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The Striper Forum All things Striper. Striped Bass Fishing Room Born on date March 11 2004.


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  #1  
Old 02-12-2005, 01:19 PM
briggs briggs is offline
 
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Default Why We Fish

While sitting at the dinner table recently, my wife asked. "Are you someplace else?" She asked, a little miffed over being ignored. I apologized and explained that my mind was miles away thinking about the spots i was planning to fish when the season started. I realized that not only had i not heard the conversation around the table, I I had been rushing through the meal so i could get on-line to check the tides and marine forecasts and get my gear all ready for the season. I really wanted to go fishing. In fact, I needed to go ! I was experiencing symptons of withdrawal. The ocean was beckoning, and when she does, I am hard pressed not to answer the call.

My wifesa interuption of my thought process started me thinking about why i, why we, fish. What ius it about fishing that makes it such a popular sport and pastinme for so many millions of americans? The most recent demographic surveys indicate that about 11 million americans fish in saltwater every year and even more in freshwater. The total number is pushing 35 million people, making it the most popular participation spaort in the nation. Fishing is deeply woven into the fabric of our society in much the same way freedom has been the cornerstone of this nations existence.

In fact, personal freedom is a perfect anology for recreational fishing. I know i never feel as free as when i am on the water fishing. That might be one of the biggest attractions fishing has for many people, but theres alot more to it.

You could surmise that one of the reasons fishing is so ingrained in our society is that we are decendents of hunter/gatherers. For hundreds of thousands of years oyr ancestors lived off what the earth and the sea provided and fish were always a staple of their diet. Entire cultures developed around the sea, which encouraged trade, but also provided food for expanding populations. Weare a modern and urbanized species living in close proximity to millions of other people. Fishing is a throwback to earlier, simpler times when most of the day was spent in a quest for sustinance rather than a quest for the almighty dollar. Could the act of fishing be a response to primal urges that remain ingrained in our very genes? Could be, but when you examined how different people fish today, more questions arise. To some fishing is a very visceral thing thaT is not complete without putting food on the table. To others, it is the ultimate expression of using intellect to catch a wild creature and that is the end to it as they happily release the fish back into its natural habitat after the encounter.

The more you examine it, the more reasons you will find. I know that few things in life leave me with such a deep feeling of serenity as being on the water on a beautiful morning, watching the sunrise over the horizon. Observing the birth of a new day as if it is materializing from the depths of the sea itself. It just does something to me that stirs my soul, although i know i would not enjoy it half as much if i were not there to fish. Many people love boats, but to fishermen like me a boat is simply a conveyance to get us to the fish, nothing more than a means to an end. The lure and lore of the sea is an intrinsic part of fishing that for saltwater anglers is simply hard to describibe.

Fishing embodies the challenge of tempting a wild creature to strike a man-made lure or a baited hook and anyone who thinks it isnt a challenge has never done it before. There are so many facets to a succesful fishing trip, not the leats of which is aquiring the knowledge about the fish you want to catch, so you can try and outguess them, is a lifes study in itself. Where do they come from and where do they go? What are they feeding on and what conditions encourage them to feed? A good fisherman knows a little about fish biology, physiology, and marine habitat, tides, currents, seasonal migrations, predetor-prey relationships and more and it all comes into play. The real hardcore among us study these things and use the knowledge to improve their fishing success. The more casual angler, who is less concerned with catching the most or the biggest still enjoys fishing at whatever level of involvement his available time and desire dictate. Fishing can be an incredible complex undertaking or as simple as walking down to the beach, casting a hook with a clam on it into the water and sitting in a beach chair until something happens along.

Maybe you fish because you like to eat fresh fish as much as you enjoy the act of fishing. There simply isnt another way to get fresher fish than catching them yourself. That probably goes back to the hunter/gatherer theory becasue there is something about eating a tasty critter that you managed to outwit and out on the table without the help of the local supermaket that makes the meal all that better. There is certainly nothing wrong with harvesting some of natures bounty in this manner and is something that the "sportsman" among us sometimes forget. Catch and release is great. I do it all the time, but fishing has always involved eating and that is something that cannot be lost.

Still other anglers enjoy the competition and there is certainly enough to go around with all the fishing tournements held each year around the country. From local, freidnly affairs, to club and interclub contests, to big money events that are beginning to rival more traditional sports in popularity and media attention, fishingcan be as competitive as you want. To compete at the top levels of tournament fishing requires a significant investment in time and money and the knowledge and experience that will make you competitive.

There are alot of people who go fishing, from shore or on open boats for hire, for the sole purpose of catching food. Fishing can be an affordable pastime that has the added benefit of providing people with limited means with food for themselves and their families. While i hesitate to use the term "sustinence fishermen" even today there are thousands of people who fish to eat. Venture down to the docks in any party boat port, and check out the mix of people getting on boats going bottom fishing. or checkout the folks fishing from bridges or crabbing from small rowboats in backwater areas. You'll find people of various races, ethnic backgrounds and income levels all there because they like to catch fish to eat. Theyare more constrained today by bag and size limits and closed seasons than ever before and those regulations hurt the fisherman among us the most who can afford it the least. Many still come, but when regulations reach the point that they can no longer justify the expense of bringing home a reasonable amount of fish for the table, they will come no more.

There are so many reasons people fish and, in reality, most anglers when asked, would probably give you several reasons by way of explaining their participation. Theyare all good reasons, but you can sort of boil it down to this- fishing provides nourishment for the body and the spirit. It is something precious that future generations deserve to enjoy, just like you and I. Recreational fishing is an activity worth protecting and that is why you are probably reading this post. It has been a part of our past, present and should be part of our future. The socio-economic benefits it provides are precious.

:twisted: craig aka briggs :twisted:

aka surfcastermaster

8) MASTER OF HIS OWN DOMAIN 8)
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  #2  
Old 02-12-2005, 08:03 PM
BostonBoy BostonBoy is offline
 
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Bravo Briggs

I thinks Flip from "The Walkers Cay Chronicles" on ESPN said...

"fishing is a sport of false pretenses, because its not about catching the fish...its about the people you meet and the experiences you have along the way..."

I enjoy catching big fish, sure...but its more than that...its about forgeting school and problems...and enjoying time in cool places with cool people...
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Old 02-13-2005, 11:37 AM
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sea sea rider sea sea rider is offline
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Quality time
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  #4  
Old 02-14-2005, 12:54 AM
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Striperjim Striperjim is offline
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Great post Craig.

My earliest experience was catching a sunny with my mom with my new zebco combo. I proudly dispalyed sonny in his new fish bowl and fed it a slice of white bread. Needless to say I fouled the water. Sadly It didnt last the night. It was the beginning of a life long love affair with the fish. I love the fish. Its a beautiful and graceful creature that I've always respected and been fascinatied by. For me the opportunity to fish gives me some solace. Its a most peaceful and serene time when all feelings of disquitetude just slip away. If you see me fishing you will see me smiling.

Fish on !!!
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Old 03-10-2005, 03:50 PM
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Roccus Roccus is offline
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Awesome.inspireing post.

I've been asked,and have asked myself many times,why do I fish? I remember my first fish...it was an eel...how fitting that they are my bait of choice.
I remember my first striper as though it was yesterday even if it was 40 years ago,she was 8lbs and was caught with a bucktail jig.

I fish because it is the only time i can truely be at ese with the world,nothing else matters,as a child and young adult it got me through difficult times,it's done the same as an adult,when I'm alone in the boat,on the beach or streamside I'm king of the world.

One of my best fishing memories came when I was in my 20's,I had been catching school bass in plum island sound there wern't many,but enough to keep me awake,there was no wind,no boats just me and the schoolies,I remember sitting in my boat after 3 fishless drifts as the grey dawn turned to morning,I never wanted the night to end,evrything was perfect...... I suspect when I'm old and grey and I no longer can recognize my children...my last fleeting vision will be that sunrise as I sat sipping coffe in my little boat.
Only people reading this post will understand.....
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Old 03-10-2005, 05:54 PM
Striper777 Striper777 is offline
 
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Great Post Roccus i totally agree with u. although im still waitin for my first striper :? maybe it will come this season
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Old 03-10-2005, 06:32 PM
kkevvy kkevvy is offline
 
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Awesome Briggs.

Great post :o

Fishing is great. :D
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Old 03-10-2005, 07:20 PM
South Jersey River View South Jersey River View is offline
 
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Great article briggs

Fishing is the best pasttime to have. It is just relaxing to be out on the boat nobody can just show up to bother you like at home. It is not like watching over paid athletes under achieving and never winning a championship(Philadelphia Fan but of course maybe next year) they can't cancel fishing for they year like the NHL. If you can go out and sit in 20 to 30 degree weather knowing the wind will kick up and still utter the words "this is going to be a great day", then you get the whole picture. Father's Day is the only Day of the year me and my brothers can get my Dad to relax and spend some time to hang out with the three of us and we choose to go fishing every year and that is what it is all about.
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Old 03-10-2005, 08:11 PM
briggs briggs is offline
 
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You got that right SJRV...

I started all this by fishing with my father, learned from the best i'd like to say. I wish so bad that i had the opportunity to do it just one more time with him. We buried my dad in a cemetary that you have to pass by on the way to the beach house.....every single time i pass it, i tell him where i'm going and if he could help me out, he hasn't failed me yet.

Cherish the moments my friend, when all said and done....those cherished moments are whats gonna let ya know that he's still looking over your shoulder.

Tautog forget about it...i use his rod with his reel that i retuned. I can't lose hahaha.

Like i always say...take the time to check out where your fishing. I have so many pics and movies of sunrises and sunsets. Northern lights, stary nights...those mornings where the moon just doesn't feel like giving the day up to the sun and just sits up there until it fades away. That point in the night, where it gets so late that the mosquitos finally f*ck off. i love when your on the beach so long that the moon goes down red over the horizon, leaving you with the blackest night ever. some nights the stars light up the sand. then the night the moon is full...damn thats cool, dont even need lights. I like having no agenda, stay as long as ya want. and believe it or not, i love those nights where it rains all night, just for a change. as long as your dressed for it, its awesome. usually no bugs, and the night is dark.

Thats just the night fishing. gotta love those days you just bring plugs with ya too. you fish all day and get so dark from the sun reflecting off the water that you go into a different tax bracket hahaha.


just my 46 cents

><))))))))*>

:twisted: craig aka briggs :twisted:

aka surfcastermaster

8) MASTER OF HIS OWN DOMAIN 8)
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Old 03-10-2005, 09:08 PM
Striper777 Striper777 is offline
 
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Great post Briggs.Touching.
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Old 03-10-2005, 11:21 PM
BostonBoy BostonBoy is offline
 
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I find it funny that even though the "purpose" of fishing is to catch a fish...thats not what makes it so great...
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Old 03-10-2005, 11:46 PM
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zimno1 zimno1 is offline
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yea briggs, my dad passed 4yrs ago and well, i fish with him every time i go out, ya see he wanted to be cremated and his ashes spilled in the ocean. was hard for my mom on the boat to do that but it was what he wanted so i feel blessed when i get a bass or any fish for that matter and thank him every time. he (in my mind) has a great sense of humor sometimes though and teaches me humility when i display ignorance at my angling skills. likes to scare the sh#@ out of me when i get an unexpected bite and i lmfao.



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Old 11-02-2005, 08:43 AM
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Striperjim Striperjim is offline
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Sigh!!!

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Old 11-02-2005, 09:05 AM
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jimi4290 jimi4290 is offline
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I think we all fish for mostly the same reasons. Its the oneness with the water, the sounds of the ocean or the crickets and frogs on the pond, the sounds are like soothing music only to be interupted when the adrenaline rush comes, only to be returned when the fight is over. We feed our hunter instincts, and sometimes our family. You make friends of like minds, you hone your skills over time and pass those skills to friends or family. Most of all fishing is fun.
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  #15  
Old 11-02-2005, 10:46 AM
Key of Sea Key of Sea is offline
 
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I stepped out of fishing for a while and am keenly aware of what I gained when I rediscovered it.

I have the typical problems of a young man: work, bills, wife, family. Reflectively I love my life, but the daily grind can be just that, a grind. I would go through the steps kind of half assed and put forth enough effort to get by.

Fishing reminds me of a higher purpose, a higher power. We work for food, just as our ancestors did, but now we distance ourselves with money.
Money has changed out perspective, but the task is still the same. Fishing is the root of that task. Primal, pure.

I can't help but look at surfers and fisherman in the same light. They have a look in their eyes like no other. They are aware of weather, winds, tides, moons, storms and migrations. There is that awareness of the bigger picture. No matter what is wrong or difficult in their lives, they have the accurate perpective that their problems are miniscule in the big picture. There is music all around us, TV, radio, the bar next door; but these folks dance to a different tune, an "earth-song" if you will.

Forgive me, feeling kind of reflective today. Gonna fish from the boat for the last time today and spend this evening winterizing. Back to the grind.
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