As I am a man of my word, I present a blog by F&S intern Rick Bach. Read on to find out why I have lost the right to post today - JC

Allow me to introduce myself: My name is Rich Bach, and I am not Joe Cermele. I don’t know what Joe’s doing today and I don’t care, because I’ve got his blog for the day. We fished the New Jersey surf this weekend and as an intern dying for a byline, I made him a bet: If I caught a keeper striped bass and he didn’t, I could write one of his blog posts.

Now Joe used to work for Saltwater Sportsman, and they once wrote that he was “born with a surf rod in his hands,” so I’m sure he wasn’t nervous about losing this bet. He probably had a draft written somewhere, ready to post. I’m sure it was clever, but it will have to wait.

In honesty, this wasn’t much of a match-up. Joe knows these beaches like the back of his hand. You can count my Jersey surf experiences on a few fingers. This was Sonny Liston vs. Muhammad Ali; team U.S.A. vs. the U.S.S.R.; Namath’s Jets vs. the Colts.

But Sonny Liston stayed in his corner after the seventh round, Broadway Joe made good on his guarantee, and here I am writing a blog, thanks to the 29-inch striper pictured below (the limit is 28 inches). It’s no giant but fishing, too, is a game of inches. (Yes, I know it doesn’t look that big in the photo, but we did measure it, and the tape doesn’t lie).
After we reeled in our last casts on Saturday I breathed a sigh of relief and began pondering how I should use my one blog. In the end I decided to take the high road: gloating over my victory.

But the experience reminded me that fishing, along with everything else, is a sport like any other. Our biggest opponents are the weather and demands on our time, but occasionally we’re lucky enough to defeat a friend.