Her name was Kim Casares and she had green eyes. She was 19, a waitress at the French restaurant where the Washingtonians gathered before their big sea trout expedition at Lewes, Del.
After they drank too much wine and champagne and cognac, the green eyes became downright captivating, and they asked her what time she had to be a to work the next day.She said 4:30 p.m.
"Good," they said. "Then you can come fishing with us." She said she couldn't, they said she could, and after much back and forth she agreed to be on the dock at 7 a.m.
The wind blew and rain clouds mushroomed and filled an angry sky. The sea was whitecaps and swells. Dreamboat, a converted Navy 50-footer, rocked and tossed, sending its passengers into sudden downhill dances that stopped as quickly as they started.
But they were on the trout grounds in the height of season on the best spring sea-trout fishing spot on the East Coast, the mouth of Delaware Bay. Capt. Stanley Johnson killed the diesel, and 10 bucktails plunged at the end of 10 lines.
"Just hit the bottom and jig it up and down," Bill, the mate, told Casares.
"But how will I know when a fish is on?" she wondered.
"You'll know when he hits," haw-hawed a wiser-than-thou chorus.
Joe Gilroy, fishing in the stern, felt his bucktail stop. He jerked the rod and reeled in the first trout of the day, an 8-pounder, which thrashed on the deck.
"I hope I don't catch one," said Casares. "Eeeeeek!"
She hung on and brought the fish in handily. Bill, the mate, dipped it with his net. It was a good-sized trout. "This is easy," she said. The mate rigged a new piece of cut squid on her bucktail and she dropped the lure back overboard.
It was fairly good fishing, despite the rough seas. The trout bit sporadically, but after a half-hour Casares had had no more takes. She decided to take a nap. As she reeled in her line, another trout grabbed the bucktail and she captured No. 2.
She went happily to her nap while the otehr hardy anglers kept at it. By noon, when the winds were howling and rain was driving, they called it quits. Not one fisherman had any more trout than Kim Casares, whom they woke up when they returned to the dock.
What does this prove?
It simply backs up a theory that almost anyone who has been sea trout fishing with a woman will espouse. There is a capability difference based on sex. As bitter a pill as this may be in these days of equality, the incontrovertible fact is that women are better at sea trout fishing than men.
"I don't believe that stuff," said Casares.
What does she know?
Three years ago, two extremely experienced fishermen spent a day angling for trout at Point No Point on the Chesapeake with Capt. Taft Tippett, one of the best trout guides on the western Shore.They took along a woman whose first question was, "How do I know if I have one on?"
Tippett fishes while he's guiding and he seems to consider it a personal insult if anyone catches more trout than he does. At day's end, two dozen trout were in the boat. The woman had caught 13. Tippett had fewer. The veteran fishermen had fewer still.
Bill, the mate, has observed the phenomenon of female trout anglers in his work. He believes their skill is attributable to different sensory equipment in the hands. "Women feel better than men," he said, exhibiting his own calloused paw. "A trout bites very light," he added, "and the women can feel it where a man might not."
Casares herself believes the secret is that she can spend more time fishing when she's fishing. "See," she said , wiping the sleep from her eyes while waiting for the gentlemen to filet her catch, "I refuse to touch the bait. So everyone is running around baiting my hook and worrying about whether it's on the bottom or not, and I get to fish."
She was one of two women aboard Dreamboat last week. The other was Beth Stewart, who was covering the event for the Delaware Coast Press. Stewart spent most of her time shooting photos and interviewing people, but even she managed to boat one nice trout on her first fishing adventure.
She got her second fish to the surface, but lost it there. The reason? Trying too hard. Which is the real reason why men are comparatively lousy trout fishers.
A trout basically catches itself. It responds very poorly to aggressive behavior. Stop me if this gets too deep, but most men have an uncontrollable compulsion to dominate their circumstances.
So when a humble trout bites their bucktail, they jerk on the rod as if to produce a fatal wound with a scimitar.This has the effect of violently removing the hook from a trout's soft mouth.
Should the man fail to pull the hook out, he begins a series of maneuvers called "pumping and reeling," which were designed for the conquest of blue marlin and tuna in excess of 500 pounds.
Usually on his final group, the male angler succeeds in hoisting the poor trout three feet into the air, where it shakes its head in bewilderment, dislodging the hook.
A woman is more apt to reel the fish to the surface gently and slowly and wait for the net or gaff person to bring it the final few yards. He technique essentially is to ignore the exhortations of the men clustered around her baking orders, and to bring in the fish in a spare, efficient fashion, all the while wearing a dreamy, distant look.
The trout fishing at Lewes has been spotty, but judging by the impressive numbers of fish and boats on hand in stormy seas Thursday, the spring run has begun in earnest. A number of headboats and charter boats go out daily from Lewes and across the bay in Cape May, N.J.
Hughes catches of 100 trout or more are not uncommon this time of year.By mid-June the totals will have declined somewhat.