The Best Spot You Never Heard Of

For me, fishing is generally not a social activity. It is intensely personal, private, and intuitive. Except for family, I tend to be an angling loner. The concept of a fishing friend was an oxymoron until I met Luciano and was introduced to KLP.

We kept it secret for twenty-four years. The name was originally LP, code for a remote North Shore fishing spot discovered by Luciano Rebay in 1977 when a landowner gave him permission to park and access her beach. He quickly discovered that striped bass feasted there at night, and the game was on. He called it Luciano’s Place, or LP, and didn’t mention a word of it to anyone except Nelson Bryant and myself, whose lips were sealed.

Luciano grew up in Italy during World War II, fighting with partisans against the fascists as a teenager before eventually moving to the United States and becoming a distinguished professor of Italian literature at Columbia University. He and his family started summering on the Vineyard in the early 1960s, and fishing became a passion that we shared for many years, often at LP where bass were thick, feeding on small bait and crabs and difficult to catch.

Soon I, too, became friends with the landowner and also received permission to use her beach after dark. Luciano renamed it KLP for Kib and Luciano’s Place. We fished it together innumerable times until 2001 when the owner died, and in all those twenty-four years we never gave away the location or encountered another angler. Clandestine stuff indeed.

The bass preferred the last half of the falling tide, often breaking at our feet by the hundreds, and our nighttime expeditions followed the tides, sometimes starting after midnight and lasting until dawn. Luciano favored a spinning rod and a floating Rebel, while I stuck to fly fishing. He often outfished me, but that didn’t matter; there was no competition between us, only camaraderie. The fish were mostly schoolies, but there were numerous exceptions including a thirty-six pounder for Luciano and a forty for me.

Yet as good as the fishing was, what I remember most vividly about those magical nights was the companionship and charisma of my luminous friend and our wide-ranging conversations under starry skies when the fishing was slow.

Luciano passed away last summer at age eighty-six. As he said to me at the end of each night at KLP: Buona notte, caro amico.