2001-04-14 / Sports

Straight From The Angler

Straight From The Angler

By Paul Jalonschi

A man once said, "Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day, but teach a man to fish..."

  March 20th is the official beginning of spring and for the many people who over the years have learned how to fish, it brings forth new possibilities for anglers who have waited for all winter long to put their hands on a fishing pole again.

Whether we are young or old, nothing beats the thrill of catching the big one or just sharing stories of the one that got away.

Why should you learn how to fish, or why should one go fishing?  That’s a good question that you will probably get many different answers.  Here are just a small a couple of reasons why one should fish.

1. It’s a great family activity.  I guess it’s the Kodak moment of a father showing his son or daughter how to put a worm on a hook, or his or her first bite and catch. Trust me that it doesn’t matter whether it’s a small porgy or sunfish, or a big stripped bass or walleye. Your child will always remember the time you would have spent together.

2. Its presents a great opportunity to get out of the house and do something.  If you keep getting nagged about always just sitting home and doing nothing, fishing is the way to go. If you tell yourself that maybe you don’t have what it takes to last a full court basketball game, or a long drawn out tennis game, fishing will give you the chance to go outdoors and have fun while exercising your mind and body.  Yes, I did say exercising your mind and body.  How do u exercise your mind?  Well let me tell you that fish are not as dumb as they look.  You have got to know how to fish certain areas and which baits to use.

You have to compute the water temperature and whether its sunny, cloudy, windy or rainy in the formula.  Fishing is as much of a mental sport as is a physical sport.  When you go fishing your arms and legs are guaranteed to get a good workout.  Reeling in a forty pound stripper is not an easy task.  You need good lower body strength to balance yourself. You need quick hands to reel in and strong arms slowly pull that fish in.

3. If you work long hours or have had a hard day at work, nothing is more relaxing than fishing.  Take your fishing pole and go down to the lake, and nothing will present a more serene, calming and soothing atmosphere then the sun hitting your face, and the wind awaking all your senses.  Man and nature were meant together.  Man and cubicle was not in the grand scheme of things.  In nature you can get away from your crazy neighbor who are always blasting their stereo through your walls.  It will take your mind away from that Monday morning meeting.  Fishing is therapy for your mind and soul.

4. Fishing is diverse.  You don’t know what’s going to happen on a lake or boat.  You may catch the biggest fish of your life.  You also may catch porgies, stripped bass, bluefish, black fish, and sea bass all in the same day.  Some days you will only catch bluefish.  You can choose to fish for all those fish in one day, or you may want to just concentrate on catching flounder only.  You choose what you would like to fish for that day and how many hours u want to stay and fish.

Those are just four reasons why one should go fishing.  I am sure if you ask around you will get ten or a hundred more reasons why one fishes.  Somebody may tell you that they enjoy fishing because that’s the only time  him and wife can be away from the kids. Someone else may tell you that he or she is retired and that fishing is one hundred ten thousand time better than golf and whole lot cheaper.  Some people like the thrill and the adrenaline rush they get when they hook a fish and the struggle that ensues to try to land that fish in the boat or on shore.

The bottom line is this.  Fishing is fun, its easy and you don’t have to be rich to do it.  For freshwater fishing you need a license that will cost you $14 and you can get it at any tackle shop near you.  A good fishing pole and reel combo will not cost you more than forty dollars.  Throw in a couple of sinkers, hook, floaters, and artificial baits and the whole thing will come up to under one hundred dollars.  For saltwater fishing you don’t need a license.  The fishing pole and reel combo can cost you about fifty or sixty dollars. A couple of flounder sets cost about two dollars to three dollars each. Three way swivels a couple of packs will cost less ten dollars.  For bluefish and stripped bass fishing you will need a couple of hooks with metal leaders, plus you need some heavy sinkers which you can get very cheaply.

If you have never fished before I hope you will take it up this year. You will have the time of your life doing it.  Below are a couple of dates and things you should keep in mind as you go fishing this year.

1. Stripped Bass season starts May 8 and ends December 15.  You are allowed to fish all waters south of the George Washington Bridge.  You are allowed to keep one fish per day and it must be at least 28 inches long.

2. For blue fish there is no size limit and you are allowed to fish it all year.  There is a ten fish a day limit.

3.Flounder season starts the third Saturday in March till June 30 and September 15 to November 30.  There is an eleven inch minimum and you can keep 15 a day.

4.Weakfish you are allowed six per day and they must be 16 inches long.

5.Sea Bass has a 10-inch minimum size and is open year round.  You can also keep as many sea bass as you want.

6.Porgy must be seven inches long and you are allowed 50 fish a day.  It’s open all season long.

7.Blackfish have a 14-inch minimum or you are allowed to keep one fish per day from June 1 to October 6.  You are allowed to keep 10 blackfish a day from October 7 to May 31.

Happy fishing!!

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