I really feel lucky that we have this magazine to subscribe to. I’ve been reading it since I was a kid and to this day I still get excited when it appears in my mailbox. I know of no other resource that contains such accurate reports, helpful how-to articles, and product reviews all written by such seasoned fisherman and experts as this one.
But the how-to and technique articles is what I cherish most. What I especially appreciate is not only are they written for the beginner fisherman to easily understand, but there’s also a lot of new takes and approaches on already established, time-tested lures and techniques for us old salts who can sometimes get a little too set in our ways. We can learn so much from these how to articles and tips, and I’ve had proven success after reading, utilizing, and employing them.
One example comes to mind from the Long Island edition of The Fisherman in October of 2022, where I read a great how-to article by Capt. John Paduano on snap-jigging (“Snap It” On The Beach: How To Snap-Jigging From Shore). As an old surf rat I’ve been casting bucktails with fairly good results for decades. I had vaguely heard the term snap-jigging before, but I thought it was only a technique used from a boat and not used when shore fishing at all. So I read his article which focused specifically on using this technique while surfcasting with mainly bucktails, and the next day I went and bought the exact bucktails I saw in the photos in the article.
One Thursday night last October, I excitedly headed down to my go-to surfcasting beach, Long Beach, NY with my 1963 Fenwick surf rod that my wife got me this past Father’s Day slung over my shoulder. I’d been very consistently catching striped bass in the 20- to 38-inch range since mid-September which was just fine by me. It’s always great of course to catch the “cows” but getting those smaller bass on the beach is great fun too, especially on lighter tackle. The water was fairly calm so I started out by casting poppers and managed to land two or three stripers in the 24- to 34-inch range. Casting poppers in the late afternoon/early evening is kind of my go-to method because it rarely results in my getting skunked and I wanted to get a few fish before trying something new.
After a few fish on top, I clipped on one of those green bucktails I bought earlier and began casting and retrieving it the way I always had in the past. After about eight or nine casts with no hits, I changed things up and started trying to use the snap-jigging technique I just read about. I began casting parallel to a jetty, standing about 50 feet away from it and felt like I was getting the hang of it pretty well and after about a dozen casts, bang, fish on! Realizing right away that this fish had some serious weight, the fight was on, in earnest.
At one point I got the fish in close enough to get my first real look at it through the clean, clear water. It was this moment that I knew it was a bass and that she might hit that “magic” number we all hope for. But after that first look she still had one more long, strong run to put me through. My trusty old Fenwick, Van Staal reel and rig held up well through the battle and after a good 20 minutes, I was thumbing the lower lip of what turned out to be a 52-pound, 50-inch striped bass, my third over 50.
This catch is just one example out of many, many times I’ve read and then utilized info from this magazine over the years. Like a lot of older, more experienced fishermen, I try to help out and mentor a few less experienced guys. When I agree to help, I have only one strict rule I ask of the mentee – you must immediately subscribe to The Fisherman. First off, it shows a certain level of commitment and seriousness on the newbies’ part. And not just casually read it, but really go out and employ the knowledge from what you just learned.
Second, and more importantly, you will instantly have access to all the tide tables, current fish species keeper measurements, multi-region fishing reports, and much more advice, insight, and expert input than I alone could ever hope to provide.
Oh, and yeah, almost forgot, this resource pays off big!