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  • December 29, 2010

    Ice Floes and Trout Woes

    By Joe Cermele

    Per Kirk Deeter's FlyTalk blog post this morning, apparently I am not a wuss, because I live in the Northeast and did not feel the least bit "crippled" by Sunday's snow storm. I also fished yesterday, which makes me even less of a wuss according to Kirk. But I did make an observation on the trout stream that is driving me bananas.

  • December 28, 2010

    Any Good Fishing Gear Under The Tree?

    By Joe Cermele

    So Christmas is over and it's back to normal life. That said, this will be my last Christmas-related post, I swear. But I gave you gift ideas a while ago, then gave you one last shot to ask Santa for fishing gear prior to the big day, so it seems only natural to now ask: What did you get? Anything fishy? I actually found no tackle under the tree this year, though I didn't ask for any, either.

  • December 27, 2010

    How Your Dollars Get To Fish and Wildlife

    By John Merwin

    For all the grousing I hear about federal and state governments these days, there’s still a silver lining for state fish-and-wildlife budgets. Most states are in terrible financial shape these days. That’s the bad news. The good news is that the primary sources of state fish-and-wildlife funding are protected by law from political pillaging as budget officials seek to fill gaps elsewhere. Here’s how it works...

    You and I as sportsmen ultimately pay federal excise taxes on everything from rifles and ammunition to fishing rods and reels to recreational boating fuel. More correctly, the manufacturers pay the taxes and then include them in the purchase price that we pay.

    Importantly, those tax revenues are specifically dedicated to fish and wildlife. That is, dedicated by federal law. So that tax money—millions of dollars a year—can‘t be diverted to other programs such as highways or agriculture.

  • December 23, 2010

    Your Last Shot to Ask Santa for Fish Gear

    By Joe Cermele

    OK, listen up everyone. Santa Claus is going to be very busy starting tomorrow. This is your last shot to ask for anything fishing related you want. Hopefully he'll read this tonight and get to work. Anything goes. Here's my list.

  • December 22, 2010

    Fishermen Should Never Say "Never"

    By Joe Doggett

    Here's an interesting little tidbit from Japan. A scientist at Kyoto University found that an indigenous landlocked salmon species declared extinct by the government 70 years ago isn't extinct at all. Professor Tetsuji Nakabo examined nine specimens from Lake Saiko and is pretty darn sure they are "kunimasu" salmon. Originally the fish were thought to be native only to Lake Tazawa, and were killed off by an influx of acidic water that started in the 1940s. Here's the full story from the Japan Times Online.

    I guess I like this story because I'm a dreamer, and always think about catching fish that aren't really supposed to be there. As an example, Atlantic salmon historically ran rivers from Nova Scotia to New Jersey, but warming waters, pollution, dams, and sprawl have confined natives to the Canadian Provinces. But does it mean there aren't a handful of Atlantics that still run past Philadelphia and hang out up the street from my house in the Delaware River? Most likely there are not, but is it outside the realm of possibility?

  • December 21, 2010

    Strip Clubs, Bull Sharks, and Holiday Cheer

    By Joe Cermele

    It's that time of year when "Hook Shots" wraps up for a little winter nap. This season, we're closing in Key West, Florida. I had the chance to fish with good friend Dave James from Rapala and veteran captain Mike Weinhofer last week. The nightlife was good, the fishing was better, and my back is still sore. I just want to thank all of you for watching "Hook Shots" this season. It's been a great year. So enjoy the finale, and I'll get the next round rolling in early 2011.

  • December 20, 2010

    Why Fishing is All About Learning

    By John Merwin

    All fishermen have opinions about their particular corner of the sport, usually strongly held. That universal fact once led the late Corey Ford of Field & Stream fame to write, notably, “You can always tell a fishermen, but you can’t tell him much.”

    So when someone tells me about the absolute best combination of tackle and tactics to catch one kind of fish or another, I always smile just a bit. Maybe it is. Maybe it isn’t.

  • December 15, 2010

    Drunk in "International Waters"

    By Joe Cermele

    Have you guys caught any episodes of the show "Operation Wild"? Great television. It follows a group of Florida Wildlife conservation officers on daily tasks, which include busting lobster poachers, gator wrangling, and dealing with countless drunken idiots that love to tie one on and go boating. This clip perfectly exemplifies why I don't fish on Fourth of July weekend. My man in this video needs to double check the definition of "International Waters."

    Warning: The video below contains lots of bleeped-out profanity and drunken fools with bad attitudes.

  • December 14, 2010

    A Warm Beanie Hat That's Sized Right

    By John Merwin

    by John Merwin

    Here’s another one from our Department of Good Stuff. This might be a gift for someone, but if so, buy one for yourself, too. You’ll be glad you did. It’s called a “Shoreman’s Fleece Cap” and comes from Duluth Trading

    I often wear a beanie-style watch cap for cold-weather fishing and general winter use. The trouble with most of these “one-size-fits-most” hats is they’re too small for my large head size. (Okay, fat head, if you insist.) As a result, the too-small hat creeps up the sides of my head and winds up just sitting uselessly on top.

    One good thing about the Duluth product is that it comes in different sizes (M - 2XL). Not only does my XL version fit, but it stays put even in the wind. And because the fleece is advertised as a wind-blocking version (which seems to work), even a winter wind is no problem.

  • December 13, 2010

    The Fisherman's Winter Reading List

    By Joe Cermele

    For many anglers, it's quickly becoming that time of year when fishy pursuits slow down a bit and we spend more time at home. It's this season when it's great to have a fireplace to sit in front of (which I don't), or at least a Snuggie for couch lounging. The other day I was looking over my book collection and picking a few I'd read again in the cold months.

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