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Fishing After Work – “It’s stress relieving.”

Fishing after work
Written by Brian Tarcy


EASTHAM – That hour after work. Through the eternity of hard labor, it has been celebrated in many different ways.

On Cape Cod, some workers unwind by parking their truck next to a local pond and casting a line to play a few games of catch-and-release with the local fish. Instead of going to a tavern, a golf course or straight home to a TV remote control, they go fishing after work. “It’s stress relieving,” said Randy Gifford, 51, of Dennis.

Fishing after work

Matt Milliken of Eastham: “It’s a couple of hours away from reality.” CAPE COD WAVE PHOTO

He had just cast from Fisherman Landing on Herring Pond, one of more than 300 Cape Cod ponds between the bridges and Provincetown.

Just down the beach from him was Matt Milliken of Eastham. Asked his age, Milliken said, “I’m gonna plead Jack Benny for the rest of my life. I’m 39.”

Milliken wore a red jacket and a blue knit hat and he rolled his own cigarettes. When Gifford showed up at the pond in his black truck, Milliken had been fishing for about a half an hour and had already caught three large-mouthed bass, he said.

Fishing after work

Randy Gifford of Dennis: “It’s stress relieving.” CAPE COD WAVE PHOTO

Gifford, taller and wearing a black hoodie, said, “This is just quick, easy and accessible after work. You just stop by after work and throw a line,” he said.

The evening glowed a light pink at the horizon past the calm pond. Nearby a great blue heron lurked, and then flew. Looking around, it was not hard to figure out why they came here. SEE SLIDE SHOW BELOW

Fishing after work

A great blue heron, part of the scenery. CAPE COD WAVE PHOTO

Gifford said, the fishing does not compare to the fresh water fishing he did when he lived in Oklahoma. “They catch really big catfish. You can get spoiled down there,” he said.

They both said they do not eat the fish, mostly bass and perch, that they catch in the pond. Instead, they come for the relaxation.

“It’s like going to the movies,” said Milliken. “It’s a couple of hours away from reality. You can pay attention to something other than your worries.”

This is the time of year the ponds are accessible, he said. “You can’t do it in the summer. This is a swimming beach in the summer,” he said.

And Milliken added that the best part about fishing is, “You meet cool people. You see these old coots out here, and they always got the best stories.”


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About the author

Brian Tarcy

Brian Tarcy is co-founder of Cape Cod Wave. He is a longtime journalist who has written for the Boston Globe, Boston magazine, the Cape Cod Times and several other publications. He is the author of "YOU CAN'T SELL RIGHT FIELD; A Cape Cod Novel." He is also the author or co-author of more than a dozen mostly non-fiction books, including books with celebrity athletes Cam Neely, Tom Glavine and Joe Theisman. His previous book was, "ALMOST: 12 Electric Months Chasing A Silicon Valley Dream" with Hap Klopp,who created the iconic brand, The North Face.
For more information, see
Brian is a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan with a long-running NFL predictions/political satire column connecting weekly world events to the fate of his favorite team, now at

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