Boy was it cold this morning. 52 when I made my way to Joe’s house at 5:15 to get the boat ready for our morning charter. With us today was Sandy’s clan. They come every summer from far and wide for a family reunion of sorts. This year was different in that we had only the guys on the trip, no kids. There are of course many variables when salt water fishing. What the fish are feeding on, time of day, tide and wind to name a few variables. But equally as important is temperature. The Stripers don’t like it too cold or too hot. They are in happyville when the temp is in the 62-68 range, from my experience. As we made way from the Pamet harbor the water temperature was 61. By the time we arrived at the Race it had dropped to a chilly 58…..freezing! We towed around for a couple of hours, and all we had to show for it was a nice keeper caught by Mike. It was time to switch it up and find some warmer water. The Billingsgate Shoal off Wellfleet is a large shallow sand bar, deep inside Cape Cod bay. After a short consult with Joe, we hauled in the lines and set sail. The guys were having a blast. It was their day on the pond, so to speak. No kids, no wives and no worries. The lack of fish wasn’t going to spoil this fishing trip, no sir. The beers helped. They actually helped quite a bit. So we arrived at the shoals with a bucket full of empties and one Striper in the box. But the water temperature was a pleasant 64, perfect for Striped Bass. It didn’t take long. The line peeled from the rod and a big fish bent the rod double. Steve was up. He was seated and on the rod fighting what I knew was a large fish. And then he inexplicably stopped. He just stopped reeling! Any slack in the line and the fish can easily throw the hook. The reunion dinner depended on this fish. Mike had brought an empty cooler for this fish, and Steve was about to lose it! Joe went ballistic, ” Stop being a snowflake and keep reeling.” OMG!! The whole boat howled…..I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time. Steve got the message. And with a little ribbing from the peanut gallery, the 37″ Striped Bass was finally landed. A new nickname was born. Sandy and the guys have some great memories of a guys only fishin trip that will last a lifetime. We had as much fun as they did. See you next year!