Friday, June 29, 2007

A License to Fish - per James Bond

Everyone knows that some forms of fishing require a fishing license. My advice to you is "don't get caught without one unless you have a wad of dough in your wallet."

The state of Connecticut, for example, has many different types of fishing licenses. What you probably want is the resident fishing permit. It is $20.00 and worth every penny.

In general, you need a license to fish fresh water (i.e., inland lakes, rivers, and streams). If you are deep sea (or inlet) fishing, a license is not required. But there are limits to what you can take (and leave):

The CT Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has done a tremendous job of organizing fishing information for residents of the State of Connecticut. Look into the DEP in your state.

And one more thing...even though some fishermen and women keep their secret spots to themselves, I have chosen to divulge my tip for the day: Trout Parks. The State of CT has designated 11 parks as trout parks. This means that these parks are stocked with trout (by the state) and with a fishing license, you can go get 'em...with your license to fish. Cast safely!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Organizing a Tackle Box

..this is why they call it a Tackle Box! By the time you've finished organizing it, you feel like tackling someone!

The key to organizing any tackle box is organization. Categorization, that is. First, if you saltwater fish and fresh water fish, you really should have two separate tackle boxes. You don't want to mix saltwater lures in with the fresh, as these lures may rust more quickly from exposure to the salt. In addition, having two separate boxes makes everything more accessible and organized.

Second, categorize. Let's use a freshwater tackle box as an example. In the "hull" (bottom) of your tackle box, you should have needle-nosed pliers, a collection of pellet weights, band aids, extra bobbers, extra line (a spool), extra hooks (in packages) if you are fishing live bait (shiners, sawbellies or even worms), baggies of rubber worms (if you use artificial bait), finger nail clippers (great for cutting the line close to the knot), bug repellent, a small flashlight, and dramamine. You never know who is going to get woozy. You might also want a regular pair of scissors, but you definitely want a good fishing knife. You can bring a scale, too, if you feel that weighing and measuring are going to come into play. There are some additional items from Ronnie Garrison that might provide additional insight.

So, you've got a full hull. Let's consider that the tackle box we are working with has three tiers. The first tier (on the bottom) of a tackle box has the longer lures (e.g., top water baits). You might also have rubber worms (hooked) in these slots, as well.

The middle tier should have your spinnerbaits and your crankbaits. I store mine with the head facing out (towards me) so that I have easy access to the clasp and reduce the risk of getting hooked in the finger.

The top tier should have an array of items that you use regularly. For example, leaders, pellet weights, snap swivels, etc. You might have your favorite hula popper up there, too, for easy access.

Remember to categorize your tackle box before your next expedition. You'll spend more time catching flounder than floundering!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Parental Influence

As a child, I can remember fishing on Doctor's Lake in Orange Park, FL off of the dock of my maternal grandparents. We used cane poles, saw sea cows (commonly known as the protected Manatee), and caught mostly perch and an occasional bass. Most of this fishing was done alone, as my grandparents weren't truly fisher people. They lived on a lake and they didn't fish. Whatever.

In my recent adulthood, I had the pleasure of living on Lake Oscaleta in South Salem, NY. Bass and trout heaven. I could fish any time I wanted. Bliss. My father, the true fisherman in the family, would revel in each visit. He even caught a 25 lb carp while we were eating lunch. Email me for the picture!

My father taught me everything I know about fishing. Loading a reel. Tying knots. Which bait to use. Instincts. Using live bait. The ethics of catch and release. Trying new things. Getting up at 3:00am to go fishing. Finding the "spot." Casting right in to the spot. Trolling during downtime.

My cousin Christopher and I both love to fish. We have since we were little. In Maine, we catch mackies (mackerel) to use as live bait for the highly coveted striper (located in a cove to go unnamed near Muscongus Bay).

My grandfather had his own worm farm (vermicompost) - I remember lifting the plywood to toss in some cornmeal. He was interested in fishing. But he was more interested in breeding worms than threading the hook just so. In other words, he was not the "influence de peche" for me.

My father always has been and will continue to be the best fisherman I've ever known. Patient. Knowledgeable...My dad buys sawbellies (AKA alewives) for lake bass and trout and eels for stripers. Who's your daddy?!

Thursday, June 21, 2007


In 1995 (or thereabouts), I was at a party. I overheard someone say that they would never buy a bike unless it had Shimano parts - and only Shimano. Soon following, I went shopping for a used bike and what do you think I bought? Every single part (chain, breaks, you name it) was Shimano.

The same applies to most of my fishing gear. Shimano poles and reels. The Shimano name lends itself to quality, durability, and good, solid equipment.

Shimano is also promoting a program called, "Take Me Fishing." This program encourages children (and families) to spend time outdoors instead of indoors and stresses the importance of nature and its beauty.

I know that for me, fishing has always been a source of respite - a chance to face the challenge of getting the fish while exercising patience. I have found that fishing is a true way to connect with nature while respecting it at the same time. I love to fish - even if I don't catch anything, the anticipation of knowing that I might only fuels me for the next experience.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Hula Poppers

Sounds like a sexual lure...or maybe some kind of Hawaiian dance...or maybe a drug...

Truly? A hula popper is a surface water lure that drives bass, in particular, crazy.

Some hula poppers are comprised of two pieces - this makes the lure appear "broken" or "injured" to the fish. Yum.

Other hula poppers have multi-colored skirts that almost "dance" in the water.

My take is that the term "hula popper" serves to tantalize the fish. Using material that resembles a grass-skirt and a fluid popping motion (set in motion by the fisher-person), how can a big bass resist?

The Patience of a Teacher

If you have spent any time fishing, it takes patience.

Casting. Waiting. Reeling in. Casting. Reeling in. Losing bait. Casting. And on and on...

One of the best ways to spend a summer day is to take a kid fishing. It might be your child, someone else's child or even a child without a provides a way to connect with nature while teaching patience (which incidentally, is a virtue). To learn more, click here.

This site is dedicated to fishing - lures, tackle, equipment, and bait. But more importantly, this site explores the human side of fishing - the patience, early-bird-gets-the-worm approach that drives us to the sunrise...

Enjoy...and remember, you can't catch a fish if you don't cast a line.