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  • February 28, 2013

    Vintage Tackle Contest: Old-School Snag Proof Worm

    By Joe Cermele

    This old Snag Proof worm was entered into the vintage tackle contest by David Dunlap, who tells me it was among the contents of a few old tackle boxes purchased at a garage sale. Snag Proof is still in business, but I picked this one because I figured some of you may have this same lure, and hey, if it happens to be worth some money, you'd know not to fish it anymore. Turns out per Dr. Todd Larson of The Whitefish Press and "Fishing For History" blog that this lure is in existence largely because of Field & Stream, and the Doc had a pretty interesting conversation with the Snag Proof folks about it.

  • February 27, 2013

    Wisconsin Woman Survives After Her Ice Shanty Explodes

    By Joe Cermele

    This news story could have been much worse. Michelle Schmidt walked away from her exploding ice shanty with nothing but a little burn on the wrist, but when you see the wreckage, you'll understand just how insanely lucky she was. Guys, triple-check those propane connections in the shanty OK? Please? Here's the full story from Kare11 News in Wisconsin.

  • February 26, 2013

    John Merwin's Obituary

    John Merwin: 1946-2013

    John Henry Merwin, one of America’s preeminent fishing writers, died at age 66 on Wednesday morning, February 20. He lived near the famous Battenkill River in Dorset, Vt., and died peacefully, surrounded by his family, at Dartmouth- Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H.

    Veteran fishing editor for Field & Stream magazine, Merwin caught everything from piranhas in the Amazon to Atlantic salmon in Ireland, where his guide conceded, “You are an elegant fly caster…for an American.” He wrote or edited 15 books on fishing, including Stillwater Trout, the unparalleled The New American Trout Fishing, and best-selling Trailside Guide to Fly Fishing.

    Born in Norwalk, Conn., on November 9, 1946, to Eleanor Treadwell Merwin and Augustus White Merwin, John grew up with his two younger brothers, Thomas and Augustus Jr., in an old millhouse on a Wilton, Conn., family farm, which is now Merwin Meadows Park.

  • February 26, 2013

    One Epic Tuna Blitz Above And Below The Surface

    By Joe Cermele

    Tuna fishing, I can tell you, is often a game of trolling around for hours looking for one or two fish. But every once in a while, the stars align and instead of hunting and pecking all day, you get into a situation where the tuna are so frenzied, they could care less about the boat traffic, and catching them becomes too easy. This video shot in Panama is by far the most epic tuna blitz I've ever seen. What makes it even cooler is that a cameraman jumps into the fray and gets insane footage of tuna attacking baitfish that are hovering around his head looking for shelter. Totally wicked. Come on summer!

  • February 25, 2013

    Doping In Ice Fishing? The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency Says It Could Happen

    By Joe Cermele

    I learned some interesting things about doping this morning per this article in The New York Times. You, like me, might have assumed that only athletes who engage in strength-based or agility-based or stamina-based sports would dope. Not true. In 2011, two pro mini golfers and one chess player tested positive for banned substances, according to the World Doping Agency. I guess if put-put players and board gamers think there's an advantage to juicing, why not ice fishermen? That's why the U.S. doping agency tested members of the Russian Ice Fishing Team following their win at the World Ice Fishing Championship in Wisconsin.

  • February 22, 2013

    John Merwin 1946-2013

    By Joe Cermele

    Blogging is supposed to be fun, but today, with a heavy heart, I have to use this space to inform you that this past Wednesday, John Merwin, fellow blogger, former Field & Stream Fishing Editor, and one of the most well-known voices in outdoor journalism passed away. John and I have shared The Honest Angler every week since August of 2008, but his contributions here are minutia compared to the countless fishing tales and advice he penned during his long career.

    John began writing for Field & Stream in 1994, and served as our Fishing Editor from 2003 through 2010. His list of accomplishments is so vast that it’s difficult to touch on all of them, but before working with Field & Stream, John was a newspaperman and photographer, and a frequent contributor to Fly Fisherman in the 1970s. In 1979, feeling there needed to be a flyfishing magazine that catered to those with “a higher level of intelligence,” he launched Rod & Reel (now Fly Rod & Reel) from the basement of his Vermont home. Soon after, John started Fly Tackle Dealer, the first trade magazine for the flyfishing industry.

  • February 21, 2013

    Vintage Tackle Contest: Shrimp Fly? Hellgrammite? We're Not Sure

    By Joe Cermele

    This weathered old fly was entered into the vintage tackle contest by Billy Webb, who wrote that he found it buried in one of his dad's old tackle boxes. At first glance, I thought it looked like a shrimp imitation. Dr. Todd Larson of The Whitefish Press and "Fishing For History" blog had another idea about what this wacky bug was supposed match, and considering that Billy lives in prime Pennsylvania smallmouth country, I'm guessing the Doc got it right.

  • February 20, 2013

    Cheeseburgers and the New Bible for Walleye Trollers

    By Joe Cermele

    Trolling for walleyes is not my favorite thing. There, I said it. That's partially because I didn't grow up in an area where walleye fishing was a huge deal, and partially because I'm used to fast-trolling tuna and wahoo, so that 1.5mph walleye speed makes me sleepy. That doesn't mean, however, that I don't recognize how potent trolling is for catching big walleyes, and how dialed in you need to be to execute it well. Despite my gripes with the method, last summer I hung a 30-inch, 11-pound Lake Erie 'eye on my wall thanks to the ridiculous trolling skills of friend and guide Ross Robertson. You can click here to watch me catch that fish, and see the mad scientist of walleye trolling at work. You can also get your hands on a copy of Ross's new book co-written by Curtis Niedermier, which I promise will become your Bible if trolling is your game and it's walleyes that best the 10-pound mark you're after.

  • February 19, 2013

    That's When It Hits You Like a Swordfish Bill to the Gut

    By Joe Cermele

    Shark bites? Whatever. They're a dime a dozen. Getting knocked around by a marlin that jumps into the boat? It happens. Having your hand shredded by a pike or muskie? I've seen it. Getting skewered like kabob meat right through the paunch by a swordfish? Now that's a new one for me, and though I am no swordfish-catching machine, I've dealt with them enough to tell you that if I had to choose to be scarred by one of the circumstances outlined above, the swordfish deal would be my last pick.

  • February 15, 2013

    How Happy Pills Might Catch You More Fish

    By Joe Cermele

    There have been many studies conducted on the effects of various contaminants on fish in waterways all over the world, from nuclear waste, to cosmetic residues, to crude oil. But up until I found this article in the New York Times, I'd never given any thought to how much antidepressant medication can end up in lakes and rivers, and what effects human happy pills might have on fish. And guess what? According to a study outlined in the story, Zoloft, Prozac, and all those other meds that make us happy make fish happy too...kind of.

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