I had been throwing my line for sometime on the rising tide at a favorite zone when a guy trudged down the beach and set up just down from me. The interloper effectively reduced my fishing grounds by half, as I typically start where I was standing when he showed up and work my way down the beach beyond where he was. I shouldn’t whine, it was nothing like the near shoulder to shoulder line-up of guys I’ve seen on the Sacramento River when salmon are running the gauntlet. Nonetheless, I didn’t care for it.
With the set up I had tied on, light line and heavy tackle, I was able to launch my line way down the beach and promptly did so as he walked up. A kind of, ‘Hey man, you got a whole damn coastline to fish, so don’t start edging in on me.’ He was about to post up within casting range. I could tolerate his presence, irritably, but not a sidler hornin’ in. As it turned out, it was unnecessary jockeying.
I hooked into the fish right in front of me in several feet of water and provided the guy a show I’m sure he didn’t much care to see. The fish ran once when I brought it into the shallows after a decent fight and saw that it was a legal-sized halibut. It took a bit of line off my reel and disappeared over the seaweed covered boulders and into the murky surfline, but I kept my rod tip up and let it go. I coaxed it back to shore and onto the wet sand with the wash of an incoming wave, tossed my pole into the cobblestones without thinking and pounced on it.