the right stuff

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Fishing Reports

I’ve had a great time kicking off my new book, The Right Stuff – Gear & Attitudes for Trophy Light Tackle Fishing. Over eighty anglers came to the release party on Kent Island last month. I hope everyone had as much fun as I did!  The book is now officially released to regional retail outlets and tackle shops. Most regional bait shops have it and some have already reordered. If you’re a fishing tackle or book retailer in the Mid-Atlantic region and want books, contact me. It is also available in both paperback and digital formats on Barnes & Noble and Amazon. Better yet, you can get a signed copy directly from me via this website. I still have a few special CCA Maryland hardcover editions available. After these are sold, there will be a half-dozen or so auctioned at CCA fundraisers, but otherwise, the hardcovers will be gone. I have scheduled several seminars and talks and I’ll have a signing table at some of the upcoming fishing/outdoors shows in the Baltimore/Washington D.C. region. Here’s my schedule as it stands now. I’m especially excited about speaking for the Chesapeake Bay Magazine Seminar Series at this year’s Baltimore Boat Show at the Convention Center. I have room to work in a few more talks, so fishing clubs and other organizations are welcome to contact me about speaking opportunities. I’ll try to keep my schedule updated here, and on my Amazon.com Author Page. I’ll also make announcements on Facebook when something is coming up. I hope to see you soon!

Fishing Reports

Official release date:  Jan 1, 2015
Preview release:  Dec. 19, 2014
Paperback, perfect bound 330 pages, black & white photos and illustrations. Pre-orders are now accepted.  We expect to mail all orders received on or before Dec. 19  by USPS Priority Mail by Dec 21. with predicted delivery before Christmas.
Exclusive CCA Maryland Hardcover Edition:  A limited number of signed and numbered, hard-cover, color photo editions featuring the CCA Maryland logo on the front cover will be made available after January 1, 2015.  A portion of the proceeds from these editions will be donated to the ongoing conservation efforts of CCA Maryland.  Details will be released later.
Here’s a sneak preview:

“Anyone can get lucky and catch a winning or trophy fish. What separates the men from the boys is consistency.” – Bill Burton

The best anglers I know have a solid grasp of three basic elements. The first is a willingness to learn and change behaviors or techniques when necessary. That means incorporating the latest technologies and staying on top of the best research. It also includes sorting through the folklore to pick out the very best practices and discarding the nonproductive tactics that bog us down. Someone once said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. If you’re not happy with the results you’re getting, it’s time to change. There are not many fishermen who have perfected their skills to the point where they are successful every time. The handful who have could teach us all something.  These are the guys who need to write a book.  I know I’d buy it. Fishermen with the right stuff are continually seeking opportunities to learn – to step outside of tried-and-proven comfort zones to find what works.

The second element is enthusiasm. Good fishermen eat, drink, smoke, and chew fishing. When they aren’t fishing, they’re thinking about fishing, and they’re probably planning their next fishing trip (or two). They seek out new information and pour over every tidbit of data they can find that might improve their skills. They surround themselves with like-minded people who share their passion for the sport. They also work to conserve the species they enthusiastically pursue. Read More!

Fishing Reports

Are you ever surprised when someone you know to be a good angler turns out to be an artist?  How many fishermen have you met that are also painters, writers, builders, etc? After hanging around fish and fishermen for more than fifty years, it has become clear to me that fishing attracts creative thinkers. Fishing, by its very nature requires artistry, innovation, and experimentation.  It frequently compels us to turn loose of what we know, and reach out for things we hope for.

Everyone should believe in something; I believe I’ll go fishing. Henry David Thoreau

By now, you’ve probably heard me say that it’s the bad days that make us better fishermen.  Catching is easy when fish are biting, and almost any lure you throw in the water will work.  Conversely, it’s the tough days that require us to get creative and use the less logical side of our brains. My fishing partner Jamie Clough tells a story about an ancient old fly fisherman who has frequented the meat counter where he works for more than a decade. On each visit, he mentions a spot he used to fish where he caught big speckled trout.  His secret fishing hole was right under everyone’s nose and smack in the middle of one of the highest-traffic areas in the Chesapeake Bay. Jamie says he’d smile and nod at the stories, but never gave them a second thought until one day last summer.  After an unsuccessful and frustrating morning, he decided to check out the old guy’s unlikely trout spot.  Can you guess what happened next?  It’s a safe bet that Jamie will never pass by that spot again, and I’m thinking that gentlemen gets an extra-thick ribeye once in a while. Read More!

Fishing Reports

Revisiting my series on the common traits of good fishermen, I keep coming back to attitude and innovation. I recently crossed paths with Chesapeake Bay light tackle guide Dennis Fleming and the subject of “the right stuff” came up. Dennis noted that, regardless of experience level, some fishermen come on his boat with a natural talent for fishing. When I think of talent, I consider my experience with artists and musicians. There is no doubt that creativity comes more naturally to some people than to others. So, how important is natural talent and creativity to successful fishing? Obviously, the most important factor to success is time on the water. In fishing, there’s simply no substitute for experience. Still, there must be something to the observation that some anglers get it, and some never will. An important factor is that successful anglers are open to new ideas.

It’s been said that 10-percent of the fishermen catch 90-percent of the fish, and that good fishermen think like a fish. Hmm, “think like a fish?” Is that something that can be learned or taught? Embracing creativity and experimenting with innovative techniques is lot of what this website and my book, Chesapeake Light Tackle, An Introduction to Light Tackle Fishing on the Chesapeake Bay is about. I try to pass along good ideas and tactics I’ve learned once I’ve had a chance to try them out. It all starts with an open mind. Read More!

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