Thursday, December 31, 2009

Thursday Review: Eddies Magazine (Fall 2009)

Thursday Review: Eddies Magazine (Fall 2009)

The latest edition of one of my favorite magazines just hit the mailbox. Eddies: Reflections on Fisheries Conservation is an official publication of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and if you have any love at all for the outdoors, you know how much the USF&W has done to promote and preserve our sport.

This issue is the best yet. Great articles like "'Running' a Historic Hatchery" by Lee Allen and "Restoring Ancestral Waters" by Ben Ikenson are outstanding, but I found particularly compelling the "Meanders" column by Dr. Samuel Snyder, a new Ph.D. specializing in American fishing history.

Eddies serves an absolutely critical need in our sport by disseminating timely and interesting articles about the past and current state of fisheries management in America. I encourage everyone to subscribe.

Sample issues of the magazine (including the most recent issue) can be found on the Eddies web site by Clicking Here. The magazine is brilliantly edited by Craig Springer.

-- Dr. Todd

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ben Wright's Spinning Reel Report (Fall 2009)

Ben Wright's spin reel Ebay Report for------
The Fourth Quarter 2009
HO   HO   HO !!!
225 e+wb @ 385.67
Garcia Suveran S4000M e+wb @ 376.99
    "          "       S1000M e+wb @ 345.00
4X nib @ 223.51
3 Tan/Black nib @ 311.70
4 First version wxc @ 231.50
3 Tan/Black repro nib @ 218.80
52 e+wb @ 175.00
original 33CDL nib @ 850.00
Bache Brown Luxor A3 exc-w/box @ 125.97
Vic green exc- @ 65.50
7850 nib starting @ 124.99 NO BIDS
silver series 1000-C starting @100.00 NO BIDS   
Dam Quick:
290 automatic CF e+wb @ 610.00 holy moly
Royal MDS 5500 e+wb @ 227.66
Finessa 280 nib @ 107.50
1001 ewb @ 180.27
441-N nib @ 191.38 wow
Herters 109-A nib @ 180.00 wow
Chippindale w/tournament spool exc- @ 1749.02
Canute exc- @ 155.29
Hardy Altex no2 mkV ewb @ 355.00
sportex 55 exc+ @ 198.43
Hardy Altex MK1 w/turned up ducks foot exc- @ 949.45
Crack Contact 400 Green e+wb @ 401.66
Crack 200 FB nib @ 123.51
Mepps Super Meca Non orginal silver color? @ 282.00
early Regina exc- @ 1,082.23 first one I've seen
sprotex 55 nib @ 325.00
Alcedo Micron curved leg nib @ 256.51
Alcedo Micron Settenta exc- @ 456.00
Falcon 22 nib @ 168.50
Marvel 17 nib @ 167.50
44 super dark green like new @ 560.00
Florida 66 sea blue/gold spool like new @ 1530.00 wow
early 33 gray exc- @ 560.00
Atom nib @ 202.50
Orvis 475 exc @ 153.55
Pelican 100 ewb @ 137.86 wow
Major Asso Luxe exc- @ 609.52
Major Asso exc- @ 454.29
Crebbia series 1948 exc @ 750.43
Two 304's with consecutive S/N's both exc- @ 99.99
3-3-0 otomatic e+wb @ 250.00
300DL nib @ only 621.87
498X Pro nib @ 443.88
common 408 nib @ 377.78 holy cow
510 w/rod exc+ @ 510.00
714 nib @ 210.27
Black 710 exc @ only 50.95
Black 711 exc- @ 255.00
706 nib @ 340.00
706 nib @ 375.00
704 second version nib @ 142.49
Arges Standard exc- @ 200.50
Avat Frimu proto-type exc+ @ 296.00
Metrom exc+ @ 179.50
Sigma 2200-060 nib @ 132.50
2091 nib @ 64.00
2052 first version nib @ 135.83 say What !!
super Rare pivot foot proto-type exc @ only 395.00
only two known !!
Nemrod exc- @ 629.00
Sagarra 1/2 bail exc @ 372.50
Fix w/MPU exc+ @ 108.38
Staro w/MPU e-wb @ 295.98 wow
Van Staal:
early first version black VS 300 like new @ 492.00
VS 400 Off shore s/n 27 exc++ @ 1800.00
Cardinal 555 nib @ 219.50
cardinal 3 first version nib @ 331.53
33 CF 50th anniversary like new w/display case @ 214.50
Other Reels:
Fin Nor no 3 exc+ w/case @ 300.00
 "    "     "  4 nib @ 700.00 wow
early Line Caster exc @ only 15.05
Rogue 150 exc- @ 256.07
Johnson Pink Princess 10AP e+wb @ 177.50
Tina Mite Japan exc @ 34.99
Rite Angler e+wb @ 91.01

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Voices from the Past: Fishing in the 1830s

The following blurb came from The American Angler of 06 September 1884. It was written by a man who for all accounts is recounting fishing in and around the 1830s in New York, which just goes to show you that the phrase "the fishing was much better when I was a kid" is not new.

Fishing Now, and Fishing Then

It may be interesting to the readers of The American Angler and to anglers in general to read of the fishing in the rivers and bays adjoining this great city years ago, when a man could take a strong reed pole, with strong line and good-sized blackfish hook, walk to any of the docks on the East River, from State street to the Hook dock, and catch a fine mess of fish in a short time. The rivers at that time abounded with fish, good ones, too, and there was plenty of food for them. So sure as the fishing season came, so sure would the fish accumulate around the reefs and docks in the rivers adjoining this city.

When I was a boy I would take my reed pole, about ten or twelve feet of line, and a basket, go to the Catherine Street Market, buy three cents' worth of clams; (if I could get shedder crab I would consider it a lucky thing), and would then go to the end of one of the piers, take a seat on the string piece of the dock, and fish close to one of the spiles, and the fish would gather there to feed. In a short time I would get a fine lot of blackfish and sea bass from half a pound to three pounds in weight. I have often caught blackfish of four pounds' weight off the docks.

-- An Old Resident
New York, Sept. 1884

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Top 30 Fishing Related Stories of 2009

The Top 30 Fishing Related Stories of 2009

In what will go down as one of the least lamented (economic) years in memory, 2009 is about to pass into history. Here's a look at my Top 30 Fishing Related Stories of 2009. Keep in mind they may not all be the most newsworthy, but this is what got my attention. 2009 will go down from a fishing standpoint as the Year of the Record Fish, as many longstanding World and State Records fell to anglers around the globe.

1) George Perry will (likely) have room at the top, as there is a new World Record Bass.

2) We also have anew world record Brown trout.

3) And to make a trifecta, 2009 saw a new World Record Rainbow to boot.

4) Benson--Britain's most famous carp--died. Seriously, this was massive news on the front page of most British newspapers.

5) The death of Jack Gartside was a great tragedy.

6) In one of my favorite stories of the year, Bill Schneider mourns the loss of his favorite lure: Pikey the Great.

7) Jaws is Real!

8) President Barack Obama goes fly fishing in Montana...and gets skunked.

9) A new world record hammerhead shark, pictured here being boated, caused a ton of controversy.

10) While I'm a slave to my laptop, a new Ohio state record Blue Catfish is caught 10 miles from my house!

11) A fish who had a very good 2009 was the Alligator Gar. Even The Wall Street Journal reported on Alligator Gar fishing.

12) 9 year old MUCH better angler than you; catches 9 foot, 193 pound catfish.

13) A Dayton man gets to live out his childhood working in a bait shop.

14) Few people had a better 2009 than Britain's Edward Barder, the former Hardy's rodmaker, who got a ton of good press thanks to the documentary The Lost World of Mr. Hardy.

15) Just like 2008--a little girl using a Barbie pole lands giant fish. You may now gently weep.

16) Trout Unlimited celebrates its 50th anniversary.

17) In 2009 we lost the noted fly tier Fran Betters.

18) The story of a man, a crocodile, and More on the a Giant Nile Perch.

19) The Sun reports on one that didn't get away.

20) Joseph Scheer, the "fishin' fiddler" concertmaster of the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, now makes Bamboo Fly Rods.

21) Man dies eating a bait fish in front of schoolchildren. As a prank. Seriously.

22) Two fisherman survive 25 days adrift at a cooler. This is clearly in the lead for story of the year.

23) The AMFF's decision to ask Dick Cheney to speak at the museum caused a ton of controversy; the New York Daily News and The Detroit Free Press, among others, pile on the AMFF.

24) Does this look like the face of a man who would smuggle a dead pike in under his shirt in order to win a truck in an ice fishing contest?

25 Someone else who had a good 2009 from a press standpoint was April Vokey, who attracted a lot of attention for using Facebook to raise money for her Flies for Fins movement so she can save the steelhead in B.C..

26) In one of the most ridiculous stories in memory, city officials declare a Clearwater tackle shop owner's beautiful angling mural an "illegal sign" and threaten to fine him $138 a day. More here.

27) The greatest single human being, collector, sporting goods merchant and writer to ever walk the face of God's green earth: George Leonard Herter. (Hyperbole anyone?)

28) 73-year old cannot prove he is over 18; gets denied right to purchase catapult from local bait shop.

29) The inventors of the Quick Minnow, a device for dispensing live bait, tell you how to (not) get rich and (not) famous inventing fishing tackle.

30 In the Year of the Record Fish, we even get a new record Mako Shark.

Special Jury Prize: Your favorite fishing history blogger makes the august pages of ESPN Outdoors/Bassmaster!

Here's wishing you a bright and beautiful 2010!

-- Dr. Todd

Sunday, December 27, 2009

A Thousand Words with Warren Platt

A Thousand Words with Warren Platt

Two men in loooooong canoe.  Don't know what they're after but the large net would handle whatever it is.  On the back of the photo is just an advertisment for the photographer and he's from Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.

-- Warren Platt

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Deconstructing Old Ads with Bill Sonnett

Today's ad comes from the December 1936 issue of Outdoor Life. When saw this ad several things really struck me. The fellow with the new Pflueger Supreme in his hands looks to be fairly prosperous for 1936. The Depression was in full swing with the unemployment rate that year at just over 16% for entire nation. Jobs were few and very low paying. It would certainly seem that few could afford $25 for a new fishing reel.

Supremes are fairly easy to date (especially if you have a copy of Robert A. Miller's THE HISTORY OF THE PFLUEGER SUPREME
from Whitefish Press) and it has always amazed me that Pflueger Supremes from this period just keep showing up in seemly endless numbers. When I was getting started in this hobby (1970's - 1980's) Supremes were a sought after item commanding prices in the $25 to $50 range. The supply soon out-stripped the demand and today prices continue to drop. I have purchased nice Supremes at shows over the past two years for as little as $5. I have a hard time passing one up when I consider what went into its manufacture. The Spool is lathe-turned out of a solid bar of aluminum. The bearings and gears are made of Phosphor Bronze, a very hard and very expensive alloy. It almost seems comical today to see reel makers touting the fact that their reels have "real brass gears." Brass is what was used in the cheapest reels a generation ago.

About 15 years ago I was told by an engineer in the field that it would cost about $180 at that time to produce each Supreme if the same standards and materials were used. I seldom fish with a Supreme, but if I had to choose just one older reel to take on a long wilderness canoe trip, it would be the Supreme. You can do just about anything to it, drop it in the Lake, in the mud, in the sand ------ and it just keeps working.

-- Bill Sonnett

Friday, December 25, 2009

The Christmas Angling Poem

A very Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, and overall glad tidings to everyone in this holiday season! We re-run our Christmas poem from last year today. Enjoy!

My apologies to Clement Clark Moore for butchering his classic, but I could not let the holidays pass without a shot at rewriting his beloved poem, with a fishing theme...

An Angler's Christmas

butchered by Dr. Todd

'Twas the night before Christmas and all across the lake
Not a creature was stirring, not even a snake
The stockings were hung in the cabin with care
In hopes they'd be filled with bugs made of deer hair

This angler was nestled all snug in his bed,
While visions of Pfluegers danced in my head;
Shakespeares and Heddons both old and brand new
All served to disrupt my long winter's snooze,

When down on the dock there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Worried about my Big O's in mint silver flash,
I tore open the door to investigate the splash.

The light reflecting from the nearly full moon
Gave the lustre of mid-day to my Dardevle spoons,
When, what to my shock down the hill should appear,
But a Skeeter bass boat filled with reindeer!
And a portly old fisherman, so lively and quick,
I saw it was the angler we knew as St. Nick.

More rapid than eagles his reindeer disembarked,
And he whistled, and shouted, their names he did hark:
"Now, Bagley! now, Paw Paw! now, Norman and Zebco!
On, Arnold! on Rebel! on Jamison and Nebco!
To the top of the steps! to the end of the dock!
Then on to the shore, my grazing herd flock!"

As dry flies that before the stiffest breeze fly,
When they meet with the wind and blow in the sky,
So along the dock the bounders they flew,
Followed by the boat full of tackle, and St. Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the shore
Their prancing and pawing and reindeer like roar.
As I drew in my breath, and was turning around,
Up the steps St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in B.A.S.S. gear from head to foot,
And his Ranger Boats cap was blackened with soot;
A bundle of rods he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a trout bum just opening his pack.

But his eyes, they twinkled, his smile was so merry!
His hooks were all sharp, his reels were so cherry!
His Orvis fly rod was as lithe as a bow,
And his hand tied streamer whiter than snow;
A piece of his leader he held tight in his teeth,
And the rest of his line lay coiled like a wreath;

St. Nick the Angler adjusted his belly,
And it flubbered around like a worm made of jelly.
But despite his big girth he could handle a rod
And he had taken his share, in spite of his bod
He slipped in the house with nary a word
As I stared in disbelief at his grazing deer herd.

St. Nick got to work, and with a nod of his face
He gave his approval of my piscatorial cache
He spoke not a word, and went straight to his work,
Filling the stockings with baits made to jerk,
Arbogasts, Helins, Spoonplugs and Skinners
Bass Pro, Cabelas, and multi-blade spinners
The stockings were soon just bursting with treasure
And he threw in a Winston, just for good measure

Then laying his finger aside of his head,
He gave me a nod, and down the steps he fled;
Into his boat he jumped, with its promo decals
And he puttered off out of sight to fish with his pals

But I heard him exclaim, as he trolled out of sight,
"Good fishing to all, and to all anglers, a good-night!"

Merry Christmas!

-- Dr. Todd

Merry Christmas from All of Us!

Merry Christmas from a Cat who Looks Like Wilfred Brimley.

And to get you in the Christmas mood, here's a video of a four month old lab puppy who saves his family from near certain death.

-- Dr. Todd

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve: My Favorite Christmas Song, Redux

Here is my favorite (new) Christmas song from an old episode of Saturday Night Live, redone by Jimmy Fallon of Late Night, with help from the Roots and the lead singer of the Strokes.

Merry Christmas to everyone out there!

-- Dr. Todd

PS Here's a few more:

The Original Chipmunks Christmas Song (1961)

The Redone Chipmunks Christmas Song (2008) which I'm not so much in love with...

Eartha Kitt singing "Santa Baby" from 1960.

My daughter's favorite Taylor Swift covering Santa Baby (2009).

Johnny Mercer and Margaret Whiting sing Baby It's Cold Outside (1950)

Leon Redbone and Zooey Deschanel sing Baby It's Cold Outside (2005)

Andy Williams and the Osmonds singing Happy Holidays (1976)

Ferrante & Teicher's Santa Claus' Party.

Kay Starr's "Man with the Bag" (1950)

I Want A Hippopotamus for Christmas by Gayla Peevey.

Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra's "A Marshmallow World"

Ol' Blue Eyes with The Christmas Waltz (he wrote this one)

I prefer Leon Redbone's version, but Jimmy Buffet's "Christmas on Christmas Island" will do

The Snowman Song

Mele Kalikimaka by Bing Crosby

Not really a Christmas song, but my favorite winter song from the incomparable Lady Day.

Mel Torme and Judy Garland sing The Christmas Song...

A different kind of Christmas song, but this Pogues song (with Kirsty McColl) reminds me why I love the Irish.

Bing and Bowie? Yes please.

Finally, you can't beat Bocelli singing Ave Maria.

-- Dr. Todd

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Power of the People...

The Power of the People...

Perhaps you'll recall a little over two years ago Dan Basore alerted us to a rather dastardly act by the Chicago Tribune newspaper to discontinue outdoor coverage. Refresh your memory by clicking here and by clicking here.

Well, although it took over two years, the Tribune has finally seen the light. A little birdy told me that they have FINALLY hired a new outdoor columnist! Here's the intel:

I have a major scoop for you. The Chicago Tribune is adding an Outdoors columnist. Don Dziedzina who has written for Midwest Outdoors and has a new television show will be named to head that post. Now many of us that had dropped the Trib may return.

Agreed. My boycott of all things Tribune will end the moment the first column comes out.

I'm positive without all of the people (some from right here) writing in to tell them how foolish it is to turn their back on the outdoor community, there would be no outdoor column in the Tribune.

Way to go folks!

-- Dr. Todd

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Voices from the Past: Dr. J.A. Henshall (1884)

In time for Christmas, we bring you this holiday epistle from the great Dr. James Alexander Henshall. It was originally published in the December 1885 American Angler.



In the current issue of The Turf, Field, and Farm, we find the following paper on winter angling in Florida. The fisher for sheepshead in northern waters will note the practice obtaining in Florida of striking quickly, being the reverse of what he does on northern grounds. We bear witness to the value of the instructions given to "Buck:"

It was sunrise in Florida. The crimson spokes of Phoebus' chariot wheels rose silently out of the sea and stretched from horizon to zenith. The day had dawned clear and fine. The sweet breath of morning, the soft, south wind proceeding from the tropics and following the Gulf stream northward, stole along the shore, whispering loving messages to the palmettos, whose slender arms and broad green hands, trembled with eager, responsive delight.

It was the third day after Christmas. Our little schooner lay moored alongside the mangroves and palmettos of Pinkham's Cove, just above Indian River inlet The waters of the cove and channels among the islands were at rest, and clearly reflected the blush of the morning sky, for the tide was low-slack. The pelicans from their rookery—twenty miles away—came sweeping down Indian River and out at the inlet in long single files, noiselessly and swiftly, their huge bills in repose upon their breasts like great giant woodcocks. The long-billed curlew, the gannet and the cormorant came sailing over in flocks and companies, and settled down on their feeding-grounds in the channels among the mangrove isles. Plumed egrets and crested herons came singly and in groups, gulls and terns came in wheeling squadrons, and bay snipe and shore birds in multitudes. The fish crows greeted the rising sun with praises loud though harsh, ably seconded by the chatter and trills of the grackles.

Amid this calm and dignified repose of mother Nature and the noise and bustle of her children, "Buck" and I were capturing the mini branches and roots of the mangrove, shaking down, meanwhile, the dew drops in a shower of diamonds, rubies and sapphires, or chasing the lively fiddler-crabs along the shore; for Buck, having never wet a line in salt water, was to begin his novitiate as a salt-water angler that very morning.

Having secured hundreds of the active crustaceans, we proceeded in our dingey to a favorable location, not fifty yards from the schooner, and anchored. The tide now began to make, which brought the stern of the dingey over an oyster bed, where Buck was to try his "'prentice han'" on sheepshead and drum-fish, while I being in the bow, could easily reach the fringe of mangroves at the edge of the channel with my flies, to which were certain to rise red-fish, salt-water trout, ravallia, crevalle, &c. And where else than in Florida could this happy state of piscine possibilities exist—one occupant of a boat taking bottom fish of many varieties with bait, the other taking surface feeding fish with the artificial fly?

Buck was armed with a stout Henshall rod of ten ounces, a braided silk line, and a single Sproat hook, No. 1-0, tied on a gimp snell, while I was equipped with a heavy, twelve-ounce trout fly-rod, and used but a single fly, a "polka." A single hook or solitary fly is all that should be used in Florida waters, or, for that matter, a single hook, in bait fishing, is amply sufficient for other waters, and more should never be used by the genuine angler.

"Now, Buck," said I," bait your hook with the smallest crabs, whole, but cut the larger ones in two or four pieces. Keep a perfectly taut line, and strike sharply whenever you feel a nibble, or you may lose your bait and your chance of hooking the fish. Perhaps you may fail to hook your fish upon striking, but you will probably save your bait for the next one. They will not stop biting during the first half of the flood-tide, for their name is legion. Sheepshead are great baitstealers; therefore it is best to strike quickly, upon the least nibble, or your time may be more occupied in baiting your hook than in playing your fish."

Buck's hook had scarcely sunk beyond his sight before he felt a short, sharp tug; he struck quickly and firmly, and was soon playing a fish of considerable strength and activity, giving him line freely.

"My stars!" he exclaimed, "how he bores towards the bottom; and he bucks like an old ram!"

"Don't give him line," I advised, "or he will tear out the hook or cut the line on the oyster shells at the bottom. Hold him by the spring of the rod until he comes toward the surface, then reel him in."

"Which Buck proceeded to do, and soon landed a sheepshead of five pounds,

"Come in here, you old mutton head!" said he exulting over his first sheepshead.

Soon he had another, and profiting by my advice gave him no line and soon had him on the surface and in the boat.

"Come in out of the wet you slab-sided gridiron!" he exclained in high glee. "Oh, I'm a boss shepherd among sheepshead, and don't you forget it. It takes me to corral the bucks, ewes and lambs of this lively flock!"

As Buck was an apt pupil, I left him to his own devices, knowing that he would now soon learn all that was necessary in sheepsheading in the school of experience. I began casting under the mangroves, and was soon fast to a salt-water trout of some six pounds, a fish closely allied to the Northern weakfish, but more gamey. Buck stopped fishing to witness the struggle, and, as I took it into the landing net, he said:

"You've pricked my balloon, and the gas has escaped. I'm tired of catching sheepshead. Let's change ends and swap rods."

"No, no, Buck; dance to your fiddlers, and stick to your end of the boat, for to-day at least."

"Great guns!" exclaimed Buck shortly afterward; "I've got a Tartar this time. The spring of the rod won't do for him, and I'm afraid he'll fight it out on the line till next summer, and pull me overboard in the fall!"

And the reel hummed merrily. Finally he landed a drum fish of fully ten pounds, and a good, gamy fighter withal

"The father of all sheepshead," remarked Buck; "look at his beard!"

"That's not a sheepshead at all, Buck, though it has a slight resemblance in its barred sides; it's a drum."

"Well," answered he," that's the first drum I've played since I was a boy, and I played it well; oh, I'm a boss drummer now!"

In the course of an hour, and in quick succession, I took several more salt-water trout, a few red fish or channel bass, running from four to eight pounds; some ravallia or snooks, of from three to ten pounds; crevalle of three or four, and lastly a bone fist of about three pounds, which last fish gave more real sport than all of the others. The bone-fish, or lady-fish as it is sometimes called, is a slender, silvery fish; and fights in the water and in the air like the black bass, but mostly in the air. Buck was much excited and elated during the play of the fish, and cried out, at times:

"Game to the backbone! A silver shuttle, by Jupiter! Handspring, flip-flaps and summersaults! Great Scott! I've done with sheepshead and drum! Hurrah for Bony-part! You've knocked the sawdust out of my doll, now, by thunder I"

Buck soon had the stipulated dozen sheepshead needed for the day's supply, and returned to the water all those subsequently caught. All of my fish were also returned alive to their element, except a bluefish of six pounds, the only one caught, which was reserved for the gridiron. Finally Buck tired of landing sheepshead, small drum-fish, mangrove snappers and pin-fish, or salt water bream, even before the stage of half-flood was reached; and though we quit fishing, the fish had by no means ceased biting.

"Well, well!" gasped Buck, thoroughly exhausted with his sport, and his hands smeared with fish scales and crab shells. "In the name, of Walton, Cotton and Dame Julianna, what's this?" and he lifted in a large toad-fish or oyster-frog which I unhooked and threw overboard, for Buck was afraid to touch the uncanny thing.

"I think I'll stop now," he said; "or may be 111 catch the devil himself, for I don't believe he is proof against crab-cider or a lively fiddler."

"Well, Buck," I asked," what do you think of salt water fishing?"

"I've not had time to think much about it," panted he; "it takes my breath. It beats anything I ever dreamed of. The idea of two men in the same boat, a few dajrs after Christmas, hauling in fishstriped, streaked, spotted and cross-barred, of all the colors of the rainbow—with human teeth and saw-teeth, sharp teeth and blunt— hauling them up from the bottom, yanking them up from the top find pulling them in from the air above: it's too much—much too much. And then the nasty, slimy things—the toads and puffers and swellfish. Yes, it's much too much. But I've had glorious sport, if you can call it sport Why, we could glut a fish-market on a single tide. But I'm not a fish-monger. I'm an angler. A little of this thing goes a great way. Really and truly I've had more sport taking a half-dozen black bass from a clear stream, under the green trees, with the song of the birds, the odor of the flowers and the fragrance of the fields borne on the summer breeze, than with all this constant yanking, jerking and snaking in of a piscatorial convention, to say nothing of the lure—crab hash and clam chowder!"

"Nay, Buck; thou art biased and exhausted by overwork; thou art prejudiced by a surfeit of sport. Let us up killick and away to our little ship, where in preparation the matutinal meal, the sputtering of the savory sheepshead in the frying pan, and the sizzling of the bluefish on the gridiron will drive away such uncharitable thoughts, and the appetizing odors exhaled will dissipate the odium of comparison between fresh-water and salt-water angling. And remember, my dear Buck, that it is not so much by the act of angling that we are to be judged, but by the spirit with which we engage in it. And let us both remember, until we cross to the other side of that silent stream, this merry hour of angling, in this merry Christmas time."

Cynthiana, Ky. Dec. 1884.

Monday, December 21, 2009

It's Here! The Mitchell 300 Softcover Is Now Shipping!

For those who've been emailing, the new Mitchell book softcover is now shipping!

Mitchell fans may now do a little dancing jig...

-- Dr. Todd

News of the Week: 21 December 2009

West Virginia angler launches a new lighted fishing in Minneapolis...Pflueger plays a part in a WWII history book...chinooks v. croc v. nile perch, part deux...Rapala buys a new toy...Yo-Zuri...walleye pro Mike Gofron sounds off...for one guide work = play...a 1930s rod, restored...spey casting must be THE NEWS OF THE WEEK!
The Big Lead: A West Virginia angler is set to launch his Night Light Fisherman rod.

My old stomping grounds of Lake Nokomis are being subject to "bio-manipulation."

A new book about a WWII airman from Akron who's wife worked at the Pflueger factory while he was fighting Nazis in Europe promises to be a fine read.

The return of the Chinook promises to be a boon.

A Cornish angler is set to get a record.

More on the man vs. Crocodile vs. Giant Nile Perch.

Piggeyback spoons are killer for bluegill.

Rapala VMC buys Ultrabite.

Aussie angler pens his second fishing book.

Yo-Zuri lures, kayaks, and old friends.

20 questions with walleye pro Mike Gofron.

Wahoo! Angler is surprised by big catch.

A Mille Lacs fishing guide says work = play.

Sturgeon lighten up a dismal angling day.

A 1930s vintage fishing rod has been restored for a local British museum.

The right equipment is everything in ice fishing.

Finishing with a Flourish: How to improve your spey casting.

-- Dr. Todd