Thursday, October 11, 2007

How I Fish for Salt and Fresh Water Species All Year Long

Salt Water Wanderlust

The truth is I’ve always been an inveterate fisherman. From my days on muddy rivers as a youth in Baltimore, Maryland through stints living in London, England, Paris, France, Barcelona, Spain and Colombia, South America, I’ve always sought a way to get a line in the water somehow.

Photo: My youngest son, Lamont holds up a summer flounder that didn’t get away!

An Annual Fishing Cycle
During my years living in the Philadelphia area, I regularly read the fishing reports pages in the Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News tabloid for a hint of the action offshore in New Jersey from Brielle and Belmar to Cape May. When reports tended towards the more encouraging side, I’d saddle up and head for the mid-regional coast of New Jersey to get on a party boat. More often than not, the captain and I both did our jobs and once the fish were located I eagerly set to work on hooking my share of whatever schools of fish we were anchored over. Not a lot of skill was involved, but some knowledge of baits, rigs and tackle was frequently helpful.

The migration of different species along the eastern U.S. seaboard kept me going on regular trips throughout most of the year. Spring meant smaller Blues and Weakfish. Summer offered the occasional beach-caught flounder, noisy Croakers or Tautog with their bait-stealing expertise and tasty fillets. Fall almost always meant big, “slammer” Blues that could bury the line into your bleeding hands and fingers in a flash, the occasional small shark or sea Eel and a variety of ocean panfish like Spots, Sea Bass and Ling.

Winter Kill
Early in December, I watched for the full moon. Why? Because that was my cue to go for night Whiting. Not only do these one-pound average or so fish take the multiple hooks on your line in twos, threes and fours, but they’re a lot of fun to catch, make good eating and are plentiful. The only catch was the weather. Full moon nights in early winter brought temperatures so low they’d make an Eskimo blush. The wind cooperated with healthy gusts on a regular basis, requiring you to continually hold on with one hand or risk a swim with Davey Jones. The swells were murder. We all dressed for winter-kill.

I had so many layers of clothing on I practically lost count. A wool cap, hooded parka, ski-mask and scarf were all only for my head. The boat was full of fishermen with half-pints in their pockets. Virtually everyone on the night Whiting boat went home with a hundred or more fish. The terminal tackle was different too. No live cut bait here. A slender spoon rigged with a fluorescent plastic tube was all you needed for the busiest time of your fishing life. Often, this would be my last trip of the year until the following spring when the annual cycle would start all over again.

Fishing Year Round
As with just about anything, if you really want to be successful and become an expert, you need to practice or participate in the specialized activity as frequently and regularly as possible. Salt and fresh water fishing are no exception, find ways to go fishing as much of the year as you can. Fish all you can and your knowledge and success with grow by leaps and bounds.

Prof. Larry M. Lynch is an expert author and university professor in Cali, Colombia. Now YOU too can live your dreams in paradise, find romance, high adventure and get paid while travelling for free. Need professional quality, original, Salt and Fresh water Fishing-related articles or content for your Blog, newsletter, e-zine or website? For a no-obligation quote send an e-mail to

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