It’s Called Fishing for a Reason

A big catch

Vince and “Chef” showing off their big catch of the day, a Striper, near Cape May, NJ

There’s a reason fishing isn’t called “catching”, and we experienced that first hand this past Wednesday with our friend Vince and his friend, Steve.

Part of the reason Matt and I chose Ocean City, NJ as a destination for the week is because our good friends, Vince and Doris Saul, call this city home. They are wonderful hosts every time we visit them, and this visit was no exception. We’ve been friends with them since I worked with Vince in California way back in 2003-2004, and they moved back East a few years ago, where Vince is originally from. Since Vince had Wednesday off, he invited us to partake in one of his favorite activities: fishing. His friend Steve has a fishing boat, so we found ourselves out in the bay near Cape May, NJ, bright and early, eager to test our skills in fishing for Stripers.

While the day was fun because it was time spent with Vince and his friend, it was pretty uneventful when it came to the actual fishing part. One of the first things Vince said to us as he set up our fishing rods that morning was, “There’s a reason they call it fishing and not catching,” with a smile on his face and a New Jersey accent that’s seen the light of day from years of living on the West Coast, but that’s come back with time spent back in the East. And he was right. Neither Matt nor I ever felt even the pull of a fish on our fishing rods, and while Steve had one nearly pull his rod off the boat, he lost the fish when his line snapped.

Thankfully the day wasn’t a total waste, as Vince caught a 3 foot, 15 pound fish, early in the morning, after a few minutes of battling the fish and eventually winning. The fish ended up in the cooler on the deck of the boat, and later in Vince’s sauté pan that evening. Other than that one fish, no one else caught anything all day, and we stayed out on the water until just after 4pm.

You might be reading this thinking, aren’t Matt and Julie vegetarians? Yes, we are, and we definitely don’t eat fish. But, the opportunity to try out fishing on a gorgeous day with a friend we don’t see often was too great to pass up. I will say, I was hoping that neither I nor Matt would have to battle a fish or see that we had a hand in killing it. Part of the reason we are vegetarian is that we wouldn’t want to kill our own meal, and since we’re not at that point, we don’t feel comfortable paying someone else to kill it for us. We’d prefer living things not die for us to eat. I was glad we didn’t catch a thing, as there was a part of me that regretted seeing Vince win the battle against his fish. While it was fun to see Vince excited (you definitely need to see the video), the end result was one less fish in the sea.

Overall, it was a fun day and a great insight into one of Vince’s favorite hobbies, but I’m sure glad it is fact called “fishing”, rather than “catching,” for the fish’s sake.

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