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Cermele: Resorting to Desperate Measures on the Water

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May 18, 2010

Cermele: Resorting to Desperate Measures on the Water

By Joe Cermele

Picutred below are my two wire-line trolling outfits. I own just these two, and the massive bunker spoons attached to each are the only bunker spoons I have. This is because pulling these heavy hunks of metal on 200 feet of wire at 2 miles per hour for striped bass is about as fun for me as a root canal. But the fact remains that they catch big bass, and if I've absolutely exhausted every possibility for hooking them on live bait, dead bait, flies, or lures, I will break down and pull wire. Striper fishing, of course, is not the only game where desperate-measure tactics apply.

Now let's be clear: I'm not knocking wire-liners. I'd actually argue that there is some art to the method, it's just not my cup of tea. Likewise, a true "desperate measure" varies based on the angler. As an example, I'll occasionally take to the smallmouth river with a can of worms and a bobber. It works great. But if I have my heart set on an evening of topwater action that's just not coming together, worms become a desperate measure.

I'll actually admit that I once commited the ultimate sin while fly fishing in Upstate New York. I came upon a very clear run where I could see some nice brown trout hovering off the bottom. Every once in a while, they'd peel out and snap something up. I lifted a few rocks and found them just crawling with black stoneflies...a pattern I oddly happened to be without. After trying every nymph I had, only to watch them drift by unnoticed, I did the dirty deed. Stripped a hook, threaded on a stonefly, and bang!

If you tell me you've never resorted to measures you're not proud of, you're probably a liar. So let's hear it. What's your worst moment of weakness where you broke down and did what you had to do to get your fish? - JC

Comments (14)

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from hunterkid94 wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

Im sure most people have heard of fallfish(some mistake them for carp) These fish are very skittish and hardly ever bite in our creek. They wont even come from under the bridge when we are around. So since he wouldnt bite, we took out my fold up hammock that was in my pack, tied rocks to four corners, and threw it in the water. Then, we tied a length of rope to the four corners then tied it at the top. threw the rope onto the bridge, and played the waiting game. Once he swam over the net, I pulled up and had it trapped. I pulled it up just to take a look at the fish then threw it back. Pretty desperate Id say!!!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

OK. I confess. I hooked a crawdad to the end of my fly rod to catch this monster smallie about 20 years ago. I beg forgiveness.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from mad_dog9999 wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

Using live bait is never a sin. As long as you don't break the law its fair game. Its called fishing afterall. I'm trying to catch fish. To say its a sin to use what a fish is eating to catch a fish, is like saying you wouldn't shoot a 200 inch whitetail as it walked by at 10 feet with a blinded eye toward you and only 3 legs because it isn't sporting. Use your preys vulnerabilities against them. I won't look down on you.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Joe_Cermele wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

Maddog...I agree completely. That's why I say "desperate measures" are in the eye of the beholder. I said it was a "fly fishing sin."

Opening day of trout season 'round here, I got my worm tin strapped to my wader belt like everyone else and a fresh jar of Mike's Salmon eggs in my pocket.

It's all situational

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from hunterkid94 wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

mad dog you have a heck of a point! Although I think you are right, I think not exploiting the animals weakness makes a challenge (thats what we are after right?)

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from Dotcomaphobe wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

To me, the worst is when I'm fishing with a know-it-all: in my case, an older family member who has seen and done everything. He'll try to tell me that whatever he happens to be throwing is the ONLY thing that will work in our situation. So of course, I try to prove him wrong, and wind up going through most of my tackle with no bites. And as soon as I use what he's using, I get slammed.

But I have to be absolutely desperate to take his advice. I just hate proving him right.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from rjw wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

Wouldn't call what you did with the stonefly a sin but more of a creative thought to enjoy the moment. Adaptation is what puts fish on the line.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from countitandone wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

Hey JC, here's mine...after watching rods bending from a guy upstream and a fishergirl downstream all morning, I spied on them only to find out worms were the answer. Well, not quite. Turns out they both had Skykomish Sun Rise streamers above with a pork chop (worm) dropper rig on point. Kind of a "strewormer" or "Sun Rise Worm" dropper. Whatever you call it, call it "effective." Desperation sets in, the second swing of my high tech dropper rig, bang!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

If using a real fly on a fly rod is a sin, then I'm not into fly fishing. That's just snobbery. I fish because I like to catch fish, not because I like to show off my "really pure, refined, and difficult" techniques. If you ask me, fly fishing isn't any of that. It's not all that hard to let something that looks just like prey drift around just like the prey does and get fish to bite it. Is the guy using the Clouser minnow jig or bead head nymph jig superior to the guy using the non-fly jig? Is the guy with the fly Orvis tied superior to the guy that hunted out the real thing and fished with it? No, and I think the live bait guy has more sense. Why pay for a fake to match the hatch when you can just have the hatch for free?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

I really don't recall catching any fish in ways I'm not proud of, or had any "moments of weakness". Just moments of catching fish or moments of not. I've never done anything illegal fishing wise, and anything legal is OK with me. Anything else that could be considered weakness is just a made up construct of fishing elitists. It's all fishing to me, and it's all a good time.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

i've never done that but didn't know it was a sin. thanks for telling me.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Scott in Ohio wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

When the trout fishing was slow I learned a trick from my first fishing mentor. He used a special fly called Velvita. Yep, those stockies seem to relish a chunk of Velvita cheese.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from dighunter wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

After getting frustrated fly fishing for carp, I almost always reach for the bow and start sticking them. It's much easier shooting them than catching them.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from DMJ wrote 3 years 11 weeks ago

(Don't tell anyone this) But after bass fishing for a few hours with NO fish...I was desperate, so I started catfishing.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from mad_dog9999 wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

Using live bait is never a sin. As long as you don't break the law its fair game. Its called fishing afterall. I'm trying to catch fish. To say its a sin to use what a fish is eating to catch a fish, is like saying you wouldn't shoot a 200 inch whitetail as it walked by at 10 feet with a blinded eye toward you and only 3 legs because it isn't sporting. Use your preys vulnerabilities against them. I won't look down on you.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

OK. I confess. I hooked a crawdad to the end of my fly rod to catch this monster smallie about 20 years ago. I beg forgiveness.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

i've never done that but didn't know it was a sin. thanks for telling me.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Scott in Ohio wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

When the trout fishing was slow I learned a trick from my first fishing mentor. He used a special fly called Velvita. Yep, those stockies seem to relish a chunk of Velvita cheese.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from dighunter wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

After getting frustrated fly fishing for carp, I almost always reach for the bow and start sticking them. It's much easier shooting them than catching them.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from hunterkid94 wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

Im sure most people have heard of fallfish(some mistake them for carp) These fish are very skittish and hardly ever bite in our creek. They wont even come from under the bridge when we are around. So since he wouldnt bite, we took out my fold up hammock that was in my pack, tied rocks to four corners, and threw it in the water. Then, we tied a length of rope to the four corners then tied it at the top. threw the rope onto the bridge, and played the waiting game. Once he swam over the net, I pulled up and had it trapped. I pulled it up just to take a look at the fish then threw it back. Pretty desperate Id say!!!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Joe_Cermele wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

Maddog...I agree completely. That's why I say "desperate measures" are in the eye of the beholder. I said it was a "fly fishing sin."

Opening day of trout season 'round here, I got my worm tin strapped to my wader belt like everyone else and a fresh jar of Mike's Salmon eggs in my pocket.

It's all situational

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from hunterkid94 wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

mad dog you have a heck of a point! Although I think you are right, I think not exploiting the animals weakness makes a challenge (thats what we are after right?)

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dotcomaphobe wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

To me, the worst is when I'm fishing with a know-it-all: in my case, an older family member who has seen and done everything. He'll try to tell me that whatever he happens to be throwing is the ONLY thing that will work in our situation. So of course, I try to prove him wrong, and wind up going through most of my tackle with no bites. And as soon as I use what he's using, I get slammed.

But I have to be absolutely desperate to take his advice. I just hate proving him right.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from rjw wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

Wouldn't call what you did with the stonefly a sin but more of a creative thought to enjoy the moment. Adaptation is what puts fish on the line.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from countitandone wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

Hey JC, here's mine...after watching rods bending from a guy upstream and a fishergirl downstream all morning, I spied on them only to find out worms were the answer. Well, not quite. Turns out they both had Skykomish Sun Rise streamers above with a pork chop (worm) dropper rig on point. Kind of a "strewormer" or "Sun Rise Worm" dropper. Whatever you call it, call it "effective." Desperation sets in, the second swing of my high tech dropper rig, bang!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

If using a real fly on a fly rod is a sin, then I'm not into fly fishing. That's just snobbery. I fish because I like to catch fish, not because I like to show off my "really pure, refined, and difficult" techniques. If you ask me, fly fishing isn't any of that. It's not all that hard to let something that looks just like prey drift around just like the prey does and get fish to bite it. Is the guy using the Clouser minnow jig or bead head nymph jig superior to the guy using the non-fly jig? Is the guy with the fly Orvis tied superior to the guy that hunted out the real thing and fished with it? No, and I think the live bait guy has more sense. Why pay for a fake to match the hatch when you can just have the hatch for free?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

I really don't recall catching any fish in ways I'm not proud of, or had any "moments of weakness". Just moments of catching fish or moments of not. I've never done anything illegal fishing wise, and anything legal is OK with me. Anything else that could be considered weakness is just a made up construct of fishing elitists. It's all fishing to me, and it's all a good time.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from DMJ wrote 3 years 11 weeks ago

(Don't tell anyone this) But after bass fishing for a few hours with NO fish...I was desperate, so I started catfishing.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment