled back, but softly. I pulled and the rod barely bent. Was it coming with us? As I cranked the reel, a small twisting flash beneath the boat told the story. We had hooked a dogfish, about 40 inches long. About a dozen more followed it up, curiously swimming a lazy spiral under the hooked fish.
We reset the baits and fished on. Two more dogs quickly followed. The boys were discouraged.
“That was a lot of work making chum to catch dogfish,” Jack said.
He was right.