Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Dorchester's unofficial fish?

I was at P.J. Bait Shop this morning, at 1397 Dot Ave, soaking up the hand-me-down, angling news passed along the local chum line.

Here's what's running in Dorchester Bay past the JFK Library and the UMASS Boston seaside campus: Crappie.   I'm not trying to be funny, here.  A bunch of the old timers and some of the young timers too were talking about how the species Perciformes nigromaculatus is in season in our coastal waters this time of year.  Granted, I don't know sturgeon from shinola, but these crusty characters seemed to know what they were talking about.  Since I wasn't stocking up on bloodworms and I obviously didn't know a sinker from a treble hook, they were particularly unguarded in their conversation.

Apparently, the best place to reel in these crappies is where the sewer vent bubbles up off shore and under the tideline across from the UMASS campus center.  An older man remarked on this to a younger one with a wink.  The younger guy looked at me suspiciously, as if I might have overheard a secret.  I studiously inspected a display of rubber squid while feigning deafness so they wouldn't suspect I was eavesdropping.  They shared a laugh and the young buck thanked his elder mentor for the tip.  It's a tip I pass on to you, gentle reader.  This is a good time of year to fish for black crappies.

As one of the gentleman said while he was leaving the bait shop: "Percifores nigromaculatus," he said in high faluting Latin, "That's the best eating you can get in Dorchester this time of year or anytime."  He had the fingers of his right hand curled into the Okay symbol and he brought them too his lips for a kiss. like a pizza box chef.  "Percifores nigromaculatus...yessir... fine eats," he repeated.

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