Hardwiring a 53 Out Of The Harbor
September 12, 2013 by Ron Powers
You might say that Captain Walter “Pete” Peterson had a bit of lady luck aboard his 26’ Fortier Valkyrie on Wednesday morning in Boston Harbor. The “lady” turned out to be a 52 ½”, 53-pound cow of a striper. Pete and pals had a charter trip scheduled that morning out Saquatucket Harbor in Harwichport but the captain cancelled because of the weather. The view from Captain Pete’s slip at Marina Bay looked calm enough so he decided to go fishing anyway in the familiar waters of Boston Harbor. Captain Pete is a disciple of old school wire-lining bucktail jigs and soon he was “snapping ‘chutes” among some of his favorite haunts. The skipper took a few smallish stripers and soon prying eyes were swarming him, thwarting his trolling lane. But luck played yet another role in this outing as the interlopers were soon distracted by a roaming flock of birds and gave chase.
No sooner had the other boats departed when the fish of Pete’s lifetime struck his jig/sea rind at about 7:00 a.m. The first run peeled about 80 to 100 feet of 50-pound test line out of his spool but typically of really big bass it tired after the initial run and was soon brought boatside. But things would get a little hectic as Pete’s gaff struck the big bass through the lower lip which energized the fish and led to the captain literally walking the swimming striper while leaning over the gunnel until he could gain control of the fish. As he placed the mammoth striper on the deck of his bass boat, he knew he was looking at the linesider that would define his fishing career. Later the tale of the tape at Belsan B&T in Scituate would say it all: 52 ½” long, 28” in circumference and 53-pounds on the nose.
Ironically, Captain Pete has fished with some of the legendary charter captains out of Cuttyhunk, Massachusetts where he learned to perfect the wireline/bucktail jig method and it took a short trip within his home harbor for him to achieve glory. Pete turned 70-years young about a month ago and it looks as if Neptune gave him one mighty fine belated birthday gift!
I’m hoping some of this story looks familiar to you because I wrote a feature on my friend Captain Pete and his wire-lined wizardry in Boston Harbor and you can read all about it in August’s issue of On The Water! If you’re looking for an up close and personal look at the captain’s technique you are in luck because he runs a small charter business out of Marina Bay called Viking Charters!