The Fish Story

Don’t Tell Me to Leave the Shore!; ‘Bring Sexy Back’ to Reel Cleaning

By JAY MANN | May 03, 2017

COME VENTY RANT WITH ME: I need to vent. Or is it rant. Let’s call it a venty rant – and create a whole new genre of pissing and moaning. Why not come along for the Mann ride of it?

For us to concurrently P&M properly, I’ll need all ya’ all to step back in time, back-tracking into the oldest of olden times. Think in terms of aboriginal folks, when a single monosyllabic utterance, like “Shugh,” could be shouted to mean, “Saber-toothed tiger behind you, Grog!” or, when spoken seductively, could be meant to woo a volcano-hot Neanderthal gal – wearing a showy, one-shoulder fur top, complementing a rough-edged, raw-hide tribal mini-skirt. OK, so maybe I once sorta had this thing for Wilma Flintstone. Come on, I was, like, 7 at the time.

That phase duly outgrown, I need you to now go all the way back to the rise of mankindish lifeforms. Once there, focus on what even the most primitive of humanoids knew: It’s frickin’ dangerous to live along a shoreline. But still they did just that – because living along the shoreline was well worth the risk. It rocked.

Now, for time’s sake, we’ll fast forward through the various ratchet points of civilization, to note that at no time since “Shugh” also meant “Surf’s up!” has there ever been a human evolutionary stage, right up to nowness, when it wasn’t abundantly clear that living along a shoreline or a coastline means dealing with the dangers there-along.

You are likely sensing the gist of my – what did I call it? – venty rant.

Just this past week, I suffered through yet another sea-is-rising/we’re-all-gonna-die front page yellow journalism read, obviously written without a true understanding of the nature behind living the shore life. Not only are the dangers of “seashore” habitation absolutely not news, they’re as old as the hills. And “Shugh-you!” to those who won’t recognize that fact.

The highly alarming warming of the planet, with its related sea-rattling impacts, surely presents another major life phase/test for LBIers. This inane mucking up of the planet pisses off all coastalites. The fight to stop the abuse of sea and sky is a war all shore-lovers must embrace.

Nobody is more furious over the ugly exploitation of our one-and-only atmosphere than I am. I have long fought to save the planet, harkening back to the days of clearing the skies of ’60s “smog,” rallying through ugly ’70s times of fish die-offs, and ugly ’80s of washed-up medical waste, carrying on into the current warming-ocean travesty.

Being an environmental soldier of the highest order, I militantly question how anyone dares to suggest – as they have and still do – that my ongoing life next to the ocean is somehow wrong, even akin to an abuse of the planet. I also ask those plebians, how in bloody hell is retreating from the coast a way of fighting the good fight against what is ailing the atmosphere? For many/most of us, retreat from LBI is not an option … so quit annoying us with such nonsensical B.S. suggestions.

Calming down a bit: There is no greater show of appreciation of the ocean – no greater showing of admiration for the sea – than living on its shores, communing with it daily, enjoying its waters, riding its waves, fishing its resources, breathing it in, absorbing its energy. This is not to say the ocean can’t be admired from a distance, or longed for from afar, or coveted by those counting the hours before they can revisit. But living, daily, within the sounds and smells of the ocean is marrying into it; the whole vowy Monty – to have and to hold, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health … yep, right through to the death-do-us-part thing. Living here is a serious-ass commitment … and worth every minute of it. I think I’ll zip to the end of the street to fish for some slammer blues.

MY SHINEY WHAT?!: The following thing might be R-rated, though I’ll be dang if I know for sure. It is surely W-rated, i.e. “W” for weird, almost beyond compare.

A South Jersey buddy undoubtedly went into one of his patented giggling fits after emailing me a cellphone video clip. To start, it unexcitingly showed him cleaning the inside of a disassembled bait-casting reel. He was using some sort of wand-y, spinning-head cleaning device – pink in color and not immediately identifiable.

Oh, I knew full well he was up to something with this video. This is the same jokester who said he was claustrophobic and got me to climb into his attic to “get a scared cat” that had somehow climbed up there. Well, it wound up being the most pissed-off raccoon mom that I’ve ever had charge me. And, of course, the attic’s sole trap door had been slammed shut once I was up there.

Anyway, this odd spinning brush-head device seemed to work decently at reel cleaning. It successfully reached into dirty reel crevices. At the same time, I’ve seen way better tools for the job. He’s a tinkerer; I figured he had come up with some new fishing-related product to get rich from. Perish the innocent thought.

It was the cellphone’s final focus that sent things spinning out of weirdness control. It showed a well-appointed package, revealing the true identity of the device. Say hello to something called My Shiney Hiney. If I’m lyin, I’m dyin’. Ye of disbelief, simply Google it.

Despite my life of endlessly seeking weirdities, I was not ready for this thing, especially My Shiney Hiney’s glowing motto: “Bring Sexy Back.” Hey, it’s right there on the front of the package.

The first thing that came spinning into my analytical mind was the shocking implication that “sexy” had been lost, or had fled, ostensibly due to the glaring lack of shiny hineys.

But things are apparently looking brighter, or shinier, or something. Right there on the My Shiney Hiney front packaging it says, “One extra step in the shower and you’ll look sexier all day long.”


Now, very few places north of Ipanema beach in Brazil are ripe with exposed hineys – shiny, dull or semi-gloss. I can only assume that simply knowing you’re nice and shiny where the sun don’t shine allows one to exude a certain sexiness.

And, just like that, I’m not sure I’ll now be able to even glance at a gal without looking for some sort of shiny-hiney glow.

“Hey, Jay, how have you been? I’d like you to meet my grandmother. She just turned 80. Doesn’t she look great?”

Oh, no!

I soon discovered this product was more far-reaching than at first blush. In fact, I was dumbfoundedly impressed that it was circuitously being endorsed by none other than Ellen DeGeneres – which likely added some hidden oomph to the entire concept. Hey, I do read an occasional tabloid or two.

Just like that, more research was needed, so I nervously Googled the device. I wasn’t sure I wanted “My Shiney Hiney” showing up on my otherwise shiny-clean search history.

“So, Mr. Mann, you mean to tell this court that you just walked into work one day and, out of the blue, decided to innocently Google the subject of polished derrieres?”

“Yes … I mean, no! You don’t get it. I was looking into a Shiney Hiney to clean my fishing reels. I swear I’ve never done anything like this before. You gotta believe me, judge. … And it’s highly unprofessional to be laughing like that! Gimme that gavel. … Order in the court!”

After due journalistic assiduousness, I quickly got to the heart of the My Shiney Hiney matter. I couldn’t help but harken back to a famed movie scene and Crocodile Dundee’s bidet confusion – with his yelling from a NYC window sill to the crowded street below, “For washing your backside, right?”

Just like that, the wicked weirdness of the reel-cleaning video became clear. I can now seek my revenge by probing into how it happened to come into the hands of this angler.

Before backing away from this topic, I can’t shake my wonderment over the My Shiney Hiney suggestion that “It makes a perfect gift.”

Show of hands: Who among you no longer needs to worry about Christmas gifts for 2017?

RUNDOWN: I can best convey the feel of fishing by sharing a couple reports I posted on

Brett Taylor reported: “I had Bruce Conner of Illinois, Paul Covine, and Tom Duralek of Manahawkin on our first charter/open boat trip of the 2017 season. The trip’s goal was to have fun on shallow-water bluefish and we got into them at our second spot. There is nothing like throwing a popper or plug, and having bluefish destroy them in 2.5 feet of water. Some of the Barnegat Bay’s shallows produced some epic bites with fish nearing the 40-inch mark. Bruce was lights out working the Tsunami popper, followed by Paul on the SP Minnow, and Tom on a variety of lures. We had a busy morning scoring blues on nearly every drift until it slowed. As we neared the end of the trip, we took one long drift along one of the lagoon fronts and scored a small striped bass and another monster bluefish. Great morning on the water!”

Capt. Alex of Lighthouse Sportfishing reported: “First trip of the year today with John Morley from Manahawkin and his 10-year-old son Jack. Going into my fourteenth year of guiding I made a promise to myself to try some areas that I have not fished in a while and to target a new species (have to wait for summer to see if I keep that promise). Well, out of the gate first cast Jack get a schoolie striper! Well, that was the kiss of death on that bite, because during the next 40 minutes we landed only a 2 pound blue. We fished a spot I have not fished by boat since 1986. Even with that I think the change of spots paid off, and I plan on taking more of my clients there in the future. After that we were in search of gator bluefish and they did not let us down. Blues from 10-12.5 pounds on poppers and swimmers in shallow water. World class action, folks. The bite was slower than normal but no complaints with the results.”

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.