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Do you have range and what do you do best?


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As an angler, I'm proudest of my ability to catch fish wherever. For example, I've thrived on the Mississippi River, Lakes Superior, Michigan, and Erie, wilderness lakes, creeks, slow and muddy rivers, big northern lakes like Lake of the Woods, swamps, clear, sandy-bottomed rivers, farm ponds, highland reservoirs, old quarries, the Everglades, tumbling streams, and creeks you could hop across. I've never fished Alpine lakes, Texas reservoirs, the Columbia, and California's famous lakes, but just about everything else. 

 

I'm at my best in the wilderness, but I'm too old to fish it anymore. By wilderness, I don't mean a fly-in cabin with a dock and motorboat. I mean carrying a canoe through the woods and sleeping on rock. I had the energy to do that and it didn't scare me. It thrilled me. So, I was happy there and fished from can until can't. The abundance of boulders and laydowns rewarded pinpoint casting and my paddling ability was also rewarded because I fished in all weather. 

 

So, where have you fished and where do/did you fish best?

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I've pretty much only fished in Texas but I can catch em on lots of different lures. Except in the winter. Can't hit the broad side of an aircraft hangar with a car in the winter. 

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13 minutes ago, thediscochef said:

I've pretty much only fished in Texas but I can catch em on lots of different lures.

 

That's another kind of range, for sure. I wish I had that range. I'm working on it, watching various videos of fishing lures and techniques that I don't know.

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Growing up in western PA, it was primarily bass (we fished tournaments when I was 10 or so), but around the same time I learned (and my dad got back into) trout fishing in the creeks. We’d also fish carp in the ponds and creeks, walleye when they were around, and anything else that was fun and interesting. My dad still says ‘whatever pulls my string’. A few times when fishing up north (st Lawrence direction) for bass we’d see long nose gar and swap things over just to catch them. I got into fly fishing for any species we were targeting and wasn’t bad at all.  Shortly after that I got heavily into steelhead for a few years which meant fly, spin, and center pin setups and I lived up on the lake for a year.  I even have a 9’ casting rod that I built rigged as a steelhead float rod downstairs. All of that is a long way of saying that I just like to fish I and catch fish. 
 

that all translated pretty well when we lived in the UK for 12 years. Bass aren’t a thing there so in the warm months it was carp and coarse fish.  In the cooler months it was trout and grayling.  I even did some boat fishing for cod, ling, mackerel, and other stuff.  Having done all of that, I feel pretty okay going to any water body and being confident that I can figure something out. I would carry a travel rod (usually fly rod) any time we went on vacation to the beach. The last trip I did that I was close to DIY bonefish in the Bahamas and caught other little things (and got bit off twice by a 4’ barracuda). 
 

who knows what I’m best at or where. I’m just happy to be trying wherever I am. 

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Do I have range?  Hard to say.  I enjoy fishing new water and usually catch bass when I go new places. 

 

What do I do best?  Understand how conditions tend to position baitfish and anticipate where bass are likely to be.

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@casts_by_fly: That's quite a CV. Weirdly, given that you've fished for mighty steelhead and bonefish, what I admire most on your CV is coarse and carp fishing in the UK. I've read about that style of fishing and it's otherworldly. Extra-long rods and spider silk-thin line. Contrast that with sprinting steelhead and bonefish and that's the range of an Arctic tern.

 

@Pat Brown: Pat, I think you could catch bass in a kiddies' wading pool.

 

 

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I understand what structure is, how to truly identify it, interpret it, & then fish it effectively.

 

I understand what the predominate prey species in my bodies of water are & how that species relates to structure with each season...morning, noon, and night.

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1. Columbia SC Farm Ponds. Fort Jackson, SC -- once held the LMB State Record. Ponds. 

2. Roanoke VA -- Trout

3. Houston, TX -- Flood Retention waters and urban creeks, bayous and a ditch now and then. Bear Creek Golf Course. Neighborhood ponds with permission.

4. La. -- Lake Pontchartrain New Orleans, La. Croakers, Sheepshead, Specks and Redfish. City Park Lagoons, New Orleans. Hold biggest bass contest yearly.

5. Gulf Coast, MS -- Creeks, bayous, farm ponds and State Fishing lakes and State Parks southern region. Pascagoula, Jourdan and Pearl rivers. Brackish water for bass, redfish, flounder and speckled trout. Saltwater fishing is King here with deep sea tournaments. There are many piers for the man and woman who enjoys that style of fishing. 

6. Just my experience.

 

Good Fishing

 

Big Bass Fishing Rodeo - New Orleans City Park

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Grew up fishing for bass all around New England.

My career put me on the north Atlantic where I had a chance to fish the back bays, in shore and off shore waters from Maine to South Carolina.   

From bottom fish to blue water pelagic brutes,

I was super lucky to be on adventures I'd never imagined as a boy.

Now as a retired enlisted man, my focus is on bass.

Mostly brown with a few southern green bass sprinkled in.  

The by-catch here isn't too bad either.

Not sure I am best at anything but do put quite a bit of time & energy into preparation.

Don't think it's hurt me any.

Fish Hard

:smiley:

A-Jay

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2 hours ago, ol'crickety said:

sleeping on rock

Good lord crick, sleeping on a boulder does not sound appealing. I hope it never comes to that for this guy lol

 

My range is about 2 hours or less from my house. Most days it’s 40 minutes or less. I’m blessed with a lot of fishable water nearby, both lakes and rivers.

 

 

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I like to catch fish!

It all started off on my grandma’s dock at Big Bear lake as she lived on the lake shore. My 1st fish was a Crappie caught using a1 1/2” strip of chamise dyed red with iodine and and a cane pole cork bobber. I could walk so around 2 years old.

Since then my catching fish included bass, trout, bluegill and Crappie at BB lake until we move to the flat lands around age 6. Big Bear would become our summer home. 

I learned to catch bass in a local rock quarry pond and trout in a local stream I was old enough to back pack into the High Sierra mountain range fly fishing for Golden Trout  and fishing for bass in the local reservoirs. 

My 1st off shore ocean trip occurred in the early 60’s to Guadalupe Island where we caught big Pacific Yellow, Yellowfin and  bluefin tuna,I was hooked on big game fish.

At the same time period Florida strain LMB were introduced into San Diego city lakes and they became a targeted fish for me. I caught a lot of big FLMB by being there at the beginning.

My career as a aerospace engineer allowed me to travel all over North America and Western Europe and took advantage to fish everywhere.

In 1973 I married my soul mate who’s parents had a home on Lake of The Woods, my father in-law had a float plane and outpost cabins on Height of Land and Arrow lakes in western Ontario. My new focus became catching muskies and lake trout, big fish.

I am so blessed to have lived to fish so many different places.

Tom

PS, next week it’s off to Cabo San Lucas to catch marlin for a good friends bucket lists.

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7 minutes ago, WRB said:

I was old enough to back pack into the High Sierra mountain range fly fishing for Golden Trout

 

Whoa!

 

7 minutes ago, WRB said:

big Pacific Yellow, Yellowfin and  bluefin tuna

 

Double whoa!

 

7 minutes ago, WRB said:

At the same time period Florida strain LMB were introduced into San Diego city lakes and they became a targeted fish for me. I caught a lot of big FLMB by being there at the beginning.

 

Washington Capitals Hockey GIF by Capitals

 

What an angler's life you led, Tom. Ted Williams doesn't have anything on you.

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     I grew up fishing a lake near my home in a small town located in Eastern WA State.  The lake had trout, crappie and bass.  I started out fishing with a worm and bobber, for what ever would bite.  After catching my first bass on a lure, I became hooked on bass fishing, and met my friend the Bait Monkey at the same time. When I was 25  I quite my job, and drove to Alaska.  I guided fisherman and hunters there for the next 25 years.  Even though there are no bass in Alaska, I still kept up with bass fishing by reading articles and looking at catalogs.  I always would imagine how a new lure would work on my  old home water, and hoped I would be able to bass fish again someday.

      One day while fishing for king salmon, on the Togiak river, a client asked if I would like to captain his sport fisher in Puerto Vallarta for the winter.  I took him up on his offer, and spent a few years working in Mexico in the winter, and Alaska in the summer.  Eventually he bought a boat that needed a full time captain, and I had to decide if I wanted the job.  I hated to leave Alaska, but I was ready for new adventures, so I moved to Mexico year around.

      I eventually found some time to go bass fishing in some lakes near PV.  I had some success so I bought a Kayak, and now bass fish every chance I get.  After a few times bass fishing in my kayak I caught a new PB.  My old PB of 5.5 pounds was caught on a spinnerbait in the summer of 1977.  My new PB was 10. 7 pounds and also caught on a spinnerbait a few years later in June of 2020.  I skipped right over the 6 to 9 pound class bass, for a PB, I guess it is better to be lucky than good.

      Even though the bass in Mexico are huge, and the fishing is good year around, I still think of the waters I fished growing up as my home waters, and I still think about how every new lure I buy would work if I were fishing my old stomping grounds in WA.

      I have fished for bass for 50 years, but only consider myself and average bass angler.  Many of those 50 years were spent fishing for trout and salmon, which I consider myself and expert, with both conventional and fly gear.  I consider myself and experienced saltwater captain, but the true experts on the saltwater here in PV are the local deckhands I hire.  They are some of the most remarkable fisherman I have ever met in my entire life.

      Short answer would be my range is from Alaska to Mexico.

        

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I have an unusual range with regard to places fished but it’s primarily WA state. With my wife being from Mexico, I’ve had the opportunity to fish in Mazatlan and Los Cabo’s on my own, ie, no guide and did pretty well with the gear I brought. Also, just saltwater fishing both places. I know El Salto is in my wife’s backyard, but for some reason, my desire to catch big bass is somehow diminished. When I’m here in the US, it’s huge and I’m gungho. The closer I get the Mazatlan…it drops. I’ve got a mega sized disconnect! I need to slap myself! Maybe just getting to shore at 5am and fishing while the sun comes up and it only being a 15 minute walk from her  house is all I need. And then there’s the ironic thing when I talk to locals that my Spanish is sufficient to not reveal I’m an Asian/Pacific Islander gringo. I know after they we pass each they pause and think, “Oh snap. Did that chino (pretty much their word for most Asians Chinese-Japanese-Vietnamese-Korean = chino) just talk to me in Spanish?” 😂

 

Then the last time I went home, a tiny small island in the pacific, I wanted to take my dad (mid stage alz and dementia, for one more fishing stint, but sadly he changed his mind and just wanted to watch. 

So it’s basically a multiple thousand mile triangle range. Skill wise, I don’t know what range I have, in part because I am a shore/bank angler. Maybe that range is trying to find that one nugget or piece of wisdom gained from each trip no matter what and store it in my knowledge bank. Also, always being willing to experiment, including trying things outside the box. 

 

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I started my love of smallmouth bass at 10 years old while on a vacation to the St. Lawrence River. Didn’t do much fishing until I was about 30. I fished all over Canada from the NWT, Nunavut, and 4 other provinces, dozens of lakes in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan Kentucky, Missouri and Arkansas. I’ve fished for and caught almost every kind of sportfish that swims in the northern parts of our continent. I can handle a fly rod, spinning or casting rod. I’m at home on both lakes and rivers.  The only thing I’m not very good at and don’t enjoy doing is fishing deep water. Other than that, while by no means an expert at any particular phase of fishing, I’m confident you could put me on any body of water for any kind of freshwater fish, and I’ll have enough knowledge and the tools to fish it. 

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Started out as a young kid fishing with my older brother on farm ponds at our  grandfather's farm in Missouri. I fished the ponds through my teen years.                    When I  got married in 1981 my wife and I moved to North central Mo. I began fishing a clear spring fed lake near home, and now, fish two different lakes near my home. Both are smaller and have clear water.                               I'm not really a very well traveled angler. I've fished in four other states. As for what I do best? I use both casting and spinning gear and just try to put together something that works to catch fish. Most days, in the clear lakes, it's some type of soft plastic bait, worked slowly along the bottom.

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My range has always been localized to my home state or immediate hometown vicinity. Could say that I’m a “park & fish” type of guy. Just luv convenience, especially when it comes to setting up for a night of heavy sharking. Yet I do get around. My truck I purchased new three years ago and it already has 120k miles on the clock. Lotta driving to get to those remote everglades areas! 

 

What I do best is to make the best out of any situation that I may find myself fishing in. I work the water to find the fish and then catch them the best way I can. Aside from that, it’s all about having fun and enjoying the thrill. When I have finished a long hard day of fishing, I always feel like I’ve lived just a little more. 

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Have being born and raised in the backwoods of West Virginia, I cut my teeth on trout fishing with my Grandparents.

11 hours ago, ol'crickety said:

I'm at my best in the wilderness, but I'm too old to fish it anymore.

I would backpack a week long trips, fishing with ultralight rig for trout, smallmouth or what ever. Carry enough food so I wouldn’t starve, but rely heavily on what I caught and foraged along the way. 
I ended up with an old canoe, I could drift and paddle with more stuff and not have carry it on my back, guess I was  getting soft. 
Didn’t fish much while I was in military, had other things too do.

Lived I NC for a while did a ton of wade fishing for smallies, man is that fun.

Did my share of salt fishing too, mostly bank fishing for snook, reds and trout , or shark fishing off the old Skyway bridge before they made it a fishing pier. 
Now I reside on Lake George, St John’s River where I kinda went back to my roots of fishing remote area. But now I fish from a boat, seat in a chair and use a trolling motor to sneak around and fish. 

14 minutes ago, Zcoker said:

When I have finished a long hard day of fishing, I always feel like I’ve lived just a little more.

And with I say “Amen”
 

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Born and raised in Miami so fished the Glades and the Ocean all the time. Had a canal in my backyard and caught a lot of fish there. Took a vacation as a kid and went up to Maine to visit some relatives and fished a summer up there. 

 

 Graduated high school and went to college in GA. Met my wife and never went back home. I've fished all over the state here. Any time work sent me somewhere or my kids needed a little vacation, I usually planned a way to catch an hour or two at some lake. At home, we have a PFA and local farm ponds that I fish about every weekend. 

 

 I guess I throw a Beetle Spin the best but a weightless stickbait is catching up. Beetle Spins have been my favorite lure forever. I have only fished a super clear lake twice- both up in North GA. Our ponds down here have no visibility whatsoever. I researched clear water fishing after the first time of getting skunked years ago in Blue Ridge, GA. Went back North last October and had a lot more luck up in Helen, GA. I was pretty proud to catch a few on a very pressured lake with super clear water. 

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I didn’t get serious about fishing for anything until I moved to Florida in ‘79. 
Never gave it thought or had many opportunities living on the So Side of Chicago. 

For the first 10 yrs or so I did the requisite salt water scene as everybody does.
Fishing off bridges, jetty’s, beaches, canals etc. 

Just rig a shrimp or squid under a bobber and sit. 

 

I joined a bass club and got hooked by the competitiveness. 
I entered my first tournament in 2010 and slowing worked my way up from local charity venues to the BASS Nations, BFL, US Opens and finally being invited to compete in the Toyota Series.

Thats where my education really began as I entered almost everything in and around the SE. I learned quickly where my strengths and weaknesses were.
Being humbled when fishing out your element kinda accelerates your learning curve. 

After some exciting successes at each level I kinda backed off after retiring as it just became untenable to keep going on a fixed income even with sponsored support. 

Most of my fishing now is from Central to the So Florida area.
I’ve fished Okeechobee so often and for so long I have no desire to go anywhere else and start over. 
 

 

 

 

Mike

 

 

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1 hour ago, GRiver said:

I would backpack a week long trips, fishing with ultralight rig for trout, smallmouth or what ever. Carry enough food so I wouldn’t starve, but rely heavily on what I caught and foraged along the way. 

 

I've backpacked a lot. I've lived off fish a lot. But I've never put the two together. Respect.

 

1 hour ago, OmegaDPW said:

Beetle Spins have been my favorite lure forever.

 

I just realized that a Beetle Spin, spinnerbait, and underspin with a Keitech are the same lure, more or less, i.e. a fluttering spinner paired with soft plastic. 

 

1 hour ago, OmegaDPW said:

I was pretty proud to catch a few on a very pressured lake with super clear water. 

 

You should be proud. 

 

21 minutes ago, Mike L said:

I entered my first tournament in 2010 and slowing worked my way up from local charity venues to the BASS Nations, BFL, US Opens and finally being invited to compete in the Toyota Series.

Thats where my education really began as I entered almost everything in and around the SE. I learned quickly where my strengths and weaknesses were.
Being humbled when fishing out your element kinda accelerates your learning curve. 

 

The BR gang backstories are so different. 

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I fished as a kid every chance I got. We had a lake in our neighborhood in NE Ohio that had bass, walleye & stocked tiger musky as well as brim so as soon as I could convince my parents that I could swim adequately by swimming across  the lake they let me go by myself. I started going to Canada for a week long trips to Quebec fishing mostly for walleye with jigs for about five years in a row during my late 20's. We set our goal to catch a 30" or 10lb walleye. We caught numerous double digit walleyes over 12lbs but never caught a teenager. The bigger walleye came from Bay of Quinte fishing in late fall. Then we got the pike fever & researched pike fishing throughout Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta & the Northwest West Territories. We traveled for weekly trips all fly in camps in search of our first true 20lb pike. Then we graduated to seeking & catching our dream pike trophy over 50" & 30lbs. Pike trophy only measured 49" but broke 32lbs. Our pike odyssey lasted over 20 some years. We also chased after musky with the goal of catching our first 50" trophy musky. Musky fishing included lake St Clair, Niagara river, Lake Chautauqua in NY, Georgian Bay, Rice lake & the Kawartha chain & the St Lawrence before catching a 51.5" at 33lbs. We also chased after lake trout in the Niagara river & Lakes Erie & Ontario & my favorite Lake Athabasca In northern Saskatchewan/Alberta. Our lake trout quest topped out at 38lbs & the magic 40lb mark. Also got to fish for Arctic Char on the Tree River north of the arctic circle as part of a trip to Great Bear Lake. Other than a few Florida trips chasing the magic DD I didn't fish for bass very much until I was in my fifties. My very first smallmouth came from Rice Lake in Ontario. After learning how awesome they fight I started fishing for them steadily in the great lakes system including the Niagara river, Lake Ontario & Lake Erie my favorite. Early fishing for smallies was a struggle to catch my first 5lber but once I did my understanding of how to target them blossomed & my obsession to keep improving grew. My weapon of choice for smallies is a jerk bait. I seldom try to finesse them but prefer to play on their weakness by using larger baits 3/4 oz & 1 oz. My largemouth fishing has been done mostly in my 60's & 70's. Fishing in Georgia, Florida & lake Baccarac in Mexico.   

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