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  • December 30, 2011

    What Were Your Most Memorable Catches of 2011?

    By Joe Cermele

    In less than 48 hours it will be 2011 no more, so now is as good a time as any for a little fishing season reflection. Yesterday I was thinking about which fish from this year I'd consider my most memorable catch, and my choice might surprise you. I just caught my first muskie a few weeks ago, and that's one I won't forget. However, while a goal was achieved with that 'skie, it was a pretty straightforward deal. The muskie hit, rolled around a few times, and was in the net. The steelhead below, on the other hand, may not be particularly impressive as the species goes, but "memorable" does not automatically mean "big."

  • December 28, 2011

    "Hook Shots" Season Finale: Did I Finally Catch a Muskie?

    By Joe Cermele

    Anyone who follows this blog or my "Hook Shots" video series knows that muskies hate me. They really do. Though I have tried repeatedly to catch one, and come very close by way of follows that didn't turn into strikes, muskies are my bane. So when it came time to hit the trail for one last "Hook Shots" adventure in 2011, I took the easy road and decided to chase...muskies...in December. Now, you can clearly see without playing the video that at least one muskie was plucked from the Allegheny River in PA, but you'll have to watch the episode to find out if I was the lucky angler. All I'll tell you ahead of time is that I only rolled the dice because Red Childress, who is one of the best if not the best muskie guide in the Northeast, told me there was a chance we'd hook up. No guts, no glory. In any case, I'd like to thank you all very much for watching this season of "Hook Shots." It's been a blast, and I'm pumped to kick off season 4 just after the start of 2012. And of course, there's one more "Hook Shots" episode quiz left this year, which you can take here for a chance to win some cool stuff.

  • December 23, 2011

    Will Ferrell On Drinking and Fishing in Davenport, Iowa

    By Joe Cermele

    Technically I suppose this should be my Christmas blog, but Will Ferrell and Old Milwaukee beer are funnier. So if you want something to get you in the Christmas spirit you'll have to find that 24-hour Yule Log TV channel. If you like cheap, all-American beer, check this out.

  • December 22, 2011

    Vintage Tackle Contest: Folk Art Frog

    By Joe Cermele

    The frog lure below was entered into the vintage tackle contest by Joseph Schirrman, who found it in the bottom of his father's old tackle box. According to Dr. Todd Larson of the The Whitefish Press and "Fishing For History" blog, this lure helps tell a very unique story about the craftsmanship and craftiness of American anglers in the early- to mid-1900s.

  • December 21, 2011

    "Salmon Fishing In The Yemen." What Do You Think?

    By Joe Cermele

    Not since Brad Pitt showed us the shadow cast in A River Runs Through It has a major motion picture been released with a big emphasis on fly fishing. Then along comes Salmon Fishing In The Yemen, starring Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt. The gist of the story is that a Middle Eastern sheik wants to introduce British-style salmon fishing to the desert, and McGregor, who plays a fisheries biologist, is brought in to help the sheiks's vision become a reality.

  • December 20, 2011

    Fish-Shaped Mailbox Theft Ring Broken Up In Wisconsin. Finally!

    By Joe Cermele

    If your stomach has been in knots since August over the evil, terrorist-like ring in Wisconsin that has been striking fear into the hearts of the community by stealing fish-shaped mailboxes, you can finally breathe easy. They have been caught and authorities will not be lax with punishment. They will receive 3 Saturday detentions each and not be permitted to attend the winter formal dance.

    From the story in the Wisconsin Journal Sentinel: Police have busted up a high school student theft ring that has been snatching bass-shaped mailboxes from residences.

    Ten New Berlin West students who called themselves the "Bass Hunters" were involved in the thefts, and seven of the bass mailboxes have been recovered, Lt. Mike Glider said Monday.

  • December 19, 2011

    Home is Where the Fishing is: 2012 Resolutions

    By John Merwin

    Wow, another year is almost over. It seems now as if 2011 went by awfully fast. I’m convinced that the passage of time accelerates as one grows older. At least it seems that way.

    So as usual, at this season I’m thinking about the fishing I did in the recent past, and the fishing I hope to do in the coming 12 months. Oddly enough, perhaps, and despite various trips to far-off places, the most plain fun I’ve had in fishing lately has been close to home.

    Simpler is better, or so it seems in retrospect. For one thing, fishing close to home is pretty much free of hassles. Whether it’s bass (as in the photo) or trout, pike or panfish, the fishing nearby is generally productive and easy to get to. Airline travel, whether to a fishing destination or for any other reason, has become complex, daunting and expensive. I put my head down when I have to and put up with all the aggravation, but it’s always an ordeal.

  • December 16, 2011

    F&S Intern Trials: Find Us a Live American Eel

    By FS intern Jed Portman

    I never thought that I’d go fishing for striped bass in New York City. I never thought that I’d visit an archery range in Queens or cook venison burgers in Harlem. But in the past few months, with some tips and inspiration from my coworkers here at Field & Stream, I’ve done all of those things and more. I never thought that I’d get to spend all day here in the F&S offices talking with the writers that I’ve been reading in the magazine since I was little. Most of all, though, I never thought I’d find myself running down the streets of Chinatown in Lower Manhattan on a quest for a live American eel.

  • December 15, 2011

    Vintage Tackle Contest: Heddon Punkie Spook

    By Joe Cermele

    Pictured below is a Heddon Punkie Spook, which was entered into the vintage tackle contest by Troy Walz. Though I wasn't sure what Dr. Todd Larson of the The Whitefish Press and "Fishing For History" blog would have to say about this one, I never dreamed I would learn so much about ultra-light fishing back before there was such a thing as ultra-light spinning gear. All you fly rodders will get a kick out of this one! Troy wrote:

    I got this neat little lure from my grandpa when I was a kid. Not sure who made it, as there isn't any writing on it. I would wager a guess it's a crappie lure. I haven't seen a little lure like this anywhere else. Just thought I would share. I have had it in my tackle box for a very long time.  

  • December 14, 2011

    Something's Fishy with the Christmas Decorations

    By Joe Cermele

    While I'm all for Christmas decorations, I must admit I find putting up lights and trees and garlands more chores than fun. It's Scrooge-like, I know. My wife, however, genuinely enjoys holiday decorating, and because she's married to me, mixed in with the plethora of beautiful ornaments she's been accruing since childhood are the leaping bass ornaments, fishing Santa Clauses, wooden trout wearing Santa hats, and flyfishing reindeer mugs of mine. Why do I have these things? When you love fishing like I do and a distant cousin or great aunt you haven't seen in forever needs to buy you a little gift, they go straight to the Christmas aisle at the Bass Pro Shops.

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