Get Updates! and Search
No RSS feeds have been linked to this section.












Why We Fish: Waiting for the Blowup


And do you know what heightens anticipation even more? A big blowup and a near-miss from a bass that looks to weigh more than 10 pounds.

One extraordinary morning, that happened to me on consecutive casts to the same spot. Always the optimist, I put the lure there a third time, and this time I hooked the fish that just wouldn’t quit. It weighed 12 pounds.

What pleases me the most about that memory, though, isn’t that I caught --- and released --- that big bass. It’s vicariously enjoying again the anticipation and how it intensified with each cast and each near-miss.

I also can remember feeling almost unbearable anticipation as a child. Mostly it manifested as sleepless nights, with me thinking about going fishing the next day with my friends. But the mystery? Not so much. Kids live more in the moment and eagerly take what comes instead of pondering what might follow. That’s why it’s so important for adults to allow them to pursue distractions --- chase frogs, dig worms, skip rocks --- when the fish aren’t biting.

Excerpt from "Mystery and More" in Why We Fish--- Reel Wisdom From Real Fishermen.


Help Stop Attempts to Ban Recreational Fishing Off New England Coast

Anti-fishing groups are asking the Obama Administration to ban recreational fishing off portions of New England, significantly impacting the recreational marine community in the Northeast and setting a precedent for future closures across the country’s coastal areas.

Despite zero evidence to suggest recreational fishing poses a threat to the habitat or fish populations in these areas, these groups are lobbying the government to include a ban on recreational fishing if, and when, it designates a large section of the Northern Atlantic as a new Marine National Monument.

You better believe if these groups get their way, they won’t stop. And with more than a year left in the White House, the Administration could soon be adding similar bans across more and more offshore waters. 

We can’t let that happen. We can’t let anti-fishing groups dictate the government’s agenda. We need to respond.


Hydrilla Creeps Closer to Great Lakes

Hydrilla is creeping ever closer to Lake Erie, the warmest and shallowest of the Great Lakes. Most recently, it has been found about 20 miles away in Lake Pymatuning, a 17,000 -acre impoundment on the Ohio/Pennsylvania border.

"It is a serious situation," said Brian Pilarcik of the Crawford County Conservation District. "It can grow very fast, almost an inch a day and forms large, dense masses that can and will impact water sports and will have a negative impact on tourism in the county.

"We are very concerned that the plant could eventually reach Lake Erie."

An environmental educator at Pymatuning, Linda Armstrong added, "The lakes here get quite a bit of use and people will go from one to another, so it is critical to clean all equipment as well as boats."

Already Pennsylvania resource managers have talked with their counterparts in Florida about the discovery, with the latter promising assistance in containing the invasive plant.

Long a problem for many fisheries in the South, hydrilla was first reported in Pennsylvania during the mid 1990s, according to Pennsylvania Sea Grant (PSG).  It's also now established in Bucks County and the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia. The next closest infestation to Pymatuning is Lake Arthur, about 60 miles to the south.

"Hydrilla is a federal noxious weed that continues to spread to new regions in the United States," PSG said. "It is unknown exactly where hydrilla originated, but Asia, Africa, and Australia are all mentioned in the literature as native ranges.

"Currently, Antarctica is the only continent without records of hydrilla."


'Tis the Season to Buy a Book About Nature and the Outdoors

As summer winds down, the book-buying seasons of fall and winter begin. I hope that you'll consider my latest, Fish, Frogs, and Fireflies--- Growing Up With Nature. It's a collection of essays and short stories, mostly by me, about lessons learned from nature when I was a child.

Here's an excerpt from one, based on what happened many years ago, at just about this time of year. I frightened a hawk that had just captured a snake. It tried to fly with the reptile in its talons, but the weight was too much and the raptor fell into a lake:

"I had to do something or the hawk almost certainly would die. But what?

"I would have to pull it out of those reeds, of course. I snapped a couple of photos of the bird, put the camera back in the car, and took off my flannel shirt. Then I waded in toward the hawk. It watched me with fierce eyes as I maneuvered around behind it.

"Spreading the shirt like a blanket, I used it to enfold the outspread wings and press them against the hawk’s sides. As I lifted the big bird, weeds fell off its feet, but no snake. Sloshing toward shore, I pushed against the bird’s sides, fearing it would panic and hurt me with its hooked beak or sharp talons.

"But it did not, and we both reached shore safely. Now what? The logical action would have been to set the bird free, of course. But I was a teen-ager. Remember?"

The book is available at Amazon, in both paperback and Kindle formats.

Here are a couple of the 30 reviews:

"Absolutely delightful, from start to finish, I loved the many short stories, the passion of the writers comes through so vividly it is hard to put this book down. No matter your age, there is something in this collection of stories for everyone who has ever loved the outdoors, wild places and wild things."


"Funny stories and a couple that will require a hanky, but all well written. If you grew up in a small town near a creek or pond it will be impossible not to smile and remember how you felt back then. It will also remind you of the folks that shared their knowledge so freely, and how lucky you were to grow up when kids could be kids."


Marine Monuments Could Include Ban on Recreational Fishing

Does anyone remember  President Obama's National Ocean Council (NOC), formed early in his first term to "zone" uses of our oceans, coastal waters, and even inland. In other words, its intent is to tell us what we can do where, and, while it may start in blue water that few ever venture out to, that's not where it will stop. The inevitable result will be restrictions on where we can fish--- unless we fight back.

If you don't remember the NOC, check out this earlier post National Ocean Council Is an Executive Power Grab of Our Fisheries.

A more recent move to impose "fully protected" marine monuments is part of that same effort. It may not be Obama's intention to restrict or ban recreational fishing, but it certainly is the intent of many of those with whom he allies himself.

Keep America Fishing reports that some anti-fishing organizations are pressing for these bans off the New England Coast.

"The federal government is currently exploring this issue," it says. "There is the potential for all recreational fishing to be banned, even though there’s no evidence to suggest we pose a threat to the habitat or fish populations in these areas.

"It's time to make your voice heard above our opponents --- send a letter today.

Go here to learn more and send a letter.