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Cermele: Which Fishing Cult is the Most Insane?

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October 13, 2009

Cermele: Which Fishing Cult is the Most Insane?

By Joe Cermele

With striper season just beginning to take shape in the Northeast, I'm starting to get in that mode where I check tackle shops reports 3,000 times a day. My stomach knots up a bit every time I get a cell phone call from a friend who is more than likely on the beach while I'm at work. I go to bed at night wondering if I should have gone fishing and if the morning reports will tell me working all day on a couple hours sleep would have been justified.

Without question, striper fishermen (surfcasters in particular) are one of the most insanely dedicated groups of anglers out there. During the spring and fall, sleep means nothing, schedules are dictated by tidal movement, and nary a thought is given to calling into work sick when the bite's on. Nor is any thought given to putting yourself in death zones of brutal waves and slick rocks. But they are not the only bunch of nuts.

Muskie fishermen are just as bad, if not worse. They are the only cult of guys I know willing to cast to the same spot for hours and hours on end waiting for just one strike. Sometimes it comes, but more often it doesn't. Not to mention, the lures and spinners getting thrown are enough to wrench your arms from the socket after ten minutes of fishing. These men are haunted by misses and swirls. They mumble to themselves and spend ridiculous amounts of time tinkering with bucktails, blades, and weights hoping to achieve the perfect lure.

The steelhead cult deserves a nod here, too. Yes, the Great Lakes guys are whacky, but I'm talking more about the West Coast fellas always on the quest for pure-strain, ocean-running steel. Largemouth? Eh, I feel almost like the species is too widespread to be the same kind of cult. Marlin? Yeah, but all that requires is lots of money.

Who gets your vote for most off their rockers? Who did I miss? - JC

 

Comments (32)

Top Rated
All Comments
from minigunner111 wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

No offence to the fly fishing guys here but colorado flyfishermen are bananas. picking bugs out of river to figure out the perfect one. fly work very hard for 9 10 12 inch fish at least muskie and striper fishermen get big fish.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

For me it's steelheaders. They share not only share a common bond with fish but they also share the cold weather that comes with it. The anticipation leading up to the first fish in the river all the way to when the rivers freeze over back to the thaw that brings a fresh spring run. In between they monitor the river conditions and when the time is right, in unison, they invade the secret holes and runs.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from seadog wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

Minigunner has a good point. Those fly fishermen go to a lot of trouble to catch fish you could hide in an empty shotgun shell. Here in the Florida wetlands, I gotta go with bass fishermen. They buy 100 thousand dollar boats that go 75 mph to race for 5 minutes across a lake, then run a trolling motor the rest of the day.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from RichardF wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

I'd have to say the Fly fisherman, they will hike for two days to get to the "secret" spot. It could be the best known fishing hole in the state and still will recieve little presure because of the lengths to get there. All that for a fish too small to eat.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from kirkdeeter wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

I'm gonna vote for the Rocky Mountain mahi mahi cult... an extremely fickle fishery... tremendously powerful fish in river currents... and an undying dedication to fish tacos. http://www.fieldandstream.com/node/1001312984

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from kirkdeeter wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

Seriously... I'm not going to argue against the striper nuts. The striper guys are essentially the guys who paint their bodies green or blue, then stand in the upper deck of the Meadowlands... in their underwear, when it's, like 28 degrees (and they only go to the game when the fishing bite isn't on)... to show how fired up they are about football. And they're MORE fired up about the striper run. How can you compete with that level of commitment? Granted the trout/fly guys are in the corporate suite drinking martinis served by gorgeous waitresses... but this isn't an intelligence versus enthusiasm debate...

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from Joe_Cermele wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

Nice Deeter

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from seadog wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

I propose an honorable mention to scuba divers. I know some guys that have really nice boats. They they usually dive 2 or 3 times a week all year long. They spearfish & dive for lobster, but almost never fish with hook & line. They don't go hunting either--they just dive. I can't do it--I must have some kind of A.D.D. I think about hunting while I'm cleaning fish. I think about spearfishing in my treestand. I hunt near the river so I can scout for alligators. And during gator season, I'm looking forward to archery.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from caseywolf wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

nice crude tats

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Long Run Fishin... wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

JC,
I am one of those addicted Striper Hunters...from the boat, the surf...where ever they roam is where I want to be. Monitoring reports up and down the coast, tracking the bait and bass, watching water temps, wind and tide..a lot goes into it and my nod is to the Striper Crowd.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from chadlove wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

I don't know, Joe. I think the Cali guys who target giant largemouth would certainly qualify as a cult. Someday I hope to fling some foot-long swimbaits at those fish...

Also, I know you disdain catfish, but there's certainly a subset of guys who are hard-core and pretty cultish about catching monster blues and flatheads.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from vtbluegrass wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

Tarpon fishermen. I know for 2 1/2 months there is a fairly small group of people in NC that lose their minds myself included. Its just a wonder we don't lose our jobs.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Big O wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

Crappie fishermen !
Out on the lake in the rain/snow/sleet/freezing cold(Feb.) to the "Burning" days of summer !
What an I a mail man ? No, just love them crappie !

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from sgaredneck wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

Big O, I hear ya!

The 'speck' is where it's at!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Koldkut wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

Can't forget the crazy Carp-on-the-fly guys. And forwhatever reason I've been crazy for a few fish, it all depends on what region you live in and what's available on the buffet. I was pretty hardcore into specks and reds in So. Tex. Pennsylvania it was LM and SM, and now it tends to be those golden bones, put one on the fly rod and hang on, it's crazy addicting trying to get something as fickle to take a fly, and those grass carp are even harder. My votes goes to the fly fishing carpers.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from rjw wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

What about Ice Fishermen, especially the ones after Walleye, these fish like to bite at night, like being on a frozen lake in the day time is not cold enough, these guys start getting serious at night! Walleye do not sit still they constantly move, in turn so do the fishermen.
I have spent some time ice fishing, would do it every day the lake is frozen if I could. Hats off to all Die Hards!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from tourneyking734 wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

the northern maine landlocked salmon fishermen are the most secretive of all fishermen, these guy's I've seen spend hours fishing one pool for a fish that reaches 26" max. These guy's don't talk, don't wave, and if you crowded them in, they'd probably shoot you. Granted, some saltwater fishermen are very cult-like. But they will help a beggining fisherman/woman out. The salmon fisherman with the bucktail streamer would rather see that person quit and not fish their best pool than see them catch a salmon out of that pool, even if it was their first fish

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Alex Pernice th... wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

I used to be (Deeter, cover your eyes.) a surf fisherman. A sinner, by Deeters methods, but I fished stripers, and everything else (Loved shark.) We are nuts, but thats what makes it fun, no one else does it like we do. Steelheading is fun too, took it up last year.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from muskiemaster wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

muskie no doubt about it. none of these guys sit in there boat and drift a shoreline 10 times casting non stop, then when you finally think you have a follow then you realize it's just a clump of weeds. There is no such thing as the bite being on they just hit out of pure mystery and can't hardly be patterned.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from minigunner111 wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

So we all agree there are many many fishing cults all as crazy as the next.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WIfisher27 wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

i gotta go with muskies how many guys do you know that can fish for days and mabey not even get a single strike i mean comon

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from gabeparr wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

It's kinda funny to look at some of these posts and see how I used to see fly fishermen as well. @Kirkdeeter - "In the corporate suite drinking martinis....." Yeah, I drink beer - usually the cheap stuff because you can get A LOT OF IT... I have fished for just about every north american freshwater fish I could get my hands on, and more than my fair share of the saltwater varieties for more than 30 years now. All of this while earning less than 40k/year. I've used spinning rods, bait casters, deep sea rigs, and yes now I like to fly fish as well. I think the biggest cult out there is probably guys like me who just love to fish - whenever, wherever, and however the situation calls for. Fishing Bum for Life!

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

Gabe,

Your my hero. Live the dream man.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from MLH wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

I'd add the guys that fish the Michigan hex hatch to that list. The hatch occurs at night and only for two or three weeks each summer. Long, sleepless, and often very cold nights waiting by the river for a hatch that may or may not occur. Secretive bunch, too, though hotspots can have a flyfisherman every 30 yards. Bring beer, cigars, headlights, and big flies. The splashy rise and tug from just one big brown makes the wait worthwhile.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from aragonnapoles wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

Forget it Cermele. Just remember the soul of angling:
Fishing not fish. The extras are welcome for all serius
angler,slippery rocks,like hell weather,crowds of other
anglers surfing the same beach,etc., all is a plus.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 2matsgul wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

I think the musky are the craziest.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from stuartwp wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

All the aforementioned groups are finatical indeed. Until you run into the cisco seiners in wisconsin. Wait all year long to catch the very breif spawning run which is in the late fall, on a moonlite night,preferably just before the super deep lakes freeze over. Then try to go out and sein a bunch of 6-8 inch fish not bigger around than your finger. You have to be quite. You have to be brave, it helps to be crazy. You have to look for ripples on the shore in the moonlight to locate a school. You have to have the right kind of terrain along the bank for the seining and it can't be windy. I will probly he hunted down and whipped for bringing this up. Those guys are know how to keep a secret.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Rick wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

hands down, no question, the all-night weakfish nuts. When do those guys sleep?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

Throughout the '90's i was an addicted Striper fisherman of the worst kind. The Bridge Fisherman. Dodging cops, tolltakers and other crazy bridge fisherman in the cold of November and December nights, usually during Nor'easters. Sometimes literally fishing all night. It was lonely, fun, cold, and crazy, but very rewarding too. I ate so much Striper that i gave it up. Still occassionally going out to prove i could still catch one, only to release it. It's been a couple years or more but every year around Halloween I get the itch a bit. If it weren't for the whitetail rut, i'd probably still be out there on the bridge in November. Probably recognize all the same guys out there too.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

Joe, Your saltwater stripers may be different from our freshwater ones but they are a blast to catch along with the white bass. But there is a bigger fish related to both I love to fish, the Wiper, no joke it's for real. Half Striper half White. They grow large too.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from shadywheel wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

the all night fisherman are really CRAZY, they got my vote. I mean when you would rather fish the midnight shores than breath, that is really pumped.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Fischerman69 wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

walleye fisherman are just as crazy i have an uncle that called off work for the day just because the weather was going to be perfect he drove fifty miles every day there and back and caught 4 fish ive woke the sun and put it to bed all from a boat trolling for walleyes

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from kirkdeeter wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

Seriously... I'm not going to argue against the striper nuts. The striper guys are essentially the guys who paint their bodies green or blue, then stand in the upper deck of the Meadowlands... in their underwear, when it's, like 28 degrees (and they only go to the game when the fishing bite isn't on)... to show how fired up they are about football. And they're MORE fired up about the striper run. How can you compete with that level of commitment? Granted the trout/fly guys are in the corporate suite drinking martinis served by gorgeous waitresses... but this isn't an intelligence versus enthusiasm debate...

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from Big O wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

Crappie fishermen !
Out on the lake in the rain/snow/sleet/freezing cold(Feb.) to the "Burning" days of summer !
What an I a mail man ? No, just love them crappie !

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from gabeparr wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

It's kinda funny to look at some of these posts and see how I used to see fly fishermen as well. @Kirkdeeter - "In the corporate suite drinking martinis....." Yeah, I drink beer - usually the cheap stuff because you can get A LOT OF IT... I have fished for just about every north american freshwater fish I could get my hands on, and more than my fair share of the saltwater varieties for more than 30 years now. All of this while earning less than 40k/year. I've used spinning rods, bait casters, deep sea rigs, and yes now I like to fly fish as well. I think the biggest cult out there is probably guys like me who just love to fish - whenever, wherever, and however the situation calls for. Fishing Bum for Life!

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from kirkdeeter wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

I'm gonna vote for the Rocky Mountain mahi mahi cult... an extremely fickle fishery... tremendously powerful fish in river currents... and an undying dedication to fish tacos. http://www.fieldandstream.com/node/1001312984

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Long Run Fishin... wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

JC,
I am one of those addicted Striper Hunters...from the boat, the surf...where ever they roam is where I want to be. Monitoring reports up and down the coast, tracking the bait and bass, watching water temps, wind and tide..a lot goes into it and my nod is to the Striper Crowd.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from sgaredneck wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

Big O, I hear ya!

The 'speck' is where it's at!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from WIfisher27 wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

i gotta go with muskies how many guys do you know that can fish for days and mabey not even get a single strike i mean comon

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from minigunner111 wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

No offence to the fly fishing guys here but colorado flyfishermen are bananas. picking bugs out of river to figure out the perfect one. fly work very hard for 9 10 12 inch fish at least muskie and striper fishermen get big fish.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

For me it's steelheaders. They share not only share a common bond with fish but they also share the cold weather that comes with it. The anticipation leading up to the first fish in the river all the way to when the rivers freeze over back to the thaw that brings a fresh spring run. In between they monitor the river conditions and when the time is right, in unison, they invade the secret holes and runs.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from seadog wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

Minigunner has a good point. Those fly fishermen go to a lot of trouble to catch fish you could hide in an empty shotgun shell. Here in the Florida wetlands, I gotta go with bass fishermen. They buy 100 thousand dollar boats that go 75 mph to race for 5 minutes across a lake, then run a trolling motor the rest of the day.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from RichardF wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

I'd have to say the Fly fisherman, they will hike for two days to get to the "secret" spot. It could be the best known fishing hole in the state and still will recieve little presure because of the lengths to get there. All that for a fish too small to eat.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from chadlove wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

I don't know, Joe. I think the Cali guys who target giant largemouth would certainly qualify as a cult. Someday I hope to fling some foot-long swimbaits at those fish...

Also, I know you disdain catfish, but there's certainly a subset of guys who are hard-core and pretty cultish about catching monster blues and flatheads.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from vtbluegrass wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

Tarpon fishermen. I know for 2 1/2 months there is a fairly small group of people in NC that lose their minds myself included. Its just a wonder we don't lose our jobs.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Koldkut wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

Can't forget the crazy Carp-on-the-fly guys. And forwhatever reason I've been crazy for a few fish, it all depends on what region you live in and what's available on the buffet. I was pretty hardcore into specks and reds in So. Tex. Pennsylvania it was LM and SM, and now it tends to be those golden bones, put one on the fly rod and hang on, it's crazy addicting trying to get something as fickle to take a fly, and those grass carp are even harder. My votes goes to the fly fishing carpers.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from rjw wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

What about Ice Fishermen, especially the ones after Walleye, these fish like to bite at night, like being on a frozen lake in the day time is not cold enough, these guys start getting serious at night! Walleye do not sit still they constantly move, in turn so do the fishermen.
I have spent some time ice fishing, would do it every day the lake is frozen if I could. Hats off to all Die Hards!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Alex Pernice th... wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

I used to be (Deeter, cover your eyes.) a surf fisherman. A sinner, by Deeters methods, but I fished stripers, and everything else (Loved shark.) We are nuts, but thats what makes it fun, no one else does it like we do. Steelheading is fun too, took it up last year.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from muskiemaster wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

muskie no doubt about it. none of these guys sit in there boat and drift a shoreline 10 times casting non stop, then when you finally think you have a follow then you realize it's just a clump of weeds. There is no such thing as the bite being on they just hit out of pure mystery and can't hardly be patterned.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

Gabe,

Your my hero. Live the dream man.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Joe_Cermele wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

Nice Deeter

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from seadog wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

I propose an honorable mention to scuba divers. I know some guys that have really nice boats. They they usually dive 2 or 3 times a week all year long. They spearfish & dive for lobster, but almost never fish with hook & line. They don't go hunting either--they just dive. I can't do it--I must have some kind of A.D.D. I think about hunting while I'm cleaning fish. I think about spearfishing in my treestand. I hunt near the river so I can scout for alligators. And during gator season, I'm looking forward to archery.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from tourneyking734 wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

the northern maine landlocked salmon fishermen are the most secretive of all fishermen, these guy's I've seen spend hours fishing one pool for a fish that reaches 26" max. These guy's don't talk, don't wave, and if you crowded them in, they'd probably shoot you. Granted, some saltwater fishermen are very cult-like. But they will help a beggining fisherman/woman out. The salmon fisherman with the bucktail streamer would rather see that person quit and not fish their best pool than see them catch a salmon out of that pool, even if it was their first fish

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from minigunner111 wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

So we all agree there are many many fishing cults all as crazy as the next.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MLH wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

I'd add the guys that fish the Michigan hex hatch to that list. The hatch occurs at night and only for two or three weeks each summer. Long, sleepless, and often very cold nights waiting by the river for a hatch that may or may not occur. Secretive bunch, too, though hotspots can have a flyfisherman every 30 yards. Bring beer, cigars, headlights, and big flies. The splashy rise and tug from just one big brown makes the wait worthwhile.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from aragonnapoles wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

Forget it Cermele. Just remember the soul of angling:
Fishing not fish. The extras are welcome for all serius
angler,slippery rocks,like hell weather,crowds of other
anglers surfing the same beach,etc., all is a plus.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 2matsgul wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

I think the musky are the craziest.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from stuartwp wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

All the aforementioned groups are finatical indeed. Until you run into the cisco seiners in wisconsin. Wait all year long to catch the very breif spawning run which is in the late fall, on a moonlite night,preferably just before the super deep lakes freeze over. Then try to go out and sein a bunch of 6-8 inch fish not bigger around than your finger. You have to be quite. You have to be brave, it helps to be crazy. You have to look for ripples on the shore in the moonlight to locate a school. You have to have the right kind of terrain along the bank for the seining and it can't be windy. I will probly he hunted down and whipped for bringing this up. Those guys are know how to keep a secret.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Rick wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

hands down, no question, the all-night weakfish nuts. When do those guys sleep?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from caseywolf wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

nice crude tats

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

Throughout the '90's i was an addicted Striper fisherman of the worst kind. The Bridge Fisherman. Dodging cops, tolltakers and other crazy bridge fisherman in the cold of November and December nights, usually during Nor'easters. Sometimes literally fishing all night. It was lonely, fun, cold, and crazy, but very rewarding too. I ate so much Striper that i gave it up. Still occassionally going out to prove i could still catch one, only to release it. It's been a couple years or more but every year around Halloween I get the itch a bit. If it weren't for the whitetail rut, i'd probably still be out there on the bridge in November. Probably recognize all the same guys out there too.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

Joe, Your saltwater stripers may be different from our freshwater ones but they are a blast to catch along with the white bass. But there is a bigger fish related to both I love to fish, the Wiper, no joke it's for real. Half Striper half White. They grow large too.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from shadywheel wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

the all night fisherman are really CRAZY, they got my vote. I mean when you would rather fish the midnight shores than breath, that is really pumped.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Fischerman69 wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

walleye fisherman are just as crazy i have an uncle that called off work for the day just because the weather was going to be perfect he drove fifty miles every day there and back and caught 4 fish ive woke the sun and put it to bed all from a boat trolling for walleyes

0 Good Comment? | | Report

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