Today I was contemplating life. While pawing through my bags of worms, soft creepy-crawlies, and other plastic treats I happened on a pack of Z-Man 10X Tough Zinkerz. I did what most of us “bass people” do when no one was looking—I mashed down on the worms, letting them squish out from under my fingers and squirt around in the bag. For some odd reason—that’s just fun to do. While playing with the Zinkerz, I came to the conclusion that I hope there’s no such thing as reincarnation. Cause if there is—I’m in deep, deep trouble. Reincarnation lore has it we’re destined to come back after death in another life form. If true, I’m sure I’ll be remolded and repackaged as a bass. Now, considering these Zinkerz, that can’t be good news.
A swanky Italian bar in Manhattan hardly seems like the place to interview Eric Young, a bearded, fishing nut, wrestler turned television host. But yesterday morning, among the ties and skirts, that's exactly where I caught up with him to talk about his new show, Off the Hook: Extreme Catches (Personally, I think he was in it for the scrambled eggs and bacon).
In his wrestling career, Young has portrayed an affluent villain, deranged super hero, and a delusional champion with severe ADHD, but his new show on the Discovery Channel allows him to focus his strength and enthusiasm on adventures like paddle-board shark fishing.
"I fish because fishing is the ultimate sport for optimists - each time you cast into the water, there's a chance that your bait could be taken by almost anything. Bass, catfish, snakehead, trout, panfish, etc. all have their excitement and their challenges. Any cast could be the one to produce a strike. The anticipation of a strike, watching a fish hit the surface while chasing prey, the struggle of the fish, the leaping and running, then bringing the fish to your feet before ultimately releasing it and watching it return to the current to live and fight another day, are all part of the experience.
Any angler worth their salt is familiar with the original Eagle Claw snelled hook package. The familiar red, white, and blue package has been an industry standard since the late ‘40’s. But who is the mystery man shown so prominently holding that “stringer” of nice trout? After all, this fishing icon must have a name, right?
In the spring of 1938, Paul Mount started his career with the Sharp Point Fishhook Co. in Colorado. Sharp Point was a subsidiary of the Wright & McGill Co. of Eagle Claw fame. Mount had just graduated from high school—and landing a job with a fishing company was a dream come true, as Mount was an avid angler. Mount worked initially in the quality control department, checking tens-of-thousands of hook eyes for imperfections (yikes).
In the summer of 1946, Mount tagged along on a fishing trip with Drew McGill, Stanley Wright, Floyd McCall (a photographer for the Denver Post) and then movie star Dennis Morgan. Mount was to serve as a guide for the group who were fishing the Fryingpan, Crystal and Roaring Fork Rivers in Colorado. All waters Mount had fished extensively growing up in Colorado.
I’m not impressed by much. In fact, I’m a bit of a skeptic. If a crankbait promises to dive fifteen, I know it won’t dig more than seven. For me, it’s how I’m programmed. You know—genetics; chromosomes, DNA, nucleotides, RNA and genomes.
So, by not expecting too much, I’m typically not disappointed when real-world performance falls short of the marketing hype. I mean come on—are we really to believe a single paper towel can inhale an entire liter of ill-placed grape juice? I’ve never dribbled anything that didn’t require the entire roll (and then a couple old bathroom towels for backup).
A recent column on CBSNews.com asks the age-old question: "Why do dudes love fishing?" The writer, a woman named Faith Salie, goes on to hypothesize that maybe it's to: fulfill primal urges, catch dinner, pursue democracy, mono-task, relax or bond with other dudes.
Let's help Faith out a little bit. Give us a short explanation in the comments section below on why you love fishing. The reader with the cleverest, funniest or most insightful answer will win a medium-heavy spinning rod and reel combo and an assortment of Berkley soft plastic baits valued at over $60.
The Louisiana Delta is the perfect place for a beginner to learn how to fish, and I know, because until I went there my fishing experience consisted of three backyard-pond bluegills.
Two weeks ago the Field & Stream and Outdoor Life staff trucked it all the way down the road to Buras, Louisiana to spend some time with Cajun Fishing Adventures. We spent the mornings in meetings and the afternoons fishing.
On the marsh a novice angler, of which we had a few, could easily catch an array of fish including: redfish, alligator gar, drum, flounder and more. There are at least 183 species of freshwater fish in the Mississippi Delta. One coworker caught three redfish for three casts. Some coworkers were smacked by flying Asian carp.
Charlotte Smith, her boyfriend, and the two co-captains aboard the Ikaika Kai are nursing sore muscles and cramped hands after landing a 915-pound blue marlin off the Palaoa Point Lighthouse on the southwest corner of Lanai, Hawaii.
Charlotte fought the marlin for two and a half hours, before her boyfriend, Atule Madan, and Captains Neil Preston and Kamal Pfeifle relieved her. They spent the rest of the time struggling to crank the dead fish up.
The spirited marlin refused to make it easy on the anglers. After circling the boat methodically for the last half hour of its battle with Smith, it suddenly dove 300-400 yards straight down and died, according to the Lahaina News.
Preston strapped himself in, stopped the fish from sinking any further down, and began the arduous process of reeling the marlin up. There was so much pressure on the line that the rod bent over the stern. After 10 minutes, the bolts holding the chair's gimbal in place broke from the strain.
The National Wildlife Federation’s initiative to heal the impaired Louisiana Gulf Coast is called “Vanishing Paradise,” and nothing could be closer to that description than the view from Jacques Blaize’s fishfinder.
We are parked on the western, or Gulf of Mexico side, of Highway 23, the asphalt lifeline that connects this southernmost watery tip of Louisiana with New Orleans and points north.
Blaize’s GPS shows a braided labyrinth of marshes and bayous, narrow waterways threading through grassy hummocks. The fish we’re hunting —redfish and speckled sea trout, the occasional flounder and even largemouth bass — love edges, and the view on the electronic screen is a paradise of edge habitat.
Only the landscape depicted on the fishfinder doesn’t exist any more. I raise my head from the electronics and look west. It’s a desert of open water. No grass beds, no floating mats of maidencane and bulrush. The diverse marsh has disappeared so recently that the digital map loaded in Blaize’s GPS hasn’t been updated.
This goes out to all the righties: Have you ever tried to throw a football with your left hand? Miserable isn’t it? To the casual observer, you look like you’ve been jabbed in the neck with a Novocain-laden syringe. It’s like trying to swat no-see-ums with a waterlogged canoe paddle in your mouth.
So why is it folks insist on trying to throw finesse baits — those whose effectiveness is predicated on their precision presentation — on a baitcaster? On any given Saturday, you’ll see ‘em out there slinging itty-biddy baits on baitcasting gear. Now look, admittedly it’s not our fault. Reel manufacturers have promoted this behavior ad nauseum (translates from some really, really dusty old language into English as “until you puke”) for decades.