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  • November 30, 2011

    The Harlem Globetrotters can Dunk, but They Can't Cast

    By Joe Cermele

    I've never been much of a basketball fan, but when I was younger I did go see the Harlem Globetrotters. Whether you're into b-ball or not, you can't help but be awestruck by their skills. For the first time in history, the Globetrotters are challenging the nation to a game of H.O.R.S.E. Viewers from around the country submit videos of their best trick shots to the Globetrotters' website. The Globetrotters then pick the most challenging shots and show up live and in person to see if they can replicate the shot. Well, a few dudes from Texas got fishy with their video entry, and the Trotters stepped up to the plate. Let's just say the Globetrotters might be able to dunk, spin three balls on their fingers at the same time, and sink buckets blindfolded. But they can't cast. 

  • November 29, 2011

    Spinning Reels: How to Check Your Line Roller

    By John Merwin

    We’ve talked here off and on about maintaining and repairing your fishing reels. Some people take great care with this. Some don’t. For those who do--or those who might want to--here’s a simple spinning-reel tip: Check your line roller.

    Located at one end of the bail wire, the line roller is the surface over which the line travels as you reel in line. It needs to roll freely and not simply be stuck in place. This is easy to check with a toothpick pressed against the roller (see photo) to see whether or not the roller rotates easily.

    This is important because a line roller that doesn’t move easily will chronically aggravate line twist. Those woeful tangles of monofilament that occur from twisting will happen much more often with a gunked-up, frozen roller.

  • November 28, 2011

    Stocking Stuffer: Braid Drain Plug Wrench

    By Joe Cermele

    Considering that it's Cyber Monday, I really hope everyone takes a break from ordering stuff on Amazon.com and checks on F&S today, because Kirk Deeter and I have a few of our own ideas for the holiday shopper. We've put together 30 of our favorite new gear items for anglers, which you can view here.

  • November 23, 2011

    Food For Thought: Catching Your Dinner Right at the Restaurant

    By Joe Cermele

    Though I sincerely hope some of you get after a few steelhead, or trout, or stripers, or muskies before dinner tomorrow, I'm sure a bunch of you will spend your morning prepping the Thanksgiving feast. So here's a fun little food story to share at the table. Imagine, if instead of buying a Butterball bird, you set a live turkey loose in the yard and the only way anyone could eat is if they had to snare the gobbler first. That's exactly what goes on at Zauo restaurant in Japan, just substitute turkey for fish, of course.

  • November 22, 2011

    If I Caught a 70-pound Muskie, I'd Look That Startled, Too

    By Joe Cermele

    Here's the scoop per the website of the Ottawa Sun. On November 9, Jason Phillips (left) decided to run out on the St. Lawrence River for a bit of walleye fishing. Phillips was trolling a deep-diving crankbait when guess what? A 54-inch, 70-pound muskie took a swipe. If I were in his shoes, I'd have that same "I need to check my drawers" look on my face.

    Back in 2009, a 65-pound muskie was released in the St. Lawrence that stands as the current catch-and-release world-record  for the species. Phillips let his fish swim away, too, so now he may be the new holder of that title.

    According to the article, the fish pulled Phillips' boat a quarter mile, and took thirty minutes to land. What makes this catch even more astonishing is that it was the first muskie Phillips ever caught, and he's been a life-long angler.

    Despite the fact that friends informed Phillips Bass Pro Shops would have paid $10,000 for the muskie for a skin mount, he feels good about the release. From the story:

  • November 21, 2011

    Fly-Rod Review: Cabela’s CGR Glass Rod

    By John Merwin

    A long ago time I used to fish nothing but fiberglass fly rods. Not because I thought they were better than graphite, but because graphite fly rods back then had not yet been invented. In that light, Cabela’s new line of fiberglass rods gave me a refresher course.

    First, a few details--the rod I used off and on in recent months was a CGR 570-3, seven feet long, 3-piece. It’s labeled as “4/5” for line weight, meaning (I assumed) that it will take either size. Cabela’s doesn’t list a rod weight. On my postal scale, the rod weighs 2.6 ounces, or very roughly 25 percent heavier than a comparable graphite model. The difference, I think, is negligible in a short rod.

    The rod is light in the hand and casts with exceptional smoothness, albeit with the slower, more relaxed stroke required by fiberglass. And it is definitely a 5-weight and not a 4-weight. Which brings up another point relative to both fiberglass and bamboo rods.

  • November 18, 2011

    Crayfish/Crawfish Debate: Help a College Kid Get an A+

    By Joe Cermele

    Yesterday, an email from one Mr. Bill Erickson found its way to my inbox. Bill is a student at the Yavapai College of Arizona, and he was writing looking for help with an assignment. His Aquaculture professor asked the class to turn in a two-page paper by midnight this Sunday defending their opinions about whether there is actually a difference between crayfish, crawfish, and crawdads.

    According to Bill, he and others in the class have been "tearing our hair out trying to figure this one out." Now, I told Bill that although I am no Mr. Wizard or Jaque Cousteau, I am pretty sure crayfish is the correct term for all members of the family, and crawfish, crawdad, and mud bug are nothing but regional names given to crays. I've never been to Louisiana and had a "crayfish boil," and I've never seen a tackle shop in the Northeast selling live "crawfish."

  • November 17, 2011

    Vintage Tackle Contest: Cecil Lewis Lures (Plus, New Prizes from Cabela's!)

    By Joe Cermele

    This week in our vintage tackle contest we have two prototype lures submitted by Chris Dupre. I give Chris credit, because he made a valiant effort to research the history of these baits by himself. But it seems he hit a dead end. Chris wrote:

    These look like two prototype lures made by Cecil Lewis of Kentucky, around 1977 as documented by Patent Design #244,028. I purchased these two lures off eBay earlier this year for about $10. Both appear to be handmade from balsa wood, spray painted two-tone with glitter and clear-coated. The eyes are 'google-eyes' from a craft store...From the patent number, I searched Cecil Lewis and the only positive connection I found was a resolution by the Commonwealth of Kentucky to name a bridge after him. The resolution states "Cecil Lewis, Sr. was also known throughout Leslie County for his dedication to the local fish and game club, as well as for his inventions related to fishing lures." Can you help with the history? I'm also wondering what they're worth, although I suspect not much.

  • November 15, 2011

    I've Been Outfished by a Reader

    By Joe Cermele

    Though many of you may not know the name Jeff Kreager, if you spend any amount of time on F&S.com, you've probably read comments posted by Buckhunter. Well, that's Jeff, and he's one of the Honest Angler's longest followers. Jeff resides in Ohio, and as it turned out I needed a steelhead guide for a few days in the Buckeye State. Rather than Google guides and fly shops in the Cleveland area, I emailed Jeff and asked him to show my buddy Mark and I how the local steel game is played. I thought I was pretty nice to Jeff, but do you know what he did? He had the nerve to outfish me.

  • November 14, 2011

    Boat Drain Plugs: The Root of All Evil?

    By John Merwin

    This is a drain plug. When removed from the bottom of your boat’s transom, water drains out. When inserted in the transom, it prevents water from coming back in. Sounds pretty simple, and maybe that’s why a drain plug is truly The Root Of All Evil.

    There are lots of boating checklists out there. “Install drain plug” is usually the first item. Sometimes second and third, too. You just can’t remind yourself enough. There are many horror stories about this. More than once I have gotten the boat partly off the trailer and noticed water pouring in the back. Gee, where’s that water coming from? Drain plug! Oh, no. I forgot.

    So I crank the boat back on the trailer, pull up in the parking lot to let the water run out, and then search for the drain plug so I can install it. I keep several extra of these inexpensive plugs in the truck and the boat, so the search won’t be too difficult.

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