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  • April 23, 2014

    New Hook Shots: The Most Insane Walleye Day Ever

    By Joe Cermele

    When you're trying to get out on Lake Erie for walleyes in early April, you can set dates months in advance. The reality, however, is that they don't mean much considering how unpredictable the water and weather conditions can be this time of year. Case in point, friend and guide Ross Robertson and I were on pins and needles for a week prior to this trip, unsure if the ice would even be gone in time to launch his boat in Port Clinton, Ohio. Well, it was gone, and some how, some way, the weather gods threw us a bone. We had a window, and we filled that precious window with more trophy walleyes than most guys will see in their lifetime. It was just one of those days where each fish—which ranged from 9 to 14 pounds—made our jaws drop. Enjoy the show, because I very well may never shoot another walleye episode of such epic proportions again.

  • April 9, 2014

    Carp Tip: Get That Fly Muddy

    By Joe Cermele

    If you're still one of those anglers that think carp of dumb oafs swimming across the bottom sucking up any morsel they find, I promise you're way off. Being a huge fan of flyfishing for carp, I'm always looking for any tip that takes the frustration out of constantly getting foiled by these picky fish. I picked up a great one shooting the latest Hook Shots episode. Turns out a little pond mud goes a long way.

  • March 25, 2014

    New Hook Shots: Arizona Desert Madness

    By Joe Cermele

    I swear it feels like I just tucked the cameras away for a long winter nap, and on the road I go again. In an effort to thwart this winter that continues to keep anti-depressant sales at an all-time high here in the Northeast, fellow F&S blogger Tim Romano and I dusted off our flip flops and booked a flight to sunny Arizona. The plan was to cash in on a moon phase that would provide some of the best sight-fishing for bass on Lake Havasu I was told I'd ever see...but plans change. Before we knew it, we spiraled into a week of hooking drag-screaming goldfish, consorting with nude book store owners, perusing endless bins of cheap cold medication, battling wills with very upset largemouths, and fishing the land of technicolor dream carp. One way or another, it's always a good time. Special shout out to the boys at The Hook Up Outfitters in Phoenix for helping turn this dream into a weirder dream. Enjoy the show.
  • November 22, 2013

    Work That Catfish, Son. Work it Good

    By Joe Cermele

    The only thing that could make this video slightly more entertaining is if it was set to "Maniac" from the movie "Flashdance." You gotta hand it to this kid...he's got rhythm. Watch it to the end when he hooks the second catfish. The little pump and reel move he busts out when it gets close to the dock would make Richard Simmons proud. Have a great weekend.

  • November 8, 2013

    Pull The Trigger, Catch The Fish

    By Joe Cermele

    When you're deep-dropping for swordfish in 3,000 feet of water, you can still look cool using an electric reel. It's acceptable. When you're casting to crappies off the municipal dock at the park lake, you're just the weirdo with the pronton pack attached to his spinning reel. Have a great weekend, and don't wear those arms out too much.

  • October 16, 2013

    Taste Test Suggests Farmed Fish Is Better Than Wild-Caught

    By Joe Cermele

    Over the summer I was having dinner with my wife at a Jersey Shore seafood restaurant we'd never tried. One of their "specialties" is a New England bouillabaisse; a pot of steaming seafood broth loaded with shrimp, scallops, clams, peppers, potatoes, and fish. I bit, and when I asked what kind of fish was in the dish, I was told it was whatever the chef was serving that night. Cool. This was, after all, a restaurant with the bay lapping against the back deck. But when our meal arrived I was informed the fish of the day was tilapia. I didn't send it back, though I should have. Instead, I picked around the bland chunks and sulked. How dare place where you can smell the ocean when the door swings open serve me farm-raised white bread? Well, as it turns out I might be the crazy one, because a blind taste test judged by some high-end foodies suggests farmed salmon is far more delicious than wild-caught. Yeah, whatever.

  • October 8, 2013

    New Hooks Shots: Muskies On The Fly (A Minnesota Epic)

    By Joe Cermele

    I have never shot a muskie episode of "Hook Shots" that was not a lesson in stress management and perseverance. Why I thought trying to get it done on the fly was a good idea I'm not sure. From sun up to sundown for four days straight, me and four guys obsessed with catching muskies on the fly traversed Minnesota looking for our shot. If you've ever been on a fishing road trip with a bunch of friends, you know that things rarely run smoothly, and this trip was no exception. If there's not an aspect of this adventure you can't relate to, you haven't been out fishing enough. So was the grind worth it? All I'll say is that my favorite quote from the episode comes from muskie freak Russ Gontarek, who says: "One single cast can change an entire trip." 

  • September 3, 2013

    Can You Use Bug Spray In Place of Starter Fluid? Nope

    By Joe Cermele

    When your outboard is acting up, don't try this. Although—as the gentlemen in the video point out—bug spray is flammable, "redneck ether" will not get the motor back up and running.

  • April 30, 2013

    New Hook Shots: The Hunt For Trophy Tennessee Stripers

    By Joe Cermele

    There are pure-strain, landlocked striped bass all over the country, but there are only so many places in freshwater where these fish reach the same "cow" proportions as their coastal cousins. Being a Jersey guy, I know a thing or two about big bass (or pretend to, anyway), so it's taken me a while to pull the trigger on a sweetwater striper hunt. That's partially because it's hard to break the mentality that the biggest bass are salty, and partially because picking the right body of freshwater and finding the right guy to get you on the big fish is tricky. But I finally found him. In three days on the Clinch River in Eastern Tennessee, veteran guide Bud White made me and fellow Northeast striper nut Mike Sudal realize that you can't appreciate the fight of a 30-pounder until you need to lock down the spool with your thumbs to stop the fish from running into one of many downed trees that are always in close proximity. Enjoy the show. 

  • November 16, 2012

    The Case of the Cormorant Rescue & The Mystery Fishing Pictures

    By Joe Cermele

    This is fact, not fiction, and it goes like this: Last September, Saskatchewan resident Karen Gwillim was driving through the town of Craven when she spied a young cormorant in a bit of a predicament. Like many other anglers, I think a cormorant in a bad predicament is a good thing, but Gwillim took pity on the bird, which had a silver digital camera hanging around its neck. She removed the camera, which had spent lots of time in the water, and the bird flew off (to eat more gamefish, no doubt). Gwillim removed the memory card, let it dry, and opened it on her computer. The pictures were intact. So did she find homemade pornography or lost pictures of grandma's birthday party? Not hardly.

    The memory card was loaded with fishing pictures. There were over 200 frames of guys holding big pike and walleyes from what Gwillim guessed was nearby Shell Lake. She posted the photos on her Facebook page but no one ever came forward. It wasn't until just this past Tuesday, when Gwillim was interviewed on a talk show, that Frank Resendes called the station and said he was one of the anglers in the photos and knew the camera's owner. Apparently, the owner lost the camera while helping a buddy land a fish 8 months earlier. You can read the whole saga on the website of CBC News Saskatchewan.

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