A Choice Quote
January 22, 2009
When ABC launches a game-show pilot called “Country Singer, Famous Assassin or Kick Returner?” the final question will definitely be, “Who is Johnnie Lee Higgins?”
A Choice Quote
January 20, 2009
"I guess I'm gonna fade into Bolivian."
What A Fool Believes
January 16, 2009
And I got such a long way to go.
To make it to the border of Mexico.
So I'll ride like the wind.
--Christopher Cross, “Ride Like the Wind”
I’ve been writing this blog for about a year now and I’ve quoted people from all sort of industries and art forms --- athletes, rappers, actors, masters of the business universe, pseudo highbrow writers, low culture diarists, Frank Zappa and Sammy Davis Jr. -- but I’m proud to say that this entry is the first time I ever quoted anyone from the “Yacht Rock” genre.
Never in my 38 plus years on earth did I think I’d have an opportunity to go so deep in the well that I’d dredge up a Christopher Cross lyric . . . and it wasn’t even the most popular song on the damn record (in case you’re wondering, “Sailing” was his biggest hit. He also wrote the theme from the Dudley Moore movie “Arthur” about a drunken Englishman. What happened to movies like that? When did it become politically incorrect to celebrate drunken debauchery and laziness. I miss those and the “Ernest” series more than anything. I somehow have a feeling that Leonardo DeCaprio and George Clooney are to blame for this plummet into the abyss in movie making.).
But the point is, I’m going to Mexico tomorrow. I feel like I deserve a week of sitting on my ass by the pool doing nothing, drinking a margarita or three – and if someone wants to fan me with palm fronds and feed me hand-peeled grapes (seedless, of course), so much the better. I know that it has been a bad year in a lot of ways for a lot of people, and I don’t like to dance on anyone’s grave, but it has actually been a good year for me. But good in this case means busy – I ascribe to the theory of a jackass partner at my old law firm who frequently intoned that “a body in motion tends to stay in motion.” Even though he was a jerk, I suppose he was entitled to one good idea.
My “real” job is going well, I published over 220 articles on top of that – for the latter half of the year I’ve been doing three a week for Bass Zone and about two for Wired2Fish, along with assignments for Bassmaster, FLW, Inside Line, and of course this blog. I don’t think I’ve gone more than two days without producing something for publication. While I fished less than any year in the past 15 or so, I still probably got in about 50 days chasing little green and brown fish. Good stuff, but not a minute to step back and think about the big picture, or not think at all. So the redhead and I are headed to an “adults-only” resort (not as wild as it sounds) for a week, no laptop, no connection to the world of bass fishing. It’s not as easy as it sounds.
As I indicated in my January 13th blog, just because I won’t be around doesn’t mean that I can’t let others do my work for me. So I’ve left my trusty editor Heidi Roth of the Page (Arizona ) Mafia, GYCB’s chief massager of words, facilitator of ideas and in-house gourmet, with a number of quotes that spoke to me. Hopefully she’ll sprinkle them on this site as the week goes on. And if she doesn’t, don’t bother calling or emailing – I’ll be taking a siesta, or maybe making a little yacht rock of my own.
A Choice Quote
January 15, 2009
"Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?"
A Choice Quote
January 13, 2009
"When you have nothing pithy to say, let others do the work for you."
"I don't fish against other anglers, I'm just competing against the fish."
January 12, 2009
While reading a recent article in Conde Nast Portfolio about the business endeavors of Tiger Woods, the following paragraph caught my eye:
On the course, Woods has a reputation for beating his opponents before they even tee off. His very presence has a ripple effect that unsettles the rest of the field. An economist at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University has shown that when Woods competes, other golfers in the tournament shoot nearly a stroke higher – a remarkable statistic considering that the difference between the second-ranked player on the PGA tour and the lowest-ranked member, No. 125, is only two strokes.
I wonder if there’s any similar effect in pro fishing. Every time I interview a prospective tour-level rookie, I ask them how they’re going to feel the first time they launch and sit rubrail to rubrail with KVD or Rick Clunn or Skeet Reese. Invariably they reply that it won’t bother them in the least.
Would the golfers who suffer when Woods plays against them admit that he unnerves them? Even if they wouldn’t, is it possible they wouldn’t even know of the effect that he has on them? I don’t know how the hell we’d ever quantify the difference – there’s a different set of variables in fishing than that which exists in golf – but I’d like for a sociologist or statistician to take this project on. The pros themselves are unlikely to talk about the mind games they play, even though to a man the sandbaggers know that they’re all a bunch of liars.
Does knowing that KVD is going to bring in 20 pounds on a lake where it normally takes 18 to win force you to improve your game or is it a barrier to success?
Stuff I Have and You Don't, Part Deux
December 29, 2008
I’ve never liked to fish with gloves on and I’ve tried nearly all of ‘em -- every flip-finger, half-finger, wool, neoprene and other space-age polymer known to man. In the end, I’ve decided that in about 99% of fishing circumstances, it’s better to go bare-handed.
Fishing when there’s both freezing temperatures and snow is the one situation in which I’ve let my inner wuss shine through. The best solution I’ve found to date is to get about ten pairs of cheap jersey gloves, cut the fingers off, and then swap out a new pair every time they get too wet to keep me warm. If it’s really bad, I’ll slip in a hand warmer packet between the glove and the back of my hand. But even this solution sucks. The gloves eventually get wet, the heat packs slip around – it’s less than 100% efficient.
That’s why I’m hopeful that these new gloves I got from my friend Matt Paino will cure my aversion to wearing gloves while fishing. For those of you who don’t know him, Matt, head of Optimum Bait Co., is a guru on all things Japanese and tackle-related. In addition to selling Optimum, he is the US point man for companies like Ima, Deps and Vagabond. When he goes to Japan, I give him a set amount to spend on my behalf and then look forward to the surprises. The last package included the usual assortment of high-tech lures, but I was most intrigued by the gloves. It’s December 29th here and it’s over 60 degrees, but I’m actually hoping for a cold day on the water in the near future to give them a test run.
Why do the Japanese produce fishing clothing that is so much more advanced than the stuff that comes out of America?
Stuff I Have And You Don't
December 19, 2008
Retail is for suckers.
One of the perks of pursuing my passion for outdoor writing is that I get my grubby paws on a lot of tackle that a fisherman of my modest skills would otherwise never get to use.
Check out this lipless crankbait made by Zak Young of New York, who I met through this blog. Since that initial contact, we’ve emailed back and forth and talked about collaborating on some projects, although we’ve yet to share a boat.
He tells me that there are only a handful of these baits in existence.
“Prototype” – it’s music to my ears. On the one hand, it suggests that it’s something that’s not quite finished or perfected. On the other hand, it tells me that not many people have them in their hands. Kind of like when Dean Rojas won at Oneida using a popping frog when few (if any) of his competition had one. I’m not quite on Dean’s level yet, and I certainly haven’t won a hundred large in a single derby, but it is a great feeling to know that you’re showing the fish something they’ve never seen before – and if they get on that bite, you’re the only one who can offer it up.
The only problem is that this thing is just too damn pretty to bounce off of rocks and stumps.
Check out Zak’s website at www.officethug.com to see some of his unbelievable design work. He’s not making these baits for sale yet, but it couldn’t hurt to email him at firstname.lastname@example.org if they catch your attention. That way, if he ever does decide to sell them, you can be high up on the waiting list.