Yeah, um, not THAT kind of booty, though there was some of that there as well - not that I looked, of course!
Rather, some great fishing and fishing-related pickups, that have (temporarily) satisfied my spending urge of the "fishin' fun money" that's been burning a hole in my pocket since the LEP went on the hard, late last December.
As you can see from the first pic, these included a new pair of boot(ies), a smokin'ly on-the-money tee shirt and some good-tasting food enhancers.
Oh yeah, and a new rod too.
These new-to-me Xtra-Tuf booties will be replacing my old Shimano EVAIRS, which have lost their "deck-stickiness" over time. This caused me to slide down my dock's sharply-inclined morning-dampened gangway, spilling me headfirst HARD into a bulkhead piling. Such a nasty shot that I had to sit down on my fish box for 10 minutes to clear my head. It subsided enough that I was able to head out to the deep grounds and make a day of it - nice flattie limit to 6lbs, BTW - but the residual effects of a lasting headache and non-stop nausea forced me to my family doctor the next day - who diagnosed it as a mild concussion. He was stunned when I told him I had still sailed SOLO and still had come in my "regular" late afternoon return time, despite the obvious trauma. Hey, I waste NO opportunity to get out there, every chance I get, wounded or not. Guess his big Sea Ray is never too far from his Massapequa home - and I suppose that he thinks everyone boats in that fashion. He didn't think it was so funny when I laughed and immediately put my hand to my temple to make the hurt stop. Some people just will never "get it." Me, I mean.
In any case, these new Xtra-Tufs had a completely different sole composition and pattern versus the EVAIRS - and I'm hopeful that they will prevent a similar incident in the coming seasons. I make light of it, but its no laughing matter getting hurt around the water - and having no one with you to make sure you're still breathing. Oh well, live and learn.
Regarding the shirt - I couldn't have put it better than what's expressed on its front. They were being sold by the RFA, at a quite reasonable price of $16 - with half going to the RFA, and half to the fin-fish research program at Rutgers University. IMO, both endeavors are well worth the expenditure and the shirt is AWESOME in person. I'm loving the Biscuit and Fluke behind bars. Probably at a joint NOAA/CIA black site somewhere far inland. (Ya think maybe a little too much Homeland/24 viewing by yours truly?) The less-than-subtle "Trumpian" final line was really what sealed the deal for me.
Truthfully, I was also looking for a Skull and Crossbones pendant for one of my VHF antennae, because that would REALLY sum up my thoughts on this season's pending regulations - but I couldn't find a vendor offering such an item. One could probably have cleaned up if they were being sold - at least that's what my extemporaneous research indicated, after speaking with a few dozen other visitors and exhibitors there. Well, ahhh, my boat is distinctive enough from a distance - no need to call any more attention to ourselves and activities than absolutely necessary. Not that we'd ever consider an unlawful act - not at all.
The two bottles of foodie stuff were the best I could find there - A small-lot maker of various mustards, this one being wasabi-infused, and what just might be the best-tasting BBQ sauce I've ever sampled. Nuff said - except that the taste-testing at the BBQ sauce vendor was quite the draw, what with the freshly-made pulled pork he was giving out as test samples. Mmmm. I also did want to get a tub of those terrific horseradish pickles from the Pickle Dudes, but the line was at least 30-deep every time I went to look - I'm a patient man, but not THAT patient. Not for pickles, anyway.
As far as the rod goes - NICE stuff, man! I've had my eye on a Japanese-style slow-jigging rod ever since my trip to Joisey, visiting Kilsong's Jig-n-Pop and Yong at Jigging World. Check out this post entry for more on that event-filled day: Slow Jigging, Grams-to-Ounces and "PE" Line Ratings - What does it all mean?
Though I really do admire Black Hole's Magic Eye 571XXH, a smokin'-nice stick indeed, I ended up choosing between Yong/JW's brand-new Silver Bullet 150 gram model, and his more established Ghost Hunter Slow Jigger 150g. After driving Yong's sales guy crazy for two 15 minute sessions - right whilst they were busiest, and also employing the considerable knowledgeable input from one of my best flukin' buddies, I ended up taking the Ghost Hunter - a real beauty.
Those Silver Bullet rods are also super nice, and well worth your evaluation, but for me the Ghost Hunter was just a tad more substantial and had an ever so slightly faster bend to it - both being characteristics that I was looking for. That Yong was offering a 20% discount on his house rods helped cement my decision.
I think the Ghost Hunter and Silver Bullet rods slot right in between Shimano's Trevala S rods and Kilsong's Black Hole Slow Jiggers - both in quality and cost. I did really also like the newest Shimano Game Type "J" slow jiggers - but at $400, umm, even I have my limits, when it comes to factory-built
fluke jigging sticks.
As you can see, my new Ghost Hunter is a near-PERFECT match to my well-modified Gen-3 Winch, the colors and overall setup balance is right on the money. I can hardly wait to get it out there and use it to catch my two keepers. What a joke!
In truth there were lots of other things that me and da' boyz looked at - one of us shot the lock off his wallet for a new Tranx 300 from Yong. He was throwing in one of his excellent house power handles and giving discount on top of it - so that was a no-brainer. I think it was heading for a marriage with his Proteus H that he acquired at last year's Somerset Show.
All in all we spent three or so hours there, and I have to say, despite being a LI-born and raised guy, the Somerset Show is as good as it gets for SW-specific fishing gear. We had an EXCELLENT time - topped off with our customary after-show dinner at Gino's of Howard Beach. Apps of Seafood Salad, Broiled Octopus and Broccoli Rabe, an entree of Shrimp Oreganata (OMG! Tremendous!), with a side of white clam sauce over linguini. A half of a fresh-filled cannoli and Espresso to top it all off. Well, in my 61 years, I'd have to look back a bit to find a more fulfilling day than yesterday was. Just a ton of fun swapping stories - fishing and otherwise, and enjoying the day with good, good friends. best, Lep