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  • July 31, 2012

    Who's Getting Pumped for Shark Week?

    By Joe Cermele

    I don't really watch a lot of TV. I don't have my "shows." I don't care what's happening on "True Blood" and no, I never saw that episode of "Seinfeld," so please stop asking. I did, however, see just about every show aired during Discovery Channel's Shark Week since I was eight years old. Back in the day, I recall a lot of rerun footage from the year before. In the past few years, I'd say Discovery has really upped their game. And they're very tight-lipped about what viewers can expect in 2012.

  • July 30, 2012

    Trophy Photos: Don't Try to Make the Fish Look Bigger With Camera Tricks

    By John Merwin

    I was out with a couple of friends the other evening, having fun with panfish in a local lake. Eventually I caught what was probably my smallest largemouth bass ever. This immediately sparked a discussion of all those silly fishing pictures in which the angler tries to enlarge the apparent size of a fish by using a wide-angle lens, arms outstretched toward the camera.

    So we took the photo shown here. I’m reaching with the baby bass, arms outstretched toward the camera as far as possible while a friend obligingly focused on the fish. The whole thing is a bad idea taken to extremes. “I guess if the fish is smaller than your hands, then it is,” said one friend, laughing.

  • July 26, 2012

    Vintage Tackle Contest: Wonderod-Zebco Combo

    By Joe Cermele

    This week in our vintage tackle contest we've got an old combo with nostalgic story to match. This photo was sent in by Cale Canter, who writes: This was my grandfather's. He left it to me in his will a few years back. He was a big trout guy out in New Mexico during the 50's, and said this was his "Old Reliable." Just looking for some info and value concerning the pieces.

  • July 25, 2012

    Do Imperfect Flies End Up in Your Fly Box?

    By Joe Cermele

    When I first started tying flies as a teenager, I'd fish with whatever I created, no matter how ugly it turned out. What I learned was that most of the time a trout had no problem hitting a wooly bugger with a hackle wrapped too loosely, or a muddler with a hair head spun poorly and trimmed even worse. These days, however, I have a habit of tossing any fly that doesn't look like one I'd pay $3 to $5 for in a fly shop into the "spare parts" drawer. 

  • July 24, 2012

    CBS News Reports Men Fish Because We're Drunks, Lazy, and Bad Multi-Taskers

    By Joe Cermele

    Last week, writer Faith Salie penned an article on the website of CBS News titled "A Baited Question: Why Do Men Love Fishing?" She starts by noting that she has only fished once, and the trip was unsuccessful. Then she proceeds to explain that she went "trawling" for answers. I suggest you read the article in its entirety, but I've decided to give the list of reasons she discovered through what I'm sure was tiresome, draining, lengthy investigative reporting with sources who were very serious, dedicated anglers. 

    Per Ms. Salie's article, men love fishing because:

    Many guys tell me that fishing satisfies a primal hunting urge. It's man vs. nature, armed with only a pole, beer and sunscreen. They think, "I just caught my own dinner (if my wife will de-bone it for me)." - If you're armed with only a pole, beer, and sunscreen, you're likely going to a frat party, not fishing. If you need/expect your wife to clean your fish, you should be on the receiving end of whatever they're doing with the pole and sunscreen at the frat party. 

  • July 23, 2012

    Product Test: Berkley's New Trilene XL Monofilament Line

    By John Merwin

    Berkley’s Trilene XL has been a popular monofilament line since first introduced in 1972. Now there’s a new and reportedly improved version that won the “best new line” category at the recent ICAST fishing industry trade show. Berkley sent me an 8-pound-test sample spool, which I’ve been testing to see just how “improved” it really is.

    In a nutshell: Yes! The new Trilene XL is indeed better than the old XL. I was pleasantly surprised, especially because I expected more manufacturer’s puffery than substance to the new product. It is also approximately the same price ($7.95 suggested retail for a 330-yard filler spool; prices vary because of discounting). Here’s what my early testing revealed.

  • July 20, 2012

    Artist Creates Glowing Fish Skeletons with Chop Sticks

    By Joe Cermele

    We haven't done a Field & Stream fish art lesson in a while. I think we're due. The work below is part of the collection of 28-year-old Japanese fisherman turned artist Iori Tomita, and how he creates these glowing skeletons is pretty wild. It takes three to six months to complete even a tiny fish, which he first soaks in a witch's brew of chemicals that break down muscle proteins, making the fish transparent. Then he applies red and blue dyes, which cling to the hard and soft cartilages and bones. He calls them "New World Transparent Specimens." His tool of choice for holding the fish while he works? Chop sticks.

  • July 19, 2012

    Vintage Tackle Contest: Shannon Twin Spinner

    By Joe Cermele

    This week in our vintage tackle contest we've got a nice garage sale find. When Alex Overholser bought an old tackle box, this spinner was one of the lures living inside. Little did Alex know that it is actually a lure that ultimately spawned every War Eagle, YUM, Strike King, and Terminator spinnerbait we use today. Dr. Todd Larson of the The Whitefish Press and "Fishing For History" blog has the full scoop.

  • July 18, 2012

    Will Paint and Eyes Create Magic Bullets?

    By Joe Cermele

    Anglers know that sometimes it's the subtlest details that produce fish. Last month I was fishing a bass pond close to home and throwing Zoom Flukes. White got hit a lot. White with a clear back and silver flakes got hit more. In the water they looked almost identical to my eye, but obviously there was something in that clear back pattern that got the bass a bit more tweaked. I was thinking of this outing while looking over the new wares from Bullet Weights at ICAST last week. This January they'll be releasing a line of painted weights with eyes (below). As simplistic as the idea may be, I've never seen it before, and I think it has some merit.

  • July 17, 2012

    How to Catch Asian Carp on Fly and Spinning Gear

    By Joe Cermele

    I was leafing through International Angler, the magazine published by the IGFA, the other day when a short article by Bryce L. Meyer caught my eye. It was about fly and spinning methods for invasive Asian carp. I'll be honest, I had never really heard of people targeting them on rod and reel, and if they're as challenging as Meyer claims, I'm not entirely sure why more anglers aren't chasing them...especially the fly guys who are eaten up with carp fishing lately.

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