Words by Aaron Wood
For some, birds are an expected feature of sea and sky, but for striper fisherman, the sight of a few gulls fills their bellies with fire and focus. "It was slow that morning, but I saw some birds miles out and decided to make the run."
Chasing fish can leave you licking your wounds, but Captain Eric Kulin wasn't chasing fish—he was spotting gold. "We had fish feeding on topwater for hours—all to ourselves," Kulin tells me, a nostalgia-inducing outing like his early years.
In those early years, fishing was the only thing that mattered: "I had this feeling I was always missing something if I wasn't fishing." But after decades of pursuing tuna and inshore game, Kulin now takes delight in the days when he can catch one or two fish with friends and family; or even better, Kulin finds a slice of solitude to take pause, reflect, and fill his proverbial cup with the sights and sounds of a place he cherishes.
Kulin is deeply aware of how exceptional the Cape fishery is and wants it to stay that way. With one eye forever drawn to the horizon in search of birds, Captain Kulin feels the entire community must connect to accomplish a long-term solution to maintaining a flourishing fishery.
"My greatest hope is that we preserve and protect the fishery so when I'm seventy-five, I can go out and have one more epic day like that."