Surf fishing can be a metaphor for life. You’re limited in your options, such as where you want to fish. People with boats can go wherever they want, using their electronics to help them find the fish, but the shore fisherman has to make a best guess and hope it’s right. You can’t be everywhere at once, and you can make yourself pretty miserable if you just think about where you could have been, instead of appreciating where you are now.
Like the rest of life, your approach, attitude, and preparation can increase your chances immensely–but you still can’t guarantee success. It is totally out of your control whether or not a fish wants to bite your lure or bait at any given time. You can get upset and frustrated, but you have to be out there trying if you want to have any chance of success.
Most of the time I don’t expect to catch much during these nighttime excursions. Sometimes I do, which validates my bringing a rod and tackle bag with me. One of my favorite trips was on a windless night at Herring Cove beach on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The phosphorescence (a bioluminescent plankton) was in abundance that night, and I could tell there were fish around because—well–I could see them. Schools of fish would occasionally swim by, stirring up a large blob of green that would move along with the fish. I would cast into or near the blob, startling the school and making the green plankton flash to life. When I hooked a fish, the blob would light up as all the other fish were put on alert, curious why one of their own was acting so strangely. It was one of those nights where you could see more in the darkness than you could in the daylight.