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New Hook Shots: Falcon Bass in the Borderlands

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March 20, 2013

New Hook Shots: Falcon Bass in the Borderlands

By Joe Cermele

Hopefully wherever you are, it's starting to feel like spring. It's certainly still winter here in the Northeast and I'm sick of it. So instead of kicking off the 5th season of "Hook Shots" on the ice or a frigid river, I ran for the Texas-Mexico border to fish Falcon Lake. I was told the bass grow big at Falcon and the Mexican drug smugglers and pirates never bother a bunch of gringoes in a flashy bass boat loaded with expensive camera gear. What I learned is that if you have a really fast boat it's OK to fish the Mexico side, if you want big prespawn fish on Falcon you'd better be able to flip a jig (which I suck at), and if you listen to enough club music, you kinda start to like it. A huge thanks goes out to 25-year-old hot shot guide Nathan Fields, who is one incredible angler. If you want to catch Texas bass with someone keyed in on the latest techniques who is not a grumpy old dude, Nate is your man. Enjoy the show, and many more adventures, foibles, documented shortcomings, and hopefully a few moments of glory to come this season.

Comments (21)

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from king fisher wrote 1 year 3 weeks ago

SO HERE WE GO YET AGAIN! Sir Smelly, why can't you learn? Review video time frames 6:00, 6:32, 7:58, 8:22, 8:36 and on and on and on and see. ALL THE OTHER "DUDES" HANDLE THE FISH CORRECTLY! But does Mr. Cermele set the example? Oh no - he's gotta be cool and present his fish to the camera via lip crackin. Check out the fish handling technique of Mr. Profession vs all the others and compare the difference - it's right there!!!!! A professional? - I don't think so! Lip crackin fish for the camera that way is just plain wrong. Just wrong. Yet Joe Cermele CONSTANTLY mishandles fish - what a joke. Go look elsewhere - there is much better content than this constant poor example of a "fisherman". Sheesh...

-5 Good Comment? | | Report
from Koldkut wrote 1 year 3 weeks ago

Love the new start sequence, lookin' forward to this season.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from nuclear_fisher wrote 1 year 3 weeks ago

1. Yes! Been dying for next installment, great as always.
2. I also dig your new B&W w/ Red highlight intro, very slick.
3. My fishing buddy always gives me a hard time for my man purse. I went out and bought fishing vest last summer and I give it two thumbs down compared to my man purse. Rock on Capt'n Kerber.
4. It may not be directly fishing related, but sometime you need to start giving us tips on video shooting, editing etc.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from rjw wrote 1 year 3 weeks ago

Great video to start the season with, yea flippin and pitchin ain't for everyone,stick with it and it will come together.
King fisher, sounds like you are the one who needs to view content elsewhere as it would appear Mr. Cermele can do no right in your eyes, no matter what. In other words GFYS :)

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from HelloStrega wrote 1 year 3 weeks ago

King Fisher. I applaud your passion for the gentle handling of fish. Now as a fellow fisherman I will do as fishermen do. I will share a tip with you.

If you would like to enamor someone to your opinion, it does not help to call them names.

Your opinion is quite valid and I'm sure it would be much more appreciated if you were a little calmer when you shared it. Perhaps something like "Joe, as a contributor to a prolific magazine like Field and Stream you are a steward to the sport of fishing. As such I think you should teach gentle handling of fish by example; especially in your videos."

Just my two cents (two nickels if you're from Canada).

Of course, if you're just trolling for a flame war then my assistance is probably a little off the mark.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from badsmerf wrote 1 year 3 weeks ago

Joe.... you're a different dude....

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Joe_Cermele wrote 1 year 3 weeks ago

Thanks Smerf...I think : )

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from canvasbackhunter wrote 1 year 3 weeks ago

There is a B.A.S.S Elite series tounament on Falcon in a few days i think. I'd have a blast to fish a big bass lake.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 1 year 3 weeks ago

Lunchables? VW Jetta? Did the higher-ups cut the Hook Shots budget? You deserve better, Joe.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Joe_Cermele wrote 1 year 3 weeks ago

Yes they did, Buck. Next month I have to bring my own peanut butter and can only rent a Segway.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Gavin McNaughton wrote 1 year 3 weeks ago

I use that good old fashion spam and leave it in a plastic butter container two days before out on the river for bass or muskies, got a alabama rig this winter and can't wait to see how well it will work out!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from king fisher wrote 1 year 3 weeks ago

Funny how "GFYS" is the ignorant comment yet no addressing the issue! Content has responsibity! Why is "GFYS" allowed as a comment on Field & Stream anyway? Mr. Cermele - what do you have to say about that (GFYS) and your lip crackin fish handling? Is that the example you want to set?? How about a comment on lip crackin a fish from the "professional"? Man up!

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Joe_Cermele wrote 1 year 3 weeks ago

Regarding GFYS: This is a public forum, and though GFYS may be crude, I'm not going to delete an abbreviation. If he had typed it out, different story. The whole point of being able to comment is to let readers say what they want. I didn't delete your post even though it's a personal attack did I?

Regarding lip cracking: I addressed this well over a year ago the first time you brought it up in a post where I said I looked high and low for a study done on the negative effects of the practice and could not find one. I won't waste my time doing that again. If you know of one, I'm all ears.

What I find most interesting is that there are countless photos of lipped fish on this site (one was posted in this very blog just last week) yet you were oddly silent. So this is clearly personal. If I'm not mistaken you're a guide with Up Country Sportfishing in CT (Farmington is one of my favorite rivers, by the way). Your number is on the website, so if you'd like me to give you a call so we can talk about it man to man instead of hiding behind the cloak of Internet screen names, I'm happy to do so. Just man up and tell me what time is good for you. Perhaps you'd like to shoot a Hook Shots with me this summer. You might find out that I'm not the evil demon you're so sure I am.

+7 Good Comment? | | Report
from king fisher wrote 1 year 3 weeks ago

You are mistaken and wrong on many of the ass-umptions you make Cermele. It is not personal. It's just your consistent-consisently poor fish handling behavior! Thin skinned at little? I looked over the "blog" and would be interested in you pointing out which photos you refer to. I have multiple state biologist, hatchery people and professional guides who exclaim the same sentiments I do. I would be more than happy to supply. Here's an easy one to find. How about a response about what Mr. Gilliland - from B.A.S.S - has to say? I'm available any time BTW.

Gene Gilliland, long time fisheries biologist from Norman, Oklahoma, helped write the B.A.S.S. book on handling fish. In "Keeping Bass Alive," Gilliland makes a strong point about how to hold a fish. "Hold a bass vertically by the lower jaw. Never try to hold a fish horizontally by its lower jaw.

-2 Good Comment? | | Report
from rjw wrote 1 year 3 weeks ago

king fisher

GFYS: Go Find Your Stats! And you ass-umed other wise.

After finding your stats it would lead one to believe that you do have a personal issue with Mr. Cermele and his Grunge style videos. You have commented a total of 15 times on the Field & Stream website, mostly in anger and always directed toward Mr. Cermele, if that does make it personal I do not know what would.
Now the “Bully Pulpit” (Mr. Cermele) has invited you to a one on one conversation, and still you show negativity, now that is true professionalism!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from king fisher wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

Such hostility! But yet NO ONE addresses the issue! Time and time again I provide valid critique on Cermele's horrible fish handling - such that other pro's right in his own boat don't do! But Cermele does - again and again. TON'S of comments from his minion's about a "personal attack" but NOTHING on his piss poor fish handling lip crackin! What about what the guy from B.A.S.S. said? Huh? There is much much more evidence from real professionals that lip crackin is wrong! ADDRESS THE ISSUE! Cermele stated he would be "all ears". Address the issue and stop lip crackin when you grip and grin. Simple as that.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Koldkut wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

King....I did a quick search for Gene Gilliland on google and I found links to a few of his articles and none I found could overshadow the fact that the sites he's on have pics all over the place of jaw cracking on fish larger than what Joe has shown in his own grips being "jaw cracked"....Definitely has a "do as I say" feel when they post one about handling then post a million others where they are not handling them as prescribed in an article they ran.....

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from rjw wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

king fisher,
My man you have some real issues, there is no hostility in my statements. Take a step back and look at your approach, they start with anger (letters in upper case) then name calling (Sir Smelly) very classy. Then you speak of Mr. Cermele not being able to learn, and you post specific time frames to watch. I would like to watch a video of you flipping out while watching Mr. Cermele’s videos, lol. You over exaggerate on your statement of a “TON” of comments from his minion’s. From what I have read I am the only one speaking in a manner that you do not care for, due to the simple fact that the only time you participate in this blog or any blog on this web site is when you perceive “jaw crackin” and you jump straight into a rant and name calling. Sure hope you are not a teacher.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from king fisher wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

WHAT ABOUT CERMELE SETTING THE EXAMPLE OF CONSTANTLY LIP CRACKIN! I site the evidence with frame times! ADDRESS THE ISSUE! What about what the guy from B.A.S.S. said? Huh? ADDRESS THE ISSUE! There is much much more evidence from real professionals that lip crackin is wrong! ADDRESS THE ISSUE! Cermele stated he would be "all ears". ADDRESS THE ISSUE! and stop lip crackin when you grip and grin. Simple as that. Sheesh!

-2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Joe_Cermele wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

Ok fellas, no need to get out of hand.

Re Gilliland: I've been trying to get a hold of him, because I'm curious as to whether it's a recommendation or if there is a study behind it. Just as there are experts that will agree this is not the ideal way to hold a bass, I have plenty that will echo my belief that the chances of doing any damage holding those little guys (a couple pounds or less) for a few seconds horizontally by the lip is slim to none. I would argue that getting a hook run through your face, getting ripped out of the tree you live in, then brought into air you cannot breathe, is far more traumatic than lipping. There have been plenty of studies conducted on release mortality, and I hate to say it, but for many species the results aren't always favorable to anglers. The best thing we can do for fish is not fish for them.

As for my "consistently poor fish handling behavior," you only ever site this when I'm holding a little largemouth or smallmouth. I caught no big bass in this episode. In the bass episode from last year, where I catch an 8-pounder, you better believe there are two hands on it. So considering I post about two blogs a year that feature me holding a bass, where is the rest of this "poor fish handling?" Am I posting photos of me squeezing the eyeballs out of trout, or swinging pike around by the gills? Reputations for mistreating fish don't get you far in this industry, and in 9 years, you are the one and only person who has ever called me on it.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from hermit crab wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

Kingfisher:
If you're so passionate about it, may I recommend writing your own article about acceptable and unacceptable methods? Not sure about F&S, but I know a lot of magazines accept guest columns. Would likely be a better way to get your message out to a larger audience than your forum messages bashing Joe. I'm not real aware of the issue and don't bass fish much, but I'd certainly be interested to hear more.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from Joe_Cermele wrote 1 year 3 weeks ago

Regarding GFYS: This is a public forum, and though GFYS may be crude, I'm not going to delete an abbreviation. If he had typed it out, different story. The whole point of being able to comment is to let readers say what they want. I didn't delete your post even though it's a personal attack did I?

Regarding lip cracking: I addressed this well over a year ago the first time you brought it up in a post where I said I looked high and low for a study done on the negative effects of the practice and could not find one. I won't waste my time doing that again. If you know of one, I'm all ears.

What I find most interesting is that there are countless photos of lipped fish on this site (one was posted in this very blog just last week) yet you were oddly silent. So this is clearly personal. If I'm not mistaken you're a guide with Up Country Sportfishing in CT (Farmington is one of my favorite rivers, by the way). Your number is on the website, so if you'd like me to give you a call so we can talk about it man to man instead of hiding behind the cloak of Internet screen names, I'm happy to do so. Just man up and tell me what time is good for you. Perhaps you'd like to shoot a Hook Shots with me this summer. You might find out that I'm not the evil demon you're so sure I am.

+7 Good Comment? | | Report
from HelloStrega wrote 1 year 3 weeks ago

King Fisher. I applaud your passion for the gentle handling of fish. Now as a fellow fisherman I will do as fishermen do. I will share a tip with you.

If you would like to enamor someone to your opinion, it does not help to call them names.

Your opinion is quite valid and I'm sure it would be much more appreciated if you were a little calmer when you shared it. Perhaps something like "Joe, as a contributor to a prolific magazine like Field and Stream you are a steward to the sport of fishing. As such I think you should teach gentle handling of fish by example; especially in your videos."

Just my two cents (two nickels if you're from Canada).

Of course, if you're just trolling for a flame war then my assistance is probably a little off the mark.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from rjw wrote 1 year 3 weeks ago

Great video to start the season with, yea flippin and pitchin ain't for everyone,stick with it and it will come together.
King fisher, sounds like you are the one who needs to view content elsewhere as it would appear Mr. Cermele can do no right in your eyes, no matter what. In other words GFYS :)

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 1 year 3 weeks ago

Lunchables? VW Jetta? Did the higher-ups cut the Hook Shots budget? You deserve better, Joe.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Joe_Cermele wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

Ok fellas, no need to get out of hand.

Re Gilliland: I've been trying to get a hold of him, because I'm curious as to whether it's a recommendation or if there is a study behind it. Just as there are experts that will agree this is not the ideal way to hold a bass, I have plenty that will echo my belief that the chances of doing any damage holding those little guys (a couple pounds or less) for a few seconds horizontally by the lip is slim to none. I would argue that getting a hook run through your face, getting ripped out of the tree you live in, then brought into air you cannot breathe, is far more traumatic than lipping. There have been plenty of studies conducted on release mortality, and I hate to say it, but for many species the results aren't always favorable to anglers. The best thing we can do for fish is not fish for them.

As for my "consistently poor fish handling behavior," you only ever site this when I'm holding a little largemouth or smallmouth. I caught no big bass in this episode. In the bass episode from last year, where I catch an 8-pounder, you better believe there are two hands on it. So considering I post about two blogs a year that feature me holding a bass, where is the rest of this "poor fish handling?" Am I posting photos of me squeezing the eyeballs out of trout, or swinging pike around by the gills? Reputations for mistreating fish don't get you far in this industry, and in 9 years, you are the one and only person who has ever called me on it.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from nuclear_fisher wrote 1 year 3 weeks ago

1. Yes! Been dying for next installment, great as always.
2. I also dig your new B&W w/ Red highlight intro, very slick.
3. My fishing buddy always gives me a hard time for my man purse. I went out and bought fishing vest last summer and I give it two thumbs down compared to my man purse. Rock on Capt'n Kerber.
4. It may not be directly fishing related, but sometime you need to start giving us tips on video shooting, editing etc.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from badsmerf wrote 1 year 3 weeks ago

Joe.... you're a different dude....

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Joe_Cermele wrote 1 year 3 weeks ago

Yes they did, Buck. Next month I have to bring my own peanut butter and can only rent a Segway.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Koldkut wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

King....I did a quick search for Gene Gilliland on google and I found links to a few of his articles and none I found could overshadow the fact that the sites he's on have pics all over the place of jaw cracking on fish larger than what Joe has shown in his own grips being "jaw cracked"....Definitely has a "do as I say" feel when they post one about handling then post a million others where they are not handling them as prescribed in an article they ran.....

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Koldkut wrote 1 year 3 weeks ago

Love the new start sequence, lookin' forward to this season.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Joe_Cermele wrote 1 year 3 weeks ago

Thanks Smerf...I think : )

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from canvasbackhunter wrote 1 year 3 weeks ago

There is a B.A.S.S Elite series tounament on Falcon in a few days i think. I'd have a blast to fish a big bass lake.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Gavin McNaughton wrote 1 year 3 weeks ago

I use that good old fashion spam and leave it in a plastic butter container two days before out on the river for bass or muskies, got a alabama rig this winter and can't wait to see how well it will work out!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from rjw wrote 1 year 3 weeks ago

king fisher

GFYS: Go Find Your Stats! And you ass-umed other wise.

After finding your stats it would lead one to believe that you do have a personal issue with Mr. Cermele and his Grunge style videos. You have commented a total of 15 times on the Field & Stream website, mostly in anger and always directed toward Mr. Cermele, if that does make it personal I do not know what would.
Now the “Bully Pulpit” (Mr. Cermele) has invited you to a one on one conversation, and still you show negativity, now that is true professionalism!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from king fisher wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

Such hostility! But yet NO ONE addresses the issue! Time and time again I provide valid critique on Cermele's horrible fish handling - such that other pro's right in his own boat don't do! But Cermele does - again and again. TON'S of comments from his minion's about a "personal attack" but NOTHING on his piss poor fish handling lip crackin! What about what the guy from B.A.S.S. said? Huh? There is much much more evidence from real professionals that lip crackin is wrong! ADDRESS THE ISSUE! Cermele stated he would be "all ears". Address the issue and stop lip crackin when you grip and grin. Simple as that.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from rjw wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

king fisher,
My man you have some real issues, there is no hostility in my statements. Take a step back and look at your approach, they start with anger (letters in upper case) then name calling (Sir Smelly) very classy. Then you speak of Mr. Cermele not being able to learn, and you post specific time frames to watch. I would like to watch a video of you flipping out while watching Mr. Cermele’s videos, lol. You over exaggerate on your statement of a “TON” of comments from his minion’s. From what I have read I am the only one speaking in a manner that you do not care for, due to the simple fact that the only time you participate in this blog or any blog on this web site is when you perceive “jaw crackin” and you jump straight into a rant and name calling. Sure hope you are not a teacher.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from hermit crab wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

Kingfisher:
If you're so passionate about it, may I recommend writing your own article about acceptable and unacceptable methods? Not sure about F&S, but I know a lot of magazines accept guest columns. Would likely be a better way to get your message out to a larger audience than your forum messages bashing Joe. I'm not real aware of the issue and don't bass fish much, but I'd certainly be interested to hear more.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from king fisher wrote 1 year 3 weeks ago

Funny how "GFYS" is the ignorant comment yet no addressing the issue! Content has responsibity! Why is "GFYS" allowed as a comment on Field & Stream anyway? Mr. Cermele - what do you have to say about that (GFYS) and your lip crackin fish handling? Is that the example you want to set?? How about a comment on lip crackin a fish from the "professional"? Man up!

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from king fisher wrote 1 year 3 weeks ago

You are mistaken and wrong on many of the ass-umptions you make Cermele. It is not personal. It's just your consistent-consisently poor fish handling behavior! Thin skinned at little? I looked over the "blog" and would be interested in you pointing out which photos you refer to. I have multiple state biologist, hatchery people and professional guides who exclaim the same sentiments I do. I would be more than happy to supply. Here's an easy one to find. How about a response about what Mr. Gilliland - from B.A.S.S - has to say? I'm available any time BTW.

Gene Gilliland, long time fisheries biologist from Norman, Oklahoma, helped write the B.A.S.S. book on handling fish. In "Keeping Bass Alive," Gilliland makes a strong point about how to hold a fish. "Hold a bass vertically by the lower jaw. Never try to hold a fish horizontally by its lower jaw.

-2 Good Comment? | | Report
from king fisher wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

WHAT ABOUT CERMELE SETTING THE EXAMPLE OF CONSTANTLY LIP CRACKIN! I site the evidence with frame times! ADDRESS THE ISSUE! What about what the guy from B.A.S.S. said? Huh? ADDRESS THE ISSUE! There is much much more evidence from real professionals that lip crackin is wrong! ADDRESS THE ISSUE! Cermele stated he would be "all ears". ADDRESS THE ISSUE! and stop lip crackin when you grip and grin. Simple as that. Sheesh!

-2 Good Comment? | | Report
from king fisher wrote 1 year 3 weeks ago

SO HERE WE GO YET AGAIN! Sir Smelly, why can't you learn? Review video time frames 6:00, 6:32, 7:58, 8:22, 8:36 and on and on and on and see. ALL THE OTHER "DUDES" HANDLE THE FISH CORRECTLY! But does Mr. Cermele set the example? Oh no - he's gotta be cool and present his fish to the camera via lip crackin. Check out the fish handling technique of Mr. Profession vs all the others and compare the difference - it's right there!!!!! A professional? - I don't think so! Lip crackin fish for the camera that way is just plain wrong. Just wrong. Yet Joe Cermele CONSTANTLY mishandles fish - what a joke. Go look elsewhere - there is much better content than this constant poor example of a "fisherman". Sheesh...

-5 Good Comment? | | Report

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