- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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On my first upstream cast I got an immediate strike, and I was into a small bass. A 12-incher, silvery with purple-black stripes. I released it and proceeded to catch five more, all small, all in front of the same upriver boulder.
Small stripers are everywhere along the Hudson rocks in the summer (they begin to leave as cold weather arrives). It's easiest to find them with a spinning rod. Just cast along the rocks before and after high tide, retrieving with the current.
Busily releasing small stripers, I scarcely noticed the arrival of the two visitors. When I turned and saw them, they were sitting in my raft in the grass, clutching matching pints of no-name moonshine.
"How ya doin'?" I delicately inquired.
"You gonna float around in this thing?" one of them asked.
"Yeah, do this thing hold you up?" said the other.
"Well, for one person it's all right, if you're careful. It can tip over, though, if you don't know what you're doing." I was lying.
"I think we'll take a ride in it," one of them said. "Where's your other oar?"
Tricky situations weren't uncommon on my Upper West Side beat, but this was the first time my raft had been in jeopardy. Both men were bigger than I am, and although they were obviously more than a little drunk, I knew I couldn't stop them if they wanted to take a ride on the raft.
"I'll tell you, right now's not really the best time for a float on the river," I said. "See that log? See how fast it's moving? The currents are really dangerous now. In about an hour the tide will slow down and I'd be glad for you to borrow the raft then. My name's John, and I come down here to fish the river a lot. I've never seen you guys though. What are your names?"