Maura Magazine | The Fish List

The Fish List

My uncle is teaching me how to fish for fish. The knuckles on his hands-fisted are boney as he holds the pole and shows me how to arc the line, to cast. He has no kid of his own to share this knowledge with, not even a buddy’s son, so I am a dutiful student.

We are standing hip-deep on the shallow side of a pier on the bay. It is a warm-morninged day. We cast a net for glass minnows, for bait, he says, and while we wait my uncle names the fish we could catch. There are the shad, the mullets, the needle-nose gar, the flounder, the sea trout, the stinky old ladyfish, and the Jack Crevalle.

He says we won’t catch any of these. But since there was a rain we could catch a catfish in the brackish water.

We walk through the water, the short way, he says, to where the river meets the bay. I am dragging the now full bait-net. [...]