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  • November 30, 2010

    Muskies 1, Me...Cold, Wet, and Frustrated

    By Joe Cermele

    Two weeks ago I told you I was headed out to shoot a muskie episode of "Hook Shots." I went with Mark Wizeman, a long-time friend and fishing partner, to the Niagara River in Upstate New York. Well, there is no need to give you a ten-minute "Hook Shots" episode when the one-minute video below sums up the trip.

  • November 29, 2010

    The Only 3 Bass Lures I Need

    By John Merwin

    Bass lures, basic and beyond. I got to thinking about them over the weekend in also remembering a late friend who I once took bass fishing. She was a complete novice. Once we got into my canoe on a bass pond, the instructions were simple: “Here’s a plastic worm and a hook. Put the worm on the hook and cast it over there. Then twitch the worm slowly.”

  • November 24, 2010

    Thanksgiving Fishing Traditions

    By Joe Cermele

    Without question, Thanksgiving is a hunter's holiday. While turkeys roast at home, in the early morning hours grunt calls sound off, decoys bob, and dog bells jingle. I've hunted my share of Thanksgivings, but not in a while. Not since I bought a boat have I commenced turkey day anywhere other than a quarter-mile off the beach, looking for diving gulls and gannets.

  • November 22, 2010

    Gene Discovered in Some Trout and Salmon Gives Them Chameleon Capabilities

    By John Merwin

    There was news recently of the discovery of a gene in some trout and salmon that apparently will allow those fish to change color at will, much like the famous chameleon. As reported in the online journal, Medical Daily, some trout can change color to better match whatever the background happens to be at the moment. All trout fishermen know that those fish can be very hard to see sometimes, even in clear water, so that’s partly the reason why.

    What’s most surprising to me is that this color-change phenomenon has been so little described--almost never, actually--in the hundreds of books devoted to trout fishing. And I think the reason for that is because while trout fishermen might have seen it happen, they haven’t realized what it is they’re actually seeing.

  • November 19, 2010

    Old-Time Practice, Young Gun Perfected

    By Joe Cermele

    This morning, Senior Editor Colin Kearns asked me if I had a recommendation for a fish reproduction artist. Colin recently caught a whopper 31-inch rainbow trout and is toying with making it his first wall-hanger (which usually leads to more...it can be addictive). I gave him the name of the repro guy I use. Then I found the video below on the Fishing for History blog. It's about 22-year-old Bryon Wilson, who happens to be an Olympic moguls skier.

  • November 18, 2010

    Going High-Risk with Camera in Hand

    By Joe Cermele

    Normally I don't tip you guys off as to where I'll be shooting the next episode of "Hook Shots." That's partially because I like to keep it a secret, and partially because sometimes a shoot comes together spontaneously...I happen to be fishing, the camera is there, and all the pieces magically fall in place. But this Sunday I'm leaving for a shoot that I already know will likely go one of two ways: complete glory or complete failure. The target species leaves little room in between. Can you guess what it is?

  • November 17, 2010

    Bass Pro Dave Wolak on Dead Grass and My Poor Flipping Ability

    By Joe Cermele

    This week, I had the chance to chase largemouth on the Potomac River with bass pro Dave Wolak. It was cold and breezy, and though the section of river we hit is known to hold an astonishing amount of bass, they were astonishingly tough to pattern. Despite pounding every likely late-season haunt, only a couple fish opened their mouths. But it didn’t matter to me. If you spend a day fishing with a guy like Dave and don’t come away a smarter fisherman with some new tricks, something’s wrong. Here are a few pointers I gleaned from this Elite Series angler.

    If It’s Brown, Flush It Down
    Dave pointed out that the Potomac is known for its vast grass flats, and sure enough, we motored our way across great expanses of milfoil and hydrilla gently waving in the current. However, seeing that it’s late in the season, most of the grass was brown and dying. Now, had I been out there alone, I would have looked at that grass and thought, gee, what great structure. Normally I’d be right, but according to Dave, if the grass is brown, boogie out of there. “Bass and baitfish don’t like to hold in dead grass,” he told me. “It still looks good, but because it’s no longer producing oxygen, the fish don’t use it. It’s pretty much a waste of time to fish it.”

  • November 15, 2010

    Why I No Longer Attend Cocktail Parties

    By John Merwin

    Do you like to talk fishing? Okay, but how about talking fishing at cocktail or dinner parties? I absolutely hate that. Let me explain why.

    In my particular upscale neighborhood (where I was let in by accident), there are still lots of 1960s-style cocktail and dinner parties. A little old-fashioned, perhaps, but that’s just how it is. So dust off your tweed sport jacket and follow along....

    Mrs. Merwin and I used to be invited to lots of these, but only because of my local notoriety as a fisherman. “Well, you know, Dear, that cousin Bob will be in from Chicago. And you know how much Bob loves to fish. So let’s invite the Merwins! That way Bob will have someone to talk with.” I could almost hear the conversation taking place down the road, followed by a sure-enough invitation.

  • November 12, 2010

    Body Lotion, Ketchup, & Other Stuff Not in Tackle Shops

    By Joe Cermele

    I will never forget the first time I visited the marshes of Louisiana. Having never seen a tailing redfish before, watching a shoal of them pushing shrimp was an epic sight. But I won't forget the bugs either. Up until that day, I had never experienced no-see-ums as determined and plentiful. Of course, I was unprepared.

    "You got a can off OFF laying around?," I asked my guide.

    "Nope," he said. "Won't help you anyway. Try this." He handed me a near-empty bottle of Victoria's Secret Berry Kiss lotion. "I've tried strawberries and champagne and coconut," he said. "None work like berry." So I slathered it on and suddenly the gnats paid me no mind. I was bite-free and smelled like Gisele Bundchen...a win-win in my book.

    Fish long enough with enough people and these little tricks get revealed. I'm not talking about ways to tweak a lure or tie a fly, I'm talking about the random uses for the seemingly unfishy.

  • November 10, 2010

    If the House is Ruined, You Might as well Fish

    By Joe Cermele

    Check out the video below from a recent CNN broadcast in the Seattle area. Apparently, heavy rains caused a creek to severely overflow, and the dog in the video is having a blast chasing salmon down the street. Now the dog is cute and all, but this video raises a bigger question. Let's say you were the unfortunate victim of a terrible flood. You've done everything you can do to minimize damage to the house. I don't know about you, but rather than sit around, or while waiting for help, I'd be casting a streamer on the lawn if salmon were plowing across it.

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