By Rick Jensen
A couple of hours before dusk, you could see it.
Sometimes it would move in wide circles.
Sometimes it was turmoil traveling in a straight line between the lighthouse and Cockenoe Island.
The Long Island shallows along the southern Connecticut coast offers plenty of food for reactionary blue fish: mackerel, sand eels, porgy, butterfish; basically anything that's shiny and moving.
They also eat each other. I've seen it.
Half a mile offshore, seagulls circled high above the carnage, waiting for the blues to move on before diving into the bloody waste for dinner.
The massive splashes told me at least a hundred blues were feeding on hapless menhaden whose mistaken instinct causes them to feel safer schooling in large numbers.
If blue fish had a word for "smorgasbord," this would be it.
Just flash a shiny object in front of a blue fish and it'll bite.
Winding down the 35 horsepower Mercury outboard, my little treble hook hit the water as the 13-foot Boston Whaler slid into the frothy mess of menhaden parts.
Immediately, a big, toothy blue hit the unbaited hook and flew into the air.
Down went the furious fish as I struggled to reel it in.
The blue flew into the air again, which was truly impressive as its tail was completely missing.
Down it went again into the dark, roiling water.
Closer and closer, the fish was again airborne, though this time half of its body was somewhere else in the water or, more accurately, in the belly of another blue fish.
By the time I reeled it into the boat, all that was left was the head.
This bloody cannibalistic adventure was replayed each time I cast.
Then came "The Bump!"
The boat rocked a bit when the blue shark bumped into it. As it glided along the starboard side, the 6 or 7 foot long eating machine leaned a bit sideways and eyed me.
It was an eerily hypnotizing moment to a 14 year-old kid. I felt like a menu item.
Still, I decided to remain standing in the small open boat and cast again. That's when I saw the shark flinch, roll and strike out at a passing blue. A couple of blues took bites and the shark was not at all happy about it.
Another bump on the boat.
Three dorsal fins approached from just southeast of what we called the Cockenoe Lighthouse.
I sat down.
The bloody fray continued, all of the combatants moving more quickly north.
I decided to sit and watch, as there was no way I was going to catch a complete fish in this massacre.
The ride back to the dock we shared with four other families was relaxing. No one waited for me or greeted me from this great sea battle.No ribbons or medals of bravery were awarded to any of the great ocean warriors.
This common conflict would simply be remembered by a man who was amazed in his youth by such blind, ravenous gorging; God's feeding machines operating at full speed.
Any bright, shiny object in the water would be tasted.
Bite first, decide later.
Which brings us to Donald Trump.
Trolling blues with bright, shiny objects is one thing.
Expecting the President of the United States to bite at every shiny object that catches his eye is quite another.
Trump needs to learn that he doesn't need to bite at every shiny statement made by political adversaries who are trolling him.
Especially because the major national political media will describe him as the aggressor.
Take, for example, Rep. John Lewis trolling Trump by slurring him as "illegitimate."
Trump sank that hook in his beefy jowls, calling Lewis all talk and no action while his district suffers.
The media swarmed onto Trump's self-defense as so many fellow frenzied, mindless bluefish.
They wrote, he "attacked a civil rights legend" on Martin Luther King Day, even though he actually pushed back at an attack.
The press will not change their behavior.
To sail the ship of state, Trump needs to learn when to just sit down in the boat and watch the action around him.
© Copyright 2017 Rick Jensen, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.
Rick Jensen is Delaware's award-winning conservative talk show host on WDEL, streaming live on WDEL.com from 1pm ---- 4pm EST. Contact Rick at [email protected], or follow him on Twitter @Jensen1150WDEL.