Big Game Fishing Journal – May/June 2018

From the River to the Sea…Forever

“The water here is vibrant with oysters, crab and shrimp. There are hundreds of square miles of this. When you are there, out on the water, you can feel its vitality.”  Page 29

“Hunter Love was a fisherman, true of mind and spirit. A knight whose only armor was within his heart.” Page 31.

“We will feel his presence as we walk in the rain, listen for his voice while we sit by the whispering river and when we are out upon the deep blue knowing that he is with us.”   Page 32


 

The Big Game Fishing Journal
March/April 2005

New Kids on the Block

“When our plans for peacock bass fishing in Venezuela in early 2003 were terminated by the political strife there, I was delighted to stumble across an Internet website for a new fishing camp on the Pacific coast of Panama. My brother, Mike, and I had fished this area several times before, going back 25 years when we visited Club Pacifico on the island of Coiba, a lodge that has gone on to be the stuff of legends.” Pg. 65

“The target offshore species this time of year would be yellowfin tuna and marlin. Black marlin have the longest season and are the predominant specie with some blue marlin scattered throughout the area, though marlin, both blue and black can be found here year round. Two weeks earlier, an abundance of sailfish moved into these waters and many were fought and released. At other times of the year, large numbers of dorado abound, and I have caught more wahoo here in their season than any place I’ve ever been.” Pg. 67


Paducah Life – September/October 2005

Oscar Gamble reinvents himself and his ’56 Chevy Wagon

“Iconic Paducah clothier William Oscar (W.O.) Gamble is every bit the product of his experiences, a man of many parts. In his mid-fifties, he’s a successful businessman/retiree now given over to self expression in a passion for retro-stylized steel.” Pg. 39

“Oscar’s concept began as an image of a highly stylized street rod featuring clean lines. The starting point was a 1956 Chevrolet Handyman Wagon.” Pg. 39

“(The rebuilt 1956 Chevrolet Handyman Wagon)…Invokes more of a 1930’s French art deco poster impression of auto fashion than the original mass market styling.” Pg. 39


The Edge – Big Game Fishing Journal March/April 2006

Extend Your Costa Rica Fishing Season

“Like all of the Americas however, on the rugged Pacific coast the mountains fall off into the sea and the water becomes deep and blue. Here the fishing for the great game species of the open ocean becomes spectacular.” Pg. 44

“Many gamefish make their appearance with reasonable predictability and lure fishermen who yearn for an encounter with a particular species.” Pg. 47

“…The strong unity of viewpoint among Costa Rica’s professional fishermen is that they have a wonderful natural resource that should be protected.” Pg. 50

“That day at the Bat Islands, the two 35-pund roosterfish that came over the side of our boat were dwarfed by the three 60-pounders that were landed and I became a believer that a new world record could be waiting here.”Pg. 52


Waterline

Return to the Tortugas – Part 1 –  May 2006

“The contrast between emerald green and deep hues of blue was extreme in the bright sunlight. The water was a hundred feet deep but so clear that (the) bottom structure declared itself in outline and an absolutely beautiful contrast of color.” Pg. 20

“Beneath the dappled surface before my young eyes great drama of predator and prey were being played out. The denizens of these haunts were in wait for me to come with my rod and line and reveal them in their strangeness and enormity.” Pg. 22


Waterline

Return to the Tortugas – Part 2 – June 2006

“We got into big schools of yellowtail that were in a mood of very aggressive cooperation. One fish after another, absolutely gorgeous like yellow pennants came into the box.” Pg.33

“…Fresh yellowtail appeared on the dinner menu. It was the old triad of pleasure–catch ‘em, cook ‘em, and eat ‘em.” Pg. 33

“Standing on the deck with my son, I crossed the threshold of a generation, of family value placed upon taking your son onto the sea to fish together.” Pg. 33


Paducah Life – June/July 2006

From Stuttgart With Love

“’It’s Porsh-eh, two syllables, not one.’” Pg. 58

“Bill and close friend Mike Walker’s passion for the German sports car runs deep, real deep. Together they have bought, rebuilt, run and sold at least 20 of them over the years.” Pg. 58

“’What do you call skidding off the track and spinning out into the grass?’ ‘We call it an agricultural excursion.’” Pg. 62


Blue Water – Boats & Sportsfishing – Issue 68

The golden age of Panama fishing…is now!

“Confronted with upward-spiraling costs of living in the USA and European nations, retirees are migrating to Central America.” Pg. 86

“A few years ago, Australian IGFA representative Neil Patrick fought a black (marlin) estimated at well over 1100lb on 24kg. Instead of taking it for a world record, he elected to tag it with a pop-up satellite tag.” Pg. 87

“Corresponding with the local dry season, the bug migration of marlin, sailfish, dolphinfish, and the other cast of characters occurs between December and April. Inshore fishing is available all year ‘round.” Pg. 87

“Central America is changing rapidly. Stable governments and lower costs of living are causing a boom of expatriate transmigration.” Pg. 87


Blue Water – Boats & Sportsfishing – Issue 65 – Feb. / March ‘08

Costa Rican Blues

“Costa Rica (which is Spanish for ‘Rich Coast’) is a world-class destination for ecotourism. Almost 25 per cent of the land has been delegated for parks and reserves, reputedly the highest proportion of any country in the world.” Pg. 93

“The condition of the water itself is what brings the great schools of squid and sardines – and the sailfish follow. Capt Ventura thinks that a large, gentle whirlpool transpires out of the Golfo Dulce and gives this area this special quality.” Pg. 95

“Whether you’re fishing north of Flamingo or south into Panama, the fishing technique that all captains practice for sailfish is bait-and-switch.” Pg. 95

“Of the first 20 sails that entered the spread, all were caught and all except one were taken on the switched-out livebait.” Pg. 96


The Edge –Big Game Fishing Journal, March/April 2008

The Evolution of the Sport

“In southern Europe cave paintings of creatures which most inspired Paleolithic man depicts fish from nearly 30,000 years past.” Pg. 40

“…from across the span of centuries, a kindred spirit is revealed. Not of a net tugging laborer, but one who dreams at night of his sport and who’s [sic] blood quickens with the excitement of the game.” Pg. 41

“Charles F. Holder pioneered open ocean trolling with rod and reel in 1886 off California’s Catalina Island. The first to take a large bluefin tuna with the new style of trolling, he founded The Tuna Club, the oldest fishing club in the United States. This organization not only forged a new sport but also a code of ethics and record keeping that would become models for subsequent organizations.” Pg. 43


Woods ‘N Water – July 2008

Keys Tournament Fishing: Holidays Made Happy Fishing with Marine Max

“…The ocean Reef Outfitter’s office runs around 10 tournaments per year, essentially oriented around major holidays and with an emphasis on family events.” Pg. 30

Getting it on with a rocketing sailfish makes a heck of a Christmas present, and it was “happy holidays” for sure.” Pg.32

“…not winning the tournament creates a logical rationale for immediately planning another fishing tournament trip.” Pg. 36


The Edge – Big Game Fishing Journal January/February 2009

Fishing for Dinosaurs

“From at least the mid Cretaous [sic] period, a creature has swam the oceans and rivers of the northern hemisphere…they are the oldest and greatest of the fresh water fishes, the venerable sturgeon.” Pg. 14

“The sturgeon’s earliest history was recently annotated by the discovery of a new fossil remain in the belly of a dinosaur.” Pg. 14

“There are many stories of giant sturgeon sighted as well as caught, but few formal verified measurements of true Goliaths from the days before commercial fishing. The largest Russian sturgeon was reportedly 28 feet long and over 4,000 pounds.” Pg. 16

“A sturgeon the size of Yao Ming goes airborne behind the boat and runs again. Jumping and tail walking, great displays of energy and spirit are encountered in the more modern game fish we adore.” Pg. 17


Bass West USA – July/August 2010

Southern Royalty

“Fishermen from around the world flock to the Amazon’s many tributaries during the dry season to take advantage of the fish concentrating effects of low water levels.” Pg. 61

“A few bread crumbs dropped into the water during a shady lunch brings a myriad of lyre tailed and neon striped surprises, some yet to be named.” Pg. 61

” Inside, in a place never growing up, we believe fish greater and more terrific than ever await us in the depths.” Pg. 61


 Bass West USA – January/February 2011

Fiesta Time

“The introduction of Florida strain black bass (Micropterus salmoides floridanus) into warm water impoundments has revolutionized fishing destination travel in North America.” Pg. 56

“For a combination of size and numbers of bass, Lake Salto is one place that’s tough to beat for its sustained performance.” Pg. 58

“There is an unmistakable essence to the strike of a big black bass. It is the unadulterated aggressiveness, the fish truly giving its all to the moment.” Pg. 59


GAFF January/February 2011

The Flats of Belize…a Travel through Time

“…The reef provides the opportunity to pursue many species of fish and the rapid drop off to 4,000 feet of blue Atlantic beckons the large game angler, it is the flats that are world class.” Pg. 37

“The Belizeans are enlightened people, recognizing the value of their natural resources. Sixty-percent of the land and water in Belize is under national protection.” Pg. 38

“If you become tired of too many boats just off your elbows and the sound of everyone else’s outboards in your ears, then you can step back in time and fish out on the flats alone as it was done a generation ago.” Pg. 39


GAFF March/April 2011

Gorilla Yellowfin – On Top Water Plugs

“Of the eight or more members of the tuna family, the yellowfin is ranked second in size and desirability behind only the bluefin. They are found around the globe in waters ranging from 60° to 80° Fahrenheit and from 45° N and 40° S latitudes.” Pg. 60

“All the boats of these waters are equipped with ‘tuna tubes.’ These hand crafted PVC devices offer the opportunity to keep bonito and small tuna alive for slow trolling over structure while targeting marlin and big tuna.” Pg. 61

“The experience of a tussle with a 200- to 300-pound [sic] tuna is similar to dropping your line down off a highway overpass and hooking into a BMW passing beneath.” Pg. 61


Big Game Fishing

The Big Game Fishing Journal
September/October 2011

Angling Adventures

“At the edge of the hemisphere we find true stewardship of the fishery lies in the hands of the fishermen, who are poorly understood by the conservation community…conservationist organizations rely on warm hearted donors who are largely blind to their inner workings. Large sums of money warp human institutions like huge masses of matter distort Einstein’s universe, its gravity as powerful as the arrogance of authority. In other words, it’s just like home.” Pg. 48

“Walking along the promenade of the harbor at night, there is no whisper of political strife. Humidity is low, the air is cool and the constellations overhead are different but friendly and bright. The beach is strewn with sleepy sea lions who have also spilled up to bed upon the park benches like beat poets who drank too much wine.” Pg. 48


 

Angling Adventures

GAFF January/February 2012

On Trout Lake

“The Trout Lake dazzled before us…We had encountered the edge of the Canadian Shield, a gigantic tectonic plate that defined the topography here since Vulcan had pushed in angrily up against its neighboring land mass.” Pg. 34

“Unlike other bodies of water to the west, which are shallow products of glaciers scouring the land during the previous ice age, Trout Lake is deep and marvelously varied in its submerged terrain.” Pg. 34   

“…Going to fishing grounds beyond where anyone could drive his car from the city…sets the quality of fishing apart and makes it well worth it.” Pg. 35


Gaff - Pearls of Panama

GAFF – July/August 2012

The Pearls of Panama

“All of the Pacific coast of the Americas, from Alaska to Chile are rugged escarpment, volcanic and severe where they meet the water’s edge.” Pg. 40

“Balboa was well remembered during this day of fishing. The cooler was stocked with crimson and gold cans of beer upon which was a likeness of his image, an army of Balboas. There is a social principle that if you give a man a fish, you will feed him for a day. But if you teach a man to fish… he will sit in a boat and drink a lot of beer.” Pg. 40


Pearls of Panama

The Big Game – September/October 2013

The Metropolitan Tarpon of San Juan

“San Juan, Puerto Rico, waits until well past the witching hour before its nightlife takes an unfathomable breath and open its eyes…Salsa is taken to the next level by altosaxophone lines speaking the language of ska. It’s smoother than the dark 8 year-old rum. The place is a ball.” Pg. 14

“Tarpon drive me crazy… They roll and gulp air all around the boat, even when they are not feeding. What or who else does that?… This behavior does make them more adaptable to oxygen-depleted brackish water, but I still think they mainly do this to exasperate me.” Pg. 15

“Depending upon the seasons and conditions, the local captains will fish these tarpon in a number of ways, just like in other places. Lures can be effective; part of the year they will take a dead bait lingering near the bottom, sometimes a crab.” Pg. 17


 

GAFF – November/December 2013

Trolling for Destiny

“The Yucatan Current flows northward through the Straits of Yucatan, between the peninsula and Cuba. The effects are most prominent in the spring and summer, before the arrival of the northern winds in the fall. Like the Mayans, we were to confront natural forces and be students of the calendar. Springtime brought the best chance for the triple play of blue marlin, white marlin and sailfish…the trifecta of the bills.” Pg. 26

“When the sun rose it was time to fish, bandages and hair o’ the dog were needed and rehab was for quitters. We hit the docks and diesel engines roared to life, the tournament was on.” Pg. 27


GAFF – February/March 2014

Dreams of the Delta

“For all fisherman are dreamers. Even as you read these words you know they strike true. In childhood it begins brilliantly, with visions of limitless creatures within a realm unbounded from the physics of reality. As adults, revelations of faraway waters haunt our days and nights.” Pg. 60

“But the green colors along the river are fading as the sun sets behind the trees. The lodge patio has transformed into our situation room, as in another grand white house on the distant shore of the Potomac. In a handful of hours Helios’ steeds will bring new light to the sky in the east; and this fishing tournatment will be on like a pot o’ boilin’ gumbo.”
Pg. 61

“One cannot help but be struck by the vitality of this fishery. These waters are rife with oysters, shrimp and crabs; miles and miles of it.” Pg. 63


 

GAFF – April/May 2014

Busted Trip to Key West

“It was a Key West kind of joint; you know the style. Canvas for a roof and slowly turning fans above. The lights in the swimming pool behind us were more than what the barroom had, so the potted palm trees swaying at the edge of darkness were enough to keep you suspicious.” Pg. 66

“He’d packed a box of “secret baits” last week. The northeast wind whistled through trees along the protected marina as we shook hands next to his 30-foot center console. The secret baits were stowed away with our dreams of a swordfish on the first drop.” Pg. 68


GAFF – August/September 2014

Gambit in the Far North

“In the seat liner was a magazine featuring stories from natives of the far north. They spoke of encountering ancestral spirits in the form of animals – wolves and bears, when lost in the winter ice, who gave them courage and direction.” Pg. 44

“Great and dire, igneous pachyderms loomed up around us from the shores as we motored through the narrows. The lake’s name was inspired by the monoliths of stone.” Pg. 45

“Northern pike aren’t overwhelming fighters, but they are drop dead killer on the attack.” Pg. 46


GAFF – October/November 2014

Sails of a Sailfish Primer

“It was the closure of the Isthmus of Panama during the Pliocene era 3 million years ago which sealed the deal. It separated the great oceans of our hemisphere and the populations of sailfish of the world.” Pg. 39

“Debate over whether sailfish from the different oceans constitute different species still dwells today in popular literature, but not among geneticists. It is currently accepted that despite numerous differences in the genetic material of the sailfish populations of the Atlantic, Pacific and the Indian Oceans that these variances are too small to describe the fishes as separate species.” Pg. 40

“Exotic, acrobatic, and physically gorgeous, the are a big-time staple of the sport fishing business around the world. They are very popular now with fly fishermen.” Pg. 44


GAFF – October/November 2015

Treasure Island

“Dropping smoothly from the clouds like a bird in the big Saab turboprop, the islands below were covered with dark green Abacos pine, giving them a tone like notes played in the low register on a viola. Our spirit was sparked like Stevenson’s with the sight of blue, green, almost limitless flats, drop offs and channels… and not a boat or human form anywhere. For fishermen, these were treasure islands.” Pg. 49

“Many have a passion for a certain style of fishing, whether it’s steelhead on the fly or tarpon on the flats. Mark Carroll likes sending down some meat and bringing up fish from the bottom. There is nothing more infectious than some real passion for sport and bottom fishing is his game. We headed in to bend some rods.” Pg. 51


Hooked Up
August/September 2016 • Vol. 1 Issue 1

Hemingway in Key West

“The house is a symbol of the Hemingway mystique that is intrinsic to the personality, the very soul of Key West today.” Pg. 49

“Not only did the author contribute to the development of the sport, but also carefully kept records of the fish and fisheries. He developed the practice of taking a daily ship's log. This included measurements of the fish and observations of their behavior and the tactics needed to catch them.” Pg. 51


 

GAFF – August/September 2016

The Heart of El Dorado

“This river, the clear and dark Essequibo is especially compelling. Reduced into its rocky skeletal track during Guyana's dry season, my perch on its bank is fifty feet above the brief class 3 rapids below.” Pg. 23

“The pride of civilization in Georgetown is their rum producer Demerara, touted as the best on the planet. The dramatis personae on Demerara's all star list was led by…El Dorado.” Pg. 27


Hooked Up
May/June 2017 • Vol. 2 Issue 3

Panama 2.0

“Supporting an extraordinary abundance of marine life, more than any other current on Earth, it determines the climate of the South American coast which reflects its flow back out into the far Pacific as the Equatorial Current. Then Poseidon's gift to the Central Americas begins.” Pg. 60

“Three decades…to me Panama seemed about as close to paradise for the traveling angler as any place in our hemisphere. But like all tales of Eden, it becomes a story of paradise lost.” Pg. 62


 

Hooked Up
July/August 2017 • Vol. 2 Issue 4

Into the Volcano

“It was a staccato ménage, a rapid shutter imaging of the riverbank's geological features that bombarded the visual cortex.” Pg. 40

“It is said that all life on our planet depends on six inches of topsoil and certainly the thin soil of Idaho inherits substantial benefit from volcanic ash. However, the new character introduced into the story has been living a secret existence beneath the sage and irrigated farmland around us. It is the Eastern Snake River Plain Aquifer – another progeny of Vulcan's labors.” Pg. 41


 

American Angler
November/December 2018

Beast Mode

“…over the next two days, we would target the real dramatis personae of the area – the shortfin mako, which roams the Pacific off San Diego from June through October. And while doing so, we’d get a real tooth surprise.” Page 10

“…by the time we hit the dock, news of the great white – perhaps only the third ever caught on fly gear – had spread widely. Apparently, I’d hit the jackpot of California shark fishing without even knowing it.” Page 11