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Entries in books (237)


Happy Friday! Do Something Good For Yourself This Weekend: Go Fishing!

"We fish to spend time with family and friends. We fish to relax. We fish to compete. We fish to enjoy nature. We fish to remember. We fish to forget. We fish because --- along with our families, our religions, and our jobs --- it completes us."

From Why We Fish: Reel Wisdom From Real fishermen


Want To Be A Better Angler? Check Out Better Bass Fishing

Sales for my first book, Better Bass Fishing, really have picked up recently. Not sure why, but very happy to see it. Book didn't get much publicity when it first came out so few people knew about it.

Best thing about this book is that most of it is "ageless." By that, I mean that the information doesn't get outdated because it's about the "big picture" instead of specifics.

This book tells you about bass intelligence and behavior, as well as seasonal movements. It explains how and why weather influences the bite. And it reveals attitudes, behaviors, and routines that will make you a better angler. Plus, pros and guides share their secrets on when and how to use general types of baits, including topwaters, spinnerbaits, and soft plastics. Here's an example:

Secret: Topwaters aren’t just for warm water.

"You can catch bass consistently on top in water that is 50 degrees or above,” says lure designer and topwater expert Sam Griffin.  “Usually in colder water, you want to fish extremely fast or extremely slow, not in between.”

The popper is a good choice for colder water, he adds, because you can keep it in one place longer and because its tail sits down in the water, making it easier for the bass to take.

Here are a couple of reviews from Amazon (sometimes temporarily out of stock) and Barnes & Noble:

"Probably one of the best books ever written on bass fishing. I got more out of this book than I have the last 10 books I have read on the subject. I would love for the author to follow up with a 2nd book on bass. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to fish for bass or even those of us who have been for many years. There's something for everyone in this book."

* * * *
"The information can be continually used as a resource for years to come. The best thing about this book is that the information is current. So many of the other books out there have information that is from the 80 and 90's."


Photo art created by Rick Hart's TightLines. Check it out on Facebook

Reviews at Amazon

Better Bass Fishing: "Probably one of the best books ever written on bass fishing. I got more out of this book than I have the last 10 books I have read on the subject. I would love for the author to follow up with a 2nd book on bass. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to fish for bass or even those of us who have been for many years. There's something for everyone in this book."

Why We Fish: "I read this book about 1/2 way through, then ordered 4 more. I gave them, as gifts, to friends. Some of the contributors are folks I hold in very high regard, as well as Mr. Montgomery himself. I keep referring back to certain passages occasionally, primarily to gain insight from someone else's perspective. I do recommend this book. My friends have thanked me several times."

Fish, Frogs, and Fireflies: "This book was amazing - perfect summer reading for adults and kids alike! I read it first and enjoyed it and then we read it as a family at bedtime with our 7-year-old, taking turns reading chapters. His favorite chapter was about the toads escaping and he is still giggling about some of the other stories too. It brings back so many childhood memories - back when the outdoors meant so much more. I'm so glad we read it - and we will re-read it - lest we forget. We laughed (and cried...bringing Mom up the mountain!) and I'm so happy to have been introduced to this wonderful book."


My 9/11 Story And Why Fishing Matters

Normally, we shared stories about the day’s fishing, with lots of laughing and teasing lightening the mood. But on our first evening there, the mood was somber, not sad exactly, but more reserved. I don’t remember how the conversation started or what we talked about at first, but eventually we learned that several of our small group were from one family.

“We come here every year,” the father said. “We almost didn’t come this time. Our son was killed on 9/11.”

From my point of view, at least, time stopped, as did the rocking chairs that some of us were sitting in. Here we were, a couple of thousand miles from New York City, and we were in the presence of a family freshly grieving because of the World Trade Center tragedy.

“But he loved this place,” the father continued. “So we talked about it and decided that we should come. He would want us to.”

In a cruel twist, their son didn’t work in either of the towers. He didn’t even live in New York City. He was just there, in an adjoining building, because of the travel that his job required. Debris from an explosion flew through a window and struck him a fatal blow to the head.

I don’t remember anything that was said after that. But I’ll never forget those few minutes when this family spoke so courageously of its loss and so lovingly of how their son loved to fish and how they were honoring him by being there.

Fishing, even fishing at a world-class resort such as Angler’s Inn on Lake Salto, doesn’t cure cancer. It doesn’t destroy depression or heal illness and disease. But revelations of the joy that it bestows  --- even in the aftermath of 9/11 --- does remind us of what’s important as we live out our too short time on this planet.

I was reminded of that recently, when a friend died following a long illness. She introduced me to El Salto, and we often fished there together. Outside the pros, she was the best worm fisherman that I ever met. She said that it was because she sat down and took her time; too many people, she said, fish too fast.

Whatever the reason, Katie Watson was legendary at El Salto for the many big bass that she caught.

Then a painful disease prevented her from going to the lake. But when I’d call her, we’d plan our next trip. Did either of us really believe that would happen? I don’t know.

 What I do know is that we’d talk about all of the fun that we’d had on previous trips and I could hear in her voice the pleasure those memories gave her, even as her body was wracked by pain.

Were memories helping ease the pain for the family that I met in October of 2001? And did being at Lake El Salto just days after their son was killed enhance those memories for them?

I hope so. I believe so. I believe so because time spent fishing is an investment that never depreciates. It’s always there in our memory banks, ready for a quick withdrawal and infusion to help sustain us, even in the wake of tragedies such as 9/11.

(Excerpt from "9/11" in Why We Fish.)


Bass Boss Ray Scott Shares Strategy in Better Bass Fishing

Roland Martin (left) and B.A.S.S. founder Ray Scott in 1975, after Martin won a B.A.S.S. tournament at Santee-Cooper.

One of best things about starting to write for Bassmaster in the 1980s was that I got to know B.A.S.S. founder Ray Scott. During the 1985 Bassmaster Classic in Arkansas, I shared a table with him and then Gov. Bill Clinton for a barbeque dinner at the governor's mansion in Little Rock. We've shared a few other meals at Classics and other events as well. For awhile, I was the ghost writer for his B.A.S.S. Times column. He's a story teller, entertainer, and salesman like no other, and he's also a pretty good fisherman.

I asked him to contribute to my first book, Better Bass Fishing, and this is what he provided:

Anglers never should overlook the power of provocation, according to Ray Scott, founder of B.A.S.S. and father of competitive bass fishing. That lesson was emphatically driven home to him while on Alabama’s Lake Eufaula with Harold Sharp, his long-time tournament director.

“I was fishing the front and running the trolling motor,” Ray remembers. “Harold was in the back and yet somehow he was catching twice as many bass as I was. Finally, I asked him what his secret was.

Sharp told him: "You’re making them mad and then I’m catching them."

“There’s no other fish in the world like a bass,” Ray continues, “and many times provocation is more important than ‘Let’s have lunch.’

"Yes, bass eat when they’re hungry, but they also strike to protect their territory. I’ve seen a bass hit a bait, then swim a little ways and spit it out. It’s a primary instinct.

“But you have to remember that what provokes that bass won’t stay the same. It could change in 2 minutes or 10 days. And it’s not because they think that we’re trying to catch them. They’re just doing what bass do.

“The guy who slows down and studies the fish, who can put the numbers together to figure them out, will do better than the others.”

(This book is available at Barnes & Noble, but often is sold out at Amazon, which does keep my other books in stock.)