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  • David Baxley

Out of Office Anglers

Updated: Jun 11, 2021

The sun had just risen as we gathered at the boat ramp in Bourne, Massachusetts. There were five of us from LabShares, and everyone's excitement was palpable as we looked forward to spending a day on the water catching fish to feed our families. Stir-crazy from a year of COVID lockdown and seasonal winter isolation, everyone's excitement was palpable as we said our greetings, boarded our vessel, and headed out directly west into Buzzards Bay.

The boat, a 27-foot Conch with 400 horses, got us to our fishing grounds quickly. I didn't clock our fastest speed of the day but did catch the odometer at 45 mph at one point. Now that's fast!

Anticipating large striper, we started throwing topwater lures, but all the fish we pulled up were small, less than 28 inches long. We tried this method for only a short time before deciding to try another technique. After all, it was a bit early in the year for striper. We soon spotted some seabass but were disappointed to again reel in only small fry.

Hoping to find a spot where the catch would meet our high expectations, the captain decided to pull our lines in and begin the search. As we explored for a better site, one of the guys started peeling a banana, which I promptly snatched from his hands and chucked overboard. Incredulous, he told me he had another banana. I asked if I could see it, and you can guess what happened next. He thought I was messing with him but the seasoned fishermen aboard knew that it's considered bad luck to bring a banana on a fishing vessel. Just trust me on this point. I explained the superstition and we were all friends again.

With the bad luck banana crisis averted, luck was in our favor as we arrived at the new spot to find so many fish, they practically blanketed the screen on the fish finder. This probably had nothing to do with getting rid of the bananas, but you never know.

Qilin of Frontera was pulling up a fresh fish with every cast; Aldo of Abcuro brought in monster after monster; and John from Bambu/NowAware and Tarik of Extend Bio were having the same good fortune at the back of the boat. Me, you ask? I was busy removing hooks and taking fish off the hooks for the new guys, who soon settled into the swing of things so I could get into my own fishing groove.

Over the next couple of hours, we plucked over 300 fish out of the water,

returning all but the largest. We had an impressive sea bounty to bring home to our families, proof that fishing on a workday was a worthwhile endeavor. We headed home, eager to show off our catch.

We pulled back into the harbor about six hours after our initial departure. Parched, sunburned, and with aching backs, all of us agreed that we would have turned around and done it all again in a heartbeat if we could. It was a fun day on the water where team LabShares was able to socialize (without masks) and get back to having some fun mixed in with work. We might just have to do this again….

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