Kirk Deeter 2/29/2012 Every spring, I get a handful of notes from young men and women who have decided they want to try to be a fishing guide, and are looking for advice on where to start. Whether they want to take a summer or […]
Month: February 2012
Andy Whitcomb 2/28/2012 I just returned from the Bassmaster Classic, which was held in Shreveport, LA. While at the Expo, I learned a few tricks at some seminars and returned with a few innovative fishing products. Already wondering how I ever got along with out […]
One time in the fall I walked down to the back side of a cove near my house. It was close to low tide and my wife and I were going to dig a basket of quahogs for dinner. A dozen or so yards away I saw a bunch of flies swarming around and I walked up and found an ocean sunfish.
The ocean sunfish was a little worse for the wear. Ocean sunfish feed on jellyfish, and based on their enormous size they need to eat a lot every day to keep their form. In his pursuit of a full belly this one must have followed the jellies high up into the grass beds when the tide was high, and then stayed just a bit too long.
We noticed a few things when we inspected this rather remarkable fish up close. The first was his colossal size. If you look in the upper left hand corner you’ll see a pair of feet. Those size 11’s belong to me, and if you compare them to the rest of the fish you can get an appreciation for the size and scope of the fish. The second part that was very interesting was that this tail-less fish had a face that seemed to resemble that of an old man. There was a pronounced pair of eyes, a nose, and a rounded mouth. Most fish look like fish but this one was different.
We see them when the ocean warms up and the jellies are around in good concentrations. When I’m wade fishing around dusk and their dorsal fins fly high out of the water I think it’s am shark cruising in close. The fins flop back down almost as fast as they went up, and I relax and think about the bass and bluefish at hand. The ocean sunfish is one remarkable creature for sure.
And it occurred to me that most of the time we’re catching some really good looking fish, but every now and again we catch or see some fish that are just… well… a little bit different.
Kirk Deeter 2/15/2012 Did you know that tarpon can live 80 years or more? That means most of us who fish for tarpon have a chance of hooking one that’s older than we are. Or how about this? In the early 1600s Izaak Walton described […]
Andy Whitcomb 2/14/2012 Perhaps the two most important components of fishing are, first, the hook set and second, getting the sharp thing back out. Many times hook removal is accomplished by hand especially when using the catch-and-release friendly circle hook or a single, visible standard […]
In a lot of fishing applications we spend our time fishing in water where we can’t see what’s going on. Trolling, nymphing or streamer fishing, and working a spinnerbait along some deadfall are some of the ways to catch fish without seeing what you’re doing. When we have an opportunity to see what we’re doing, heck, that tends to lighten the mood.
What happens when you see a school of fish in skinny water? I’ve heard that some anglers yawn at the prospect of working a pod of fish like this, but I’ve yet to actually meet one. I think we all feel our blood pressure increase just a little bit, particularly as we get ready to make a presentation.
Maybe it’s the rise that does it? Knowing that there is a fish underneath the series of rings begs a series of questions that connect
us with that fish: when is he coming back up and where is he coming back up? We’ll watch for a while and try to figure out the pattern so that we can figure out where and what to cast. It’s like a high-stakes game of poker, winner take all.
Some fish push water when they’re feeding, and when you see that movement you’ll wonder if it’s one fish or if there are more. The V-wake that is left behind is a tell-tale sign of where the fish is headed, and casting ahead and beyond means that your lure will be in front of his face when he gets there.
Splashing fish get under my skin. They show a little fin and thrash around on the surface, sort of saying that they’re here but are going to eat what they want to eat. I like it when I hook up one of those fish. The game they play is one of hide-and seek.
Fish of all species show themselves in a wide variety of ways. Catching them puts a smile on every angler’s face. When we release them we are releasing a smarter opponent. And what that means is that we raised the stakes for when we try to catch ‘em up again.