I have a plan for next season, well a goal really. The plan is what this whole thing is all about. A journey really. The goal?
TO CATCH A RECORD SETTING BASS OUT OF ONE OF TWO OF MY LOCAL LAKES!
There… I said it. Whew… But let’s talk about why and some background;
I am a 58 year old forever adolescent married father of two that has more toys than his kids. I was born into a city family and I guess a true city kid. Seriously, New York City, NY. Born in Brooklyn, raised in Manhattan. Lived in a building with an elevator till I was 31. Closest body of water was the East river. Not much fishin’ going on.
But when I was 10 years of age my parents popped me into the family station wagon and told me to sit tight, “We’re going to be on the road for a couple hours.”
I was not happy. It was Saturday. My friends were all out riding bikes, playing stickball, stoopball and basketball. And then of course there were Saturday morning cartoons.
But off we went. I traveled on roads I’d never seen before on a ride that seemed to take forever. We stopped at a place called The Red Apple Rest in a town called Tuxedo and had the best hot dog outside of Nathan’s I ever had.
An hour and a half later, atop a long, wooded winding road, over a one lane bridge atop a small river I was to later become very familiar with called simply “The Creek”, we turned into a driveway and parked in front of a big old house.
Next door were a series of attached houses that I later learned were hunting lodges run by our neighbors who owned much of the property around us.
This was the place my father worked so hard for. Our summer home in the country. I would spend all my summer’s there with my Grandmother, a loving caring woman from the old country who never really talked. She mainly yelled. At everyone and everything earning the nick name Grandma Dynamite.
My parents and older siblings worked back home all week and came up for the weekends when it was family time. But during the week I was left to wonder and wander through a world of nature and adventure.
The neighbors had 3 kids close to my age and we became fast friends. At 10 years old you don’t yet see differences. They became second family to me and that first summer I held my first fishing pole. We didn’t call them rods and didn’t have any of them fancy lures. Just worms and bobbers, red on bottom white on top.
We fished every day. Bullheads, sunnies, perch, crappie and the occasional pickerel. I fell in love with the outdoors and the mountains. I raced dirtbikes, learned to shoot rifle and bow but most of all the pure joy of fishing.
This was the greatest gift my father had ever given me though I didn’t know so at the time.
I fished through the years for trout and other species with friends and even saltwater for a time. But life, family, career took me away from the water.
To know me is to know someone who is an obsessive personality. I cannot get into anything half way. So I dive in and learn everything I can to excel.
I was a speed skate racer at the age of 7, my picture on the start line of the NY Times sports page. At age 30 I was told I have a heart issue and should take it easy. I threw out the pills I was prescribed, started working out and went to school to become a Certified Trainer simply to learn how to strength train and bodybuild.
At 45 I was plain unhappy with life. Middle age crisis maybe? One day while cleaning out the garage I came across my old bike and took it for a ride. First time I had smiled for months. Long story short; I became an Endurance athlete racing bikes, Triathlons, became a coach and helped start one of the biggest Multi-Sport clubs in the Lower Hudson Valley. I did this for 10 glorious years.
What’s that got to do with fishing? Glad you asked…
Early this year a very good buddy asked me, out of the blue if I liked fishing. He is a former tournament bass angler and missed it. It was like turning the key in a Mustang. The engine roared and I was off!
I was never a Bass fisherman but always watched Bill Dance, Roland Martin and others on TV whenever they were on. So I wanted to hunt for America’s #1 sport fish.
I started watching videos, reading what I could and talking to the guys at the tackle shop.
I am blessed to live in the Lower Hudson Valley, NY surrounded by bodies of water. Certainly not the mecca of Bass fishing but we got some good fishing round here.
This first season I have caught some 50 plus Bass with an official PB of 5.9 and an unofficial of 6.5. I am obsessed. If you’re reading this I don’t need to explain the feeling, the rush, the THE EXCITEMENT of the blow up. The highs, the lows the pure joy Bass fishing gives.
That brings us to now. So here’s the plan;
I am going to subscribe to BASS U and start learning and absorbing everything I can.
I am going to invest in a Kayak, pretty basic and customize it.
I am going to keep a running Blog of all this through Basscasters Club.
And I am going to ask all of you for help, encouragement and involvement.
We’ll track my catches and talk about what I should try, what’s working and what’s not.
There will be pics and maybe video.
And at the end of all this I hope to set a record…
I invite you all on this journey and encourage you to start a journey of your own. And maybe, just maybe we can have the first online Basscasters Club tournament…
Happy casting, Eric J
Here's a link to the second edition;
SINCE THE WRITING OF THIS SOME REALLY EXCITING THINGS HAVE HAPPENED AND MY GOAL HAS CHANGED WITH THIS EXCITING NEWS. BE HERE NEXT BLOG FOR A NEW CHAPTER IN MY RENEWED ANGLING LIFE!