Fluking with My Father

I could never write a word about summer fishing without recalling the wonderful experiences I had learning to fish in an old rented rowboat with my father and grandfather.  Since my father burned easily in the midday sun, we always set off before dawn, headed to the boat rental place on the edge of the Great South Bay and there he would put his outboard motor onto the rented boat.

We were on our way by five thirty, with hooks overboard by six.  We fished for fluke (a type of flounder) in the summer. I can still taste the pepper and egg sandwiches my grandmother packed for us.  I can smell the bay and feel the ocean breeze on my cheek.  And I recall the blue claw crabs and how they always escaped from the bucket  and  wandered around the bottom of the boat until I begged my father to return them to their bucket prison.

Since it was a small boat, my father only brought one child with him each time he went fishing. We had to take turns.  My siblings and I recall these trips with bittersweet nostalgia,  and for me, they  were some of the most magical moments of my  childhood.

My father did not live past 53 and those fishing trips became part of his legacy.  I learned much more than fishing when I went out on the bay with my him looking for fluke.  I learned about life.



waiting for a bite 

a boy learns to ignore

the first nibble


the old row boat

drifting with the tides

then a bite!


father and son

reeling in the first fluke



summer fluking 

on the great south bay

catching  the sunrise


©2013 Wabi Sabi

For Carpe Diem ‘ the first bonito’

20 thoughts on “Fluking with My Father

  1. Please please forgive me. Must ask. All this time on Carpe Diem and other haiku sites together, I assumed you were female. No pronouns ever used until today in your writing. I have been placing little hearts after commenting. Just wanted you to know it’s so difficult for me online. You are at least third person (two on twitter) where I was totally baffled. Your haiku today are wonderful and love your story. My jaw fell when you wrote father and son. If I said anything in the past non-generic, I apologize. Wish I were brilliant and could write a haiku for you right now.


    • MaggieGrace – Be assured that you have never offended me. Your comments are always warmly accepted here. For your information, I ,the poet, am not always, I, the narrator of the poem. And fiction is permissible in poetry as much as in prose.I follow Emily Dickinson’s dictum on this subject : ‘Tell the truth, but tell it slant.” (I think she was a woman) It makes me happy that you enjoy my poems. Thank you for visiting!



      • Always enjoy and am in awe of your work. I was afraid I may have used a wrong pronoun but do tend to be generic. Just felt awful if I had. Will continue to be a pleasure. Thank you!


    • No apologies or forgiveness is needed! I welcome your visits and your always warm and kind comments. Perhaps I should have written the first part of my haibun in the third person. That may have avoided confusion. I think all writers should have the freedom to write from any perspective they desire and I enjoy playing around with different ways of looking at the world or telling a story.



  2. I am glad that you did post for this prompt WabiSabi … it’s a joy to read your memories to your father … and I know what it is to be a father and can go fishing with my son. Fishing is not my ‘cup of tea’, but for my son I have made time to go fishing with him. I also go fishing on a regular base with my grandsons.
    Thank you for sharing this story with us. Namaste.


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