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Entries in The Online Fisherman (9)


My book Why We Fish is included in The Online Fisherman's Father's Day Gift Guide. It also will be included in a giveaway promotion.

If you think reading can't be as much fun as a day on the water, Why We Fish: Reel Wisdom From Real Fishermen just might change your mind.

As the 50 essays transport you around the world, from small creeks and ponds to Great Lakes and blue water, you will recognize reasons that you have long known. And as you do, you will remember and relive favorite fishing trips of your own, whether it was landing a trophy or seeing a double rainbow at sunrise because you wanted to be on the water at first light for the topwater bite.


Looking for Another Big One on the Big O

This afternoon, I’ll drive down to Lake Okeechobee to fish with friends, Sam Griffin and Dave Burkhardt. Sam is a legend on the Big O, and a long-time creator of some of the best wood topwater baits. He also knows as much about the art of cajoling bass to bite a topwater as anyone I’ve ever met.

You can read more about Sam and learn some of his tactics by reading this article that I wrote for The Online Fisherman.

A couple of years ago, I caught the 8-5 pictured above while fishing with Sam on Lake Okeechobee.

The Big O is not only a world-class bass fishery, but a national treasure because of its natural beauty, its abundant wildlife, and its popularity as a tourism attraction. One of its inhabitants is the rare Everglades snail kite, which I photographed while fishing with Sam.

Sadly, Lake Okeechobee also is a paradise under siege from pollution. Check out this article to learn more.


The Proof Is in the Popper

Its rubber skirt long ago dried up and crumbled into dust, but my old yellow Hula Popper remains one of my most prized possessions. I haven't fished with it in 40 years, and, as best I can remember, I caught only one bass with it. But that one fish . . . well, it set the course that I have followed as a lifelong angler, including to my friendship with Sam Griffin, a lure designer and one of the world's best topwater fishermen. That's why I so love that Hula Popper.

Yet, I didn't make the connection between that lure and my addiction to topwater fishing until I wrote an essay in my new book, Why We Fish.

I caught this hefty largemouth on Sam Griffin's Offset Sam.

As I started to write "The Proof Is in the Popper," my intent was to point out that pleasant memories of previous trips are some of the main reasons that we fish. But then the essay took on a life of its own as I visualized that fall day on Turner's pond so many years ago.

The water was flat calm, and I knew next to nothing about fishing a topwater. Since the bait was a "popper," I popped it. In fact, I popped it as hard as I possibly could, sending ripples all across that pond.

(This is the beginning of an article about my addiction to topwater fishing and what I have learned from my friend Sam Griffin, a maker of wood topwater lures and one of the best at catching fish with them. You can read the entire article at The Online Fisherman.)


How Fishing Makes Our Lives Better Revealed in New Book

Photo by Robert Montgomery

Have you heard the buzz about Why We Fish, a new book by award-winning writer Robert Montgomery? During the short time since its publication, it already has collected 19 five-star reviews at Amazon.

Bill Dance, one of the world’s most famous and beloved anglers, says this:

“Your new book, Why We Fish, is a perfect example of your unbelievable talents, Robert, and it’s absolutely a masterpiece.”

At Examiner, author Ron Presley adds:

“Robert Montgomery’s book is jam-packed with recollection, education, philosophy, and fun as it searches for an answer to Why We Fish. I recommend it highly.”

And at The Online Fisherman, publisher Gary Poyssick contributes:

“Whether you read it like one string of spaghetti coming out of a very tasty sauce, or you pick at it like those pistachio nuts you really should stop eating by the thirty-dollar pound, taste it. It is worth the chews, and so is anything this guy spends the time writing.”

In Why We Fish, Montgomery reveals that we fish to remember and we fish to forget. We fish when we’re happy, and when we’re sad. We fish to bond with friends and family, or to be alone.

Whatever our motivation, no matter where we on the success spectrum, he explains, fishing makes our lives better in ways we never could have imagined. It slows us down. It sets us free. It teaches us about nature, even while showing us how much we don’t know. And fishing becomes the foundation of our fondest memories.

Not wanting his voice to be the only one in the book, Montgomery also asked nine others to contribute. They include Bill Dance, Dave Precht (B.A.S.S.), Dr. Bruce Condello (, Kathy Magers, Ken Cook (Fishing Tackle Retailer), Steve Chaconas (Potomac River guide), Teeg Stouffer (Recycled Fish), Ross Gordon (Mystery Tackle Box), Ben Leal, and Timothy Chad Montgomery.

Published by NorLights Press, the 215-page book contains 50 essays. It is available from the publisher, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other book sellers.



The Online Fisherman Meets Why We Fish

A review of my new book, Why We Fish, is posted at The Online Fisherman, one of the most popular and informative angling sites on the worldwide web. Thanks to publisher Gary Poyssick. An excerpt is below:

I could talk a lot about the book and not be talking about the book. It is pure "uncle stories" and not a resource of accessible ramps. What it is though is a connection to the mind and heart of a guy whose involvement and background in our fishing industries and the media surrounding the industries could be a book all its own. His own website, the, is one that needs to be in your regular reading folder if it is not already there. His knowledge of the politics and characters behind the global attempt to keep recreational anglers off the water is not matched by many . . .  He reflects his position in a chapter called "I'm not an Environmentalist" but for far more resource and research information, make sure you visit his own site.

Get the book. Whether you read it like one string of spaghetti coming out of a very tasty sauce, or you pick at it like those pistachio nuts you really should stop eating by the thirty-dollar pound, taste it. It is worth the chews, and so is anything this guy spends the time writing.

Thanks Robert, great book. And thanks for the quote from Thoreau. It says it all: Many men go fishing their entire lives without realizing it is not the fish they are after.