Amazon

Don’t Hate on Bait (Sabertooth Tiger Edition)

Don’t Hate on Bait (Sabertooth Tiger Edition)

Fishing live bait or cut bait sometimes gets a bad rap (including from otherwise-informed outdoor writers). The frequent perception is that all it involves is a cricket under a cork, or a freelined shiner, and that it’s the next best thing to cheating. I’ve never gone that far, but I’ve been shamed as a friend and I flipped up a bunch of one- and two-pounders on an Okeechobee bank, and then found out that an anchored shiner guide on that same bank had already caught five fish over six pounds.

Getting the Band Back Together

Getting the Band Back Together

I fished local and regional tournaments for nearly 20 years, and I always thought it was the solitary nature of the sport that appealed to me. While I typically had a partner or another competitor in the boat with me, much of the work was done solo. Even when we were fishing it wasn’t a social hour and the heavy talkers quickly got a taste of either me ignoring them or – in extreme cases – a heavy dose of STFU. As a confirmed introvert, someone who’s happy to spend long hours in the boat by himself and recoils every time the phone rings, that was my idea of heaven.

Bags of Sand

Bags of Sand

If you want to get a tournament angler excited, show him hydrilla, standing timber or big boulders. They’ll gush over brush. They’ll go cuckoo for coontail. They’ll act ape crap for riprap.But if you want to see an outfitter go completely nuts in the Amazon, sand is the way to go.

 

 

Brazil 2019 — In Praise of Ugly Fish

Brazil 2019 — In Praise of Ugly Fish

For American bass anglers, the peacock bass, which is not a bass at all, is the ultimate foe. They eat topwaters, rip drag, jump clean out of the water, and resemble a psychedelic canvas. No two are the same, but none of them are ugly. Their good looks just round out the complete package.

Well Rope

Well Rope

The past two times I fished in Brazil, I was told to use nothing less than 65-pound braid. I brought several reels spooled up that way, but a couple with 50 as well, and found myself gravitating to the “lighter” line. It casts and handles better, and as long as your knots are good I’ve never had much problem using it for fish in the 10- to 20-pound range.

Burning Buckets

Burning Buckets

I am scheduled to go fishing in the Amazon next week. As you may have seen on the news, large swaths of the Amazon are on fire. Of course, that’s kind of like saying “the United States is on fire.” You wouldn’t cancel a trip to Florida just because the Bronx was burning, would you? The Amazon is a big place, and my understanding is that the nearest fires are still several hundred miles from where I’m going.

The Year of Traveling Singly

The Year of Traveling Singly

My wife Hanna is my favorite traveling companion, not only because she generally goes places I want to go and brings a good attitude, but also because she has her act together. I never have to worry about her being late or forgetting the passports or passing gas on a crowded commuter plane (for the record: she farts rainbows).

Hold the Phone

Hold the Phone

Anyone who’s known me for a long time knows that I am not a particularly adept or enthusiastic telephone conversationalist. In spite of that fact, I have two jobs that require me to spend multiple hours on the phone each day – first, discussing my clients’ legal issues, and second, talking to anglers from all over the world about tournament results, fisheries and techniques.