Rockin the Blue Blocher's Orange Bowl volunteers cap the whole deal, a fishing gear shortage, not a single rattletrap. Were shipwrecks anywhere to be seen? The coronaviruses hands down the best thing that ever happened to striped bass fishing ever. I mean, I ain't smiling this much since Deep Throat was in this white deck. Boots are welcome. You will still get served cheese curds when you walk in sweating and leaking snot after a day on the ice. Good morning to generate angler's welcome to Bente, where we invite fishermen from all walks of life, all skill levels and all factions to unite Jo's family.
And I'm Miles Nulty.
And the way I describe this, for those of you lucky enough to remember such an awesome thing, this is like like an eighth grade mixtape about fishing and fishing and whatever the hell else we feel like talking about.
But I also I really don't think that anyone makes mix tapes anymore. I think I think the kids call them playlists now.
No, they don't. That's a shame. I don't even know if you can buy blank tapes anymore, though. I do remember that my last mixtape had a White Rabbit by Jefferson Airplane, followed by a bunch of no effect's tracks.
You have to I know you're a music guy.
What was on your last mixtape?
Dude, I don't know if I'm being honest. I don't remember the music that was on it. It was probably no effects or something around there. But what I do remember is I had this tape called Forbidden Spanish. That was how I learned bad words in Spanish.
And I would include little snippets of that in between the songs that I recorded onto the mix, tapes that I would then give to girls hoping they would laugh and then being amused would make them like me.
Did it work? Not really, no. No.
OK, I feel that pain. I did a similar thing with Jerky Boys clips anyway. Never about that look to be up front with you guys. Our plan was definitely not to launch this podcast in the middle of a global pandemic. Yet here we are. And so you understand exactly where we are. Miles is actually in Montana and I'm on the other side of the country, east side, right outside of Philadelphia. And, man, it's been a roller coaster with the Cubs for a while there.
I was in covid hell and Miles had clean living. And now there's there was the covid there. And now we're supposedly doing good. And now I don't know, everybody just has the covid.
So, yeah, we'll just we'll just go with it. But you know what, despite pandemics, we're pressing on and we're giving this thing a go. Yeah.
And you know what? For everyone out there, I think you probably don't agree with me when when everything feels so shitty as it does right now. The real only response is just to go fishing.
So that's what we're trying to do. I never really stop fishing, though. It just seems weird there for a few months with, like, who you're allowed to fish with and who you can't. Can you leave the house, can you not? But we do have a regional fishing report for you guys this week. That's that's something we're going to be doing weekly.
It's weird, though, because we're going to play a report for you guys that's actually a few months old. And I do understand that an old fishing report isn't really that useful. But you guys have to hear this. And this came in over the phone, which is just similar to the bat phone.
And our answering machine actually does use a tape because we don't have the budget for for digital. But this one's coming in from striper surf fishing legend Bob the garbage man Burton, and on a new guy who has been a fixture in the Jersey surf scene since long before I was born. OK, he's he's an absolute legend. He only uses chunks of menhaden, which we call bunker, and vehemently opposes the use of artificial lures in the surf. And I'll just say, this is going to take you back to when quarantine was, like, really bad.
But sometimes you have to examine where you've been, understand where you are.
I think that's why I think that's an inspirational meme that I saw my inspirational meme app anyway, kicking it back a few months to the height of quarantine with Pobjie.
Who will inspire you?
Hello out in radio when this is Strieber chunkiness, but Bob, the garbage man, Britain, and not a newscast, as per usual, I'm calling in my weekly East Coast stripe official report from the payphone on the corner of Baltic and MLK here in Atlantic City, New Jersey. But don't worry, I poured hot coffee over the receiver to disinfect it before dialing out. You got to be smart in times like these, you know what I'm saying? Anyway, I got to be real honest with you.
As far as I'm concerned, the coronavirus is hands down the best thing that ever happened to a sufficient evil. I mean, I smiled this much since Deep Throat was in theaters for the first time in my life. I could tell somebody to get away from me and then add, quote, by order of law, asshole. But let me tell you, I've been chunkin spot fish since eighty seven, eighty eight because I don't have to worry about it almost snagging my line with this Pentel daughter, you know what I'm saying?
It's a smoke free environment right now. There's nobody out asking me stupid questions like, hey Bob, are you worried about the coronavirus because you smoke so much? Well, anyways, listen, kidding aside, for your safety, you need to stay at home, be smart. And if it's any consolation, you seem miss in March. OK, but I absolutely did not mowed down three fifty plus pound bass in only a two hour smoke on the beach right in front of the old Trump Plaza the other day.
For those of you desperate to get back on the bulkhead over there, Queen Creek don't rush. I only call one sixty five pounder at about twenty five low 40s in a five hour soak there the other night. It's low. Oh, you know what was going to get rate cuts for the rest of the stripe coast? Well, pretty much the same story. My old friend Jimmy the Gooch on the south shore of Long Island has been quarantine of Fire Island for two weeks and is advising friends and family to please worry about securing bread, eggs and milk before being concerned about where to get fresh bunker to junk.
No, he has informed me he has plenty and is still in one bunker for thirteen dollars and two for twenty six not there use needed he Aghajan. Oh oh sure. Give a straight face he's murder at them. Fifty sign do the subtlely there on a goddamn conveyor belt. Oh she's drunk. So that's it for this week. Once again I can't stress enough that the overriding message state of gone for a year, maybe two better safe than sorry Dorothea's.
That was that was pretty weird, man. I've definitely never heard Bob that optimistic that was hearing Bob, that happy is creepier than walking into my local grocery store and having everybody's faces covered up in cloth like that is just straight up creepy.
He was he was a beacon of light in dark times, man. I mean, true legend. That dude is someone I've been I've spent my whole life trying to emulate his his feats in the strip or surf.
I mean, weird, weird as it is. And having talked to Bob in the past, that was weird. It is. It makes a strange kind of sense because everything felt so turned upside down for so long. And when when shit flips upside down and we go into the twilight zone, you know, the garbage man becomes the optimist.
I guess you do have to keep in mind that reports a few weeks old. Right?
So as things are seemingly getting better around here, I'm sure Bob's miserable as shit again, which was sort of the world.
Right, because that's how we've always known old Bob out here as a miserable dude. And it does feel good to have this optimistic vibe in the air among the people, if you will, at the same time. And you read the paper and read the news online. And it's hard to know if you should be optimistic. I don't really know if we're quite out of the woods yet. And thinking along those lines, I think that takes us very nicely into the weekly word.
Webster's Dictionary defines fish as well.
Bob is warding off the coronavirus by pouring gas station coffee on everything he touches. I just don't think, Dr. Fouche, you would endorse that, as you know, like a valid preventative measure. I think we're all just gonna have to wait for the vaccine. But what about the next major outbreak? Well, here at Bente, we consider ourselves public servants. We give you essential information, kind of like, you know, the CDC only with even less funding.
And since knowledge is power, you need to understand the word zoonosis. Zoonosis is a disease that can jump from animals to humans. And you guessed it, good old novel coronavirus is zoonotic. See what I did there, Joe? I converted to the noun form zoonosis into the adjective form zoonotic.
You're a real smart fellow.
We English speakers stole this term from ancient Greek in which the prefix zo means animal and the suffix Knossos means disease. Since supposedly they tell us this is a fishing podcast. Supposedly, supposedly. The obvious question we should answer here is do fish carry zoonotic diseases? And the short answer for that is no. But but also kind of yes. Hang on. Let me explain. Evolutionarily, we as humans are a long way from fish. So the viruses that affect them are they're not likely to jump over and make the make the crossing to humanity.
The machinery is just different. The next coronavirus is not going to rise out of the local fishing hole. Even some of the nasty backwaters in Jersey where you pull over and fish cold blooded.
But having said all that, fish can carry bacteria, not diseases, but bacteria that will jump all over humans. Nasty stuff like streptococcus India, which can be present in both fresh and marine fish species and cause all kinds of unpleasantness if if it gets in an open wound. That's where you get all those stories about fishermen contracting flesh eating bacteria from Fisher Hooks or wherever, but really, from what I can tell anyway, the instances of that are pretty rare and they usually only seem to happen in Florida like all the other crazy stuff.
So bottom line, fishing will very likely not be the cause, the next global pandemic. And now you all know what zoonoses means. So you're welcome.
Actually, though, and I have some friends out here on the East Coast that have gotten some pretty weird infections and shit from getting poked with fish bones and also from from injuries suffered from from cuts while claiming claiming injuries, claiming injuries. If you can believe that, that's a real thing, man.
But if you think about it, Jersey is just basically Florida with the correct climate to make Christmas Day feel festive and accurate. So it makes sense that the same weird shit they have, we kind of have. And I've said that to so many Floridians, like, oh, man, sucks, you don't have Christmas and put my foot right in my mouth.
So anyway, speaking of putting foot in mouths. Oh yeah. Let's do smooth moves.
So don't. Why did you do that? Carol, this is the part of the show where we call up fishing guides or charter boat captains or outfitters, somebody who makes their living, taking other people fishing.
And we ask them to tell us about the most obnoxious, annoying or ridiculous things that they have clients. Do we know that some of you out there fishing with guides at least from time to time? And if you pay attention to our Smooth Moves segment, then you will absolutely know the best way to get under every guide skin. Today, we're talking with our good buddy Mike Schultz from Michigan, who is a longtime fishing guide extraordinaire, done all kinds of different species, just about everything you can catch in Michigan.
He's guided for including Great Lakes steelhead. You can tell us a little bit about that, Mike. How's it going? But doing great, brother. Thanks for having me. Always a pleasure. So so what do you got for us today for for the smooth move?
Well, you know, when I was guy in Steelhead was, you know, early two thousands through two thousand eight ish around there. And, you know, it was like before everyone was rock and sling packs and these type packs and things were well thought out. So a lot of people, you know, would have those vessels that they bought in the 80s and 90s and they just load these things up. You'd have every size shot, every swivel, three way extra reels in the back, you know, just the same like you could you could just rock them and lose weight instantly.
And, you know, you get these guys and they book their one steelhead trip with a guy to year and they they climb in the boat with all their gear and they have the vest on with the nippers and the knot tools and the floating in the sand and everything, those guys. And then they immediately take it off and just throw it on the sea on their back of their seat. So then all day they're just hanging on it, you know, it's like, dude, come on, man.
So back then when I was working on the PM, I had you know, I was a young black little man on the totem pole. But I, I got the little sign made by the local guy that said no vests, the plastic sign and I'd stick that stuck out on my boat. When they get in the boat, they'd see that. And instead it was, what's it all about?
It's like, dude, I think it is the eggs with that you bought at the craft store and glued on to the ground.
I love Chelsy, man. He's a good kid. He's the best. And listen, you guys are going to hear a lot more from him down the line, because every time we talk to Mike, he tells another story after the story that we were trying to get. And we're like, stop telling the story because we have to push record so that we can record this story to his stories are also good to.
So, yeah, get ready for more. Mike, we've compiled a bunch of mike anyway these days.
I'll tell you what, man, if I'm being completely honest, whenever I fish with a guide, my attitude is now like, oh, great. I don't I don't actually have to bring shit. No, it's a luxury. Yeah. Like this dude is a guide for a reason. He'll have what I need. So while I used to kind of be that guy that felt like I had to be impressive by bringing my whole garage worth of tackle, now I'm like, oh, terrific guy.
Don't have to think about tackle. Yeah.
And if the guy doesn't have all the shit you need, that's a shitty guide. Exactly. With that person again. And having been in guide yourself, you must have dealt with over Packers'. Oh yeah.
All the time. And you knew it was going to be a bad day when the guys showed up and he's got sixteen different dry bags full of crap and he's like 14 rods and you know, you're all going to do is break rods and they're going to be your rods, you're broken. Not, not his. And you're both going to be so heavy that you're plowing down the river all day and you can never get like even are up on step.
It's the the moral here is seriously, don't bring all the stuff.
If you're going fishing, use the good stuff because people don't realize, especially on a drift boat. Right. Anything you bring you're not going to use is just shit in the way.
All this on any boat. Yeah. There's not that much room. So it's just it's just stuff that is, that is in the way. So good. Good lesson told Shultz's style.
There is only a public service announcement right there. Or if you really just want to start off the day by pissing off your guide, bring a ton of shit. Yeah.
There you go. There you go.
Anyway, look, now that we've exposed you guys to the to the real truth, that everyone on the river is, in fact making fun of your forty pound L.L. Bean vest with the forty eight pockets, we may as well we may as well just keep right on educating you, moving on to find clips where we tell you everything you never thought you wanted to know about a fish that you may or probably may not have heard of this week.
We're talking about American shed. Don't confuse American Qaid with all the other qaid in this country. We've got Alabama shed, skipjack shed, hickory shed. Alewives blew back Harring, and while all those fish share the same genus American Schad are actually more closely related to species found in Europe than their cousins here in America, see American shedder in Madras, meaning they spend their adult lives in the ocean and then return to freshwater to spawn like salmon. They're also native all the way up and down the Atlantic coast.
So like our beloved pilgrims, some Qaid ancestors bailed out of Europe a very, very long time ago across the Atlantic Ocean and started annual spring parties in the rivers of the new world that have been called the fish that fed the nation's founders. Because many of those aforementioned pilgrims and the colonies that followed them all survived on QET.
Of course, the native tribes who lived along the Atlantic coast were all over the Shad game long before the Europeans got here. Evidence of ancient fish traps has been found from Newfoundland all the way down to Florida. Historical records also indicate that some tribes went to war over the best shad grounds. Adults generally go three to eight pounds. And while I've never tried one myself, I hear they're good eating. They can be boiled, broiled, fried, grilled, smoked or pickled.
I've also heard they've fallen out of favor in the modern diet because they're bony and we've all turned in a massive Cissy's when it comes to eating around fish bones. Other thing I heard is that Shad Roe is a delicacy for those who know what's up.
Well, you don't know what's up. And I'm offended. You're you're you're offended.
I'm offended because you how do you take the lead on American man?
That's first of all, I know your ass is never caught one. And second, the greatest goddamn American Shad River in the country is my home water right up the street. I live for Shad and I miss it.
Talking to you, talking to Delaware right now. Yup, yup, yup. It's the last major underarmed river on the East Coast giving what many here called Jersey. Tapin you didn't know they were called Jersey. Tapin that that that didn't make you a little segment. I didn't know that it gives them unobstructed access to spawn, man.
And I look there for people who get all like my river. Yeah. There's other good shad rivers too, no doubt. But usually you only tie in real strong like up to that first dam.
That's usually how it goes. No, man, I, I have heard from you, but also from lots other people. I've heard there, there are a lot of fun.
Yeah. It's, it's a it's a light tackle game. It's a killer like tackle game six points light rod. You know, you need the right tackle to let them do their thing, but it's tons of fun. And you've also missed the part about how that American shad everyone listening to this might not be American.
Has that as I go? Because because in the winter 1778, Washington's army was starving to death at Camp and Valley Forge, which is not far from where I am right now. And there was a false spring that February one of those weird deals where it got too warm too soon. And as I've read it, it tricked the fish into running early that year. And they came right up to Delaware and then hooked a hard left in the school river at Philly.
And that took them right to old George's feet in camp and that saved the army and provided enough salted fish to eat later.
And without that, it's very possible the Revolutionary War could not have continued on.
So what I'm saying is, next time you're getting a bucket of KFC, thank Ashad, because you could be eating tea and crumpets or bangers and mash or some other British ship. Oh, British cuisine.
Don't forget the spotted dick. Delicious. So delicious.
All right. All right. I'm sufficiently shamed. You have shamed me. And I know, man, I need to get over there and actually catch a shit. Let's talk about, as with all things covid, we'll just push it off to spring.
Twenty, twenty one things. Things happen. Things could happen next year. It's going to be great by then, man. You know, come on out, you can eat all broiled shadd you want all the room you want to because that that part of your spiel was bullshit too. By the way, nobody here in Shadowland covets the row except for five culinary weirdo food bloggers.
It's not it's not the bones, it's the fact that they taste like chugging a mug of bunker oil as Bob the garbage man would say.
I have tried it to be fair. I've tried it. And you have we asked once was enough. It's just me and it's greasy. It's greasy. Anyway, anyway, I do believe it's time for this new.
That escalated quickly. All right, this is Fish News, where we will give you fishing news about fishy things. The fun of it, however, is that Miles and I don't know what the other one is bringing to the table.
OK, we have no we have no preconceived idea of what his news stories will be and mine will be. So there's like some competition in our news segment here, because you know darn well at some point we're going to find the same stuff. So we're trying to it's it's a game. It's a game is what it is.
It's a game.
And I brought backups just in case you scoop me on one of the stories I wanted to I wanted to have I have I have a backup, but I will be pissed if you if you jump all over all my good.
Well, I only brought two, so this might be the news segment, according to Miles.
Who knows I'm lazier than you are.
Anyway, this first one here, you just have more kids. This might be the greatest news story I've heard in a very long time. It's it's just like, oh, it's so me. And this is coming from Forbes, OK.
An offshore sports book has decided to post odds on the migratory patterns of nine geotag great white sharks, providing a summer diversion for sports fans and wagering aficionados who may or may not have an affinity for sustainable fishing. My bookie Dotcom is offering a variety of odds. The sports book will utilize the tracking technology used by Oh Search, a nonprofit organization that has the most well known and widely used tracking tool available.
It provides a detailed tracking history of individual sharks, travel patterns that people can monitor in real time for free. Via an online app, gamblers will be able to wager on an assortment of odds and props pertaining to the specific migration patterns of individual great white sharks is a great quote.
I have no illusions of grandeur that we are going to make millions of dollars off of this. It's a fun thing and hopefully it catches on, said David Strauss of my bookie.
After being tagged with the tracker, sharks ping on search when they come to the surface. Based on these pings, my bookie will offer gamblers a variety of ways to place bets such as how far a shark will travel between pings, whether a shark will enter a certain body of water, and what date a shark will ping next. Now, four great whites that ping less frequently wagers will be able to be placed on if it will resurface by a certain date and what country's waters the shark will be in when it resurfaces.
Statistics will be updated in real time, allowing users to closely monitor their bets.
Oh my God, I thought NASCAR was boring. Here's the thing, though, right?
Did I read this? And I was like, holy shit, this is my calling. I was I was born for this because there's no way that my bookie realizes how easily this can be rigged.
So I'm shouting out now to any of you Tony Soprano types out there. I got this. I got this. All right. I already ran the numbers on oh, search.
OK, you look at Cabot nine for the five hundred and thirty three pound male looking good, paying off Long Island June in Fourth place your bets. July 13th, quarter mile south of Block Island. Jimmy and the boys be out there on the STO got spot.
A couple of sides of beef, about 400 buckets of goat's blood, a cement mixer worth of bunker oil and a couple of people we need to get rid of anyway.
Tab it's going to surface right there.
Easy money. Oh, my God. You know, they just legalized sports betting in Montana, like literally right before covid hit. They pass that bill and all the bookies were everybody was so excited. And then the first season of legal battle in Montana, just as soon as it started, it was over. And I wonder if I could get this going.
We might we might actually have to cut this out of the podcast. You may not actually hear this because I think we need to talk on the side, on the arm.
We'll we'll have a side conversation on this one. Dude, that was good.
That was good. It I don't know if it's better than that. Scooby Doo, that Scooby Boom.
I thought that was the one you were going to.
Lucky Bastard is going to get the chance to fulfill what I'm calling a childhood fantasy.
Oh, boy. And go fishing with Bill Dance. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is holding a raffle right now and one of the grand prizes that they got is a down the water with the man himself rocking the blue Blocher's Gorge. Bill volunteers cap the whole deal.
So from from now until August 16th, raffle tickets are on sale at the TWLOHA website. You can purchase as many as you want. You do not need to be a Tennessee resident to win an all the money that they raise is going to fund habitat restoration. So that's good. But even better, the winner gets. Six hours on the water with Bill either Fischer fishing for croppy or catfish on the Mississippi River or at what they're calling an undisclosed Tennessee lake for largemouth, which I can only hope is the same lake we've all seen him fall into countless times over the years.
I was going to say otherwise known as The Lake, where he films all of his show. Exactly. I saw this not to cut in, but you left out the part where they were like based on Bill's schedule. So, like, whenever he can fit you in, whatever is happening around then is when you get to go, but you get to go, it does it better.
I would I would open up my calendar for a day with Bill debts. Well, I would do that.
Listen, I've I've I've interviewed all these guys at some point in my career, Hank, Hank Parker, Flip Pallette, you know, Bill Dance. And he is the sweetest, kindest, most gracious man in the entire world, that it's it's it almost like hurts my heart to take, like, a little shot at Bill. But I'm thinking about that. Right.
As sweet as he is, you get six hours on the water with Bill Dance, which is going to be six hours of him not being able to hear you.
And every time you say something's going, ha ha ha ha. I met only met Bill once.
And he was he was very, very, very, very, very nice.
Way nicer than most people who are famous in the fishing industry.
I would I would totally even even as like someone who works in industry, I would still totally do this. I'm not going to lie. I'm definitely going to be in this. Raval It's not the last time I spoke with him.
And he doesn't know me from Adam. Right. He you know, but he ended the call with like, hey, buddy, you know, next time we come down here, let us know. We'll go have a steak and I'll go out fishing. And I was recording the call for a piece, so I took just that chunk out and ran it on social media.
It was total like Bill Dance Invites Me fishing.
And the first comment from another fishing industry person was like, dude, he says that to everybody. He hangs up with dumb ass like he doesn't want to go fishing with you. He's never going to fish with you. You want to fish with him, win the raffle.
Oh, my God. That's funny. I'm glad. I'm glad that one made the fold. I'm glad you got that because I eyeballed it for a hot second, you know. And Bill Dance is certainly old school, one of the oldest school sort of fishing icons around. And my next piece here ties into that, although we've been laughing a lot.
And this one, you know, it's a little bit more bumbry, but important nonetheless. Yeah. So at this point, it's no secret that the covid pandemic has taken its toll on the outdoor industry. And while guides and captains and tackle shops in much of the country are at this point operational and trying to get back on their feet, unfortunately, too many businesses just weren't able to recover. And mom and pop tackle shops were hit particularly hard. Now, we all know that those old school shops that had everything you needed to fish local and nothing you didn't, we're kind of already on their way out prior to covid anyway.
But the closing of Ranchi Brothers tackle in Milwaukee due to the pandemic takes more than just another mom and pop operation out of the game. Ranchi Brothers wasn't a traditional tackle shop. They actually specialized in law and fly components for all the garage tinkerers that wanted to make everything from musky ducktails to walli rigs to custom jugheads and pipe flies to their exact specifications and behind the counter, where dozens of trays chock full of minutia, you know, like for the guy who just wanted to specific treble hooks or just a few loose inline spinner post and Ranchi Brothers was a staple in South Milwaukee for seventy years.
And while owner Bob Ranchi tried online sales a while back, it was just too hard to compete with the major online component and material Web sites. And of course, now with foot traffic down and hours cut back due to covid, this neighborhood shop simply can't operate profitably, forcing Bob to retire early this fall. Now, this saddens me personally, because while it will be hard enough for our kids to experience a true old timey mom and pop tackle shop stores like Frankie Brothers that existed solely for the angler, that gets more satisfaction out of catching a fish on something he made with his own two hands may flat out no longer exist.
You ever been in a shop like that, man?
Oh, yes, I have. And and I'll I'll say right now that long before I ever got into the fly fishing thing and building my own flyers as I was totally the kid who was building my own inline spinners, spinner baits and post, and my dad was even way more into it than me. His whole goal was to make the strangest lure that he could possibly imagine and see if something would bite it. It was it was really one of his favorite things to do in the world.
Yeah. So, yeah, we hung out in the shops all the time.
I was like one of our things that we did to get the closest that I had here was Brielle bait and tackle the Jersey Shore, which does still exist. And while they didn't have a lot of of lawmaking stuff, they. Had this huge rod building section, and I mean, I've made a few rods, they're all terrible, but every time I was in there. It was just so inspiring, you know, like you're not really thinking about building a rod, you don't need one, and then you just happen to be in there for something else and you start walking around looking at all the decals and threads and blanks and it just like gets this creativity welled up in you.
And I remember when the first Cabelas ever opened out here and I went out there, of course, like the first time you walk into a cabelas, it's like, holy shit, this is great.
So I wanted to buy like 50 Panther Martins and I had them in my cart. And then I ended up in the lower components aisle and saw the bag of blades and the bag posts and instantly was like, I'm not buying any of these now.
I make my own online spinners and I still have some of those spinners here today, but that I've never had a store like that that just basically sold the pieces.
And I found that really sad. I never we never had one that just did that.
It was but we had one that a really good section that it was Grizzly Bill's bait and tackle that later became Grizzly Bob's bait and tackle in the middle of nowhere in northern Wisconsin.
And and they had everything from camo suspenders to lure building bits and pieces to anything else in between. I mean, it was it was a fantastic shop. It probably closed down. Yeah. Twenty five years ago. But I loved that place.
Well, to me it's similar like hardware stores. I still have a few around here where you can walk in and talk to old Gus and he'll get two screws out of the plastic tray for you, you know, but they're getting harder to find.
You know, you go to Home Depot to buy, you have to buy a dozen and you have to involve walkie talkies.
And five people for someone can even tell you which aisle the screws are in, you know, and and what's terrible about this story that you just told me is that from what I'm about to report on, if if they could have held on for just a couple months longer. They might have been right, because nationwide tackle shops are reporting a fishing gear shortage, really tackle shops all over the country right now, are barren of fishing gear, completely sold out.
And most of these are the big box stores, the ones that are still holding on and popular. But same things happen in some of the smaller stores. In fact, just yesterday, Sam Ljunggren, the fishing editor that we work with, texted me a photo from Sportsman's Warehouse and. It was like eerily similar to looking at grocery store shelves a couple of months ago, Barend picked clean, I'm talking not a single rattletrap or VIPR wrecks anywhere to be seen.
Nothing. It's weird, man.
I've known that this has been happening throughout the country from talking to people, but I only stepped into a big box tackle shop for the first time since before the pandemic like a week ago, and lures plenty of them. I mean, totally stocked on lures out here, soft beats, hard beats, whatever you needed. Hooks were hit fairly hard, but the noticeable one was lying there.
There were literally three spools of line in the entire aisle and all that was left. The only options I had were sixty five pound brayed Kiva's orange with the good stuff, 50 pound brade hive's yellow or thirty pound lead controlling line.
And I was like, none of these will suit my smallmouth needs.
You know, I have heard from a lot of people that smaller mom and pop shops are faring much, much better through this. And I think that's probably because they order smaller quantities. You know, they need 20 raddle traps, not two hundred. Yeah. But unfortunately, I just don't have any good mom and pops left around here to go to or that's what I would do.
So and out here the the only mom and pops we have are like purely fly shops. If you want to get conventional tackle, you have to go to the big box stores and they are, it's the opposite. They're out of fishing gear here. The lures are gone, the whole trigon, but they still have line. So I don't know what's going on.
Like I've heard, it's a supply chain issue, but apparently that doesn't make any sense. But I'm sort of torn on this like I'm of two minds, because if there's one minor bright spot that I can point to in this whole pandemic fiasco, everybody's out of work and they don't know what they're going to do with their time thing. It seems like a lot more people are fishing up. And I mean, across the country, it seems like the numbers of fishing, fishing participation are up.
And I know I know our rivers, like my local rivers are so packed with people right now, like doesn't matter. The day of the week doesn't matter the time. They're slammed with people way more than I've ever seen before.
Yeah, it's mellowed out for me here. It's normal summer, summer crowds on the local rivers right here now. But during the height of all this, in April and early May, when people were were even more out of work and more locked down, oh my God, it was a zoo.
It was an absolute zoo. Yeah.
And again, this just speaks to the different types of places we live because, you know, everybody by you who was fishing there in the spring lived there and wasn't working. And now we are just inundated with tourists who are trying to get away from their own private covid Hel's.
And they're coming here and and and they're all fishing, which is, again, I'm torn because I really don't like seeing my local spots that crowded and getting hit that hard. It bums me out a little bit, but I am really happy to see more people fishing. Like that's one of the things that we we really pride ourselves on. And what we do, we try and get more and more people to get outside, go fishing, go hungry, get out in the woods.
So, you know, on a selfish level, it it annoys me. But on a broader level, like if I can get out of my not my backyard protectionist mentality, I'm happy about it. And you know what, since we're kind of on the subject of more people fishing in my home state, there's this guy who just recently moved out here to Montana like a year ago. Some of us may have heard of him. His name is like a Janus or Janice.
Janice Pugilists. I don't know.
It's some weird Latvian thing. I don't know.
He's going to tell us about a certain living fossil or I guess in this case, swimming fossil and his first time going fishing or technically snagging for paddlefish in this week's Yoni's Desk.
Hey, folks, welcome to Yoni's Desk today to share with you about how the new world record spoonbill was snagged down in Oklahoma at a Keystone lake.
This fish, snagged by a fellow by the name of James Lockhart is massive. To see pictures of it, go to the media. Dotcom read Spencer Neuhauser article about it.
You got to know a little bit about Spoonbill to appreciate this. It's a prehistoric fish. It's been on the planet and its same form for roughly 20 million years. So they know what they're doing. They know how to survive. It's a filter feeder.
So this fish doesn't chase other fish down and eat them. They don't eat nightcrawlers.
They eat zooplankton, microscopic beings to find these suckers. They use that paddle that's coming off top of their head kind of almost looks like a swordfish. Earlier, they thought that they would dig around in the muck with that thing, kind of like a swordfish does. And then. Whatever came out of there, but actually it's got electro receptors all over it, there are so fine tune they can not only detect the zooplankton, but they can detect the movement of a zooplankton appendages.
So not just the zooplankton swimming around, but its little legs and arms kicking around, whatever they call them, on a zooplankton. And that's how it finds its food. And it comes up in the water column. And just like a whale, he opens his mouth or she does water goes through there. They filter the zooplankton out and the water goes out of the gills. Really cool fish. I recently got to do some spoonbill, snag him or be a part of it.
My brother in law drew a harvest tag on the upper Missouri River here in Montana. So we went up there right at the end of the season around mid-June, gave it our best shot, didn't really know what we were doing. But between talking to some folks, we got it done. He ended up catching it right around a twenty five pounder. Now, since they're not eating bait, you can't catch them like you normally would. Can't throw Willy Bulger at them.
He doesn't care about a leech. He can't throw a rock at them. He doesn't care about a little baby perche. So you got to snag them.
And how you do that, you use a pretty stout rod that can cast far and that has a lot of backbones.
If you do hook into these fish, which, you know, go anywhere from 25 to as you'll see later, almost one hundred and fifty pounds, you got to use heavy line. I think we were using eighty pound braid. We were using bait caster.
Again, I say we my brother in law was I didn't have the tag, but you have a weight actually at the bottom of your line and then you have a size seven or eight or treble hook, anywhere from eight inches to three feet above that weight. And again, there's no bait on it. You cast it out there. The weight brings you down to the bottom and you yank, pull up your slack and yank. And basically, as you're pulling the hook through the water column, eventually your line will come across the back of a spoonbill.
And when you yank, you'll pull that treble hook into the fish. You know, it sounds a little barbaric, but that's the only way you're going to catch them. Research shows that snagging them and releasing them doesn't hurt them. You know, they have a little flesh wound, as we like to say, and they go about their business.
That's how you catch them. So back to Oklahoma. This guy, James and his wife were out on their first day ever Spoonbill fishing. They took a guided trip. They just wanted to go snag a couple sub 50 pounders for eating. That's what they were looking for. They got a lot more and they were looking for his wife starts off with an eighty eight pounder, which is also a giant spoonbill, and releases it. And then James up.
He snags into one. He's real. And then they see how long it is. They think it's about the same length is his wife's. It is then when it gets close to the boat it rolls sideways and they see the girth on it. This is my favorite part in the little video that his wife was taken.
When that fish roll sideways, he says, God damn, and she says, watch your language.
Thought that was great in the heat of the moment. She's she's keeping him proper, takes him another minute or so to get that thing and get a loop of rope around the fish's tail. And they land it. They take a quick measurement and they think it's going to be near the world record. And so they take it back in to meet a Oklahoma fisheries official. And the guy, where is it?
And it turns out to be a hundred and forty six pounds, 11 ounces.
It is a giant fish.
It is almost as wide as it is long. If it was just a little bit wider, it would be a circle of a fish. Incredible. So good job, James.
I recommend you hang up your spoonbill snagging and hat move on to something else. Go break another record. But I think you're done here. Good work. Thank you, Yoni's, for the extreme paddling, but hey, moving from one flyover state to another. Let's take a trip to Iowa, not for the fishing this time, but for the drinking.
We're tapping the keg for the first ever installment of what might be our favorite segment and hopefully yours.
This is that's my bar best God damn bartender from Timbuctoo to Portland, Maine, to Portland, Oregon.
And for that matter. So what's the goal? That's my bar, easy, slowly but surely compile a list of the best damn watering holes for fishermen, not just in this country, but across the entire globe.
That's that's the end goal, OK? And Miles and I certainly have our favorites. What's what's your favorite moment?
That's like that's a really hard question. I just like asking me to pick a favorite child, a favorite pick, a favorite puzzle has me too big of a fish species.
But, you know, for me, the one I'm going to call out is the sip and dip in Great Falls, Montana. That is Montana's absolute best tiki bar. It's got to be the only tiki, but it's definitely the departments, actually.
It's such a fantastic bar. And you got to go there. It's above this old hotel. It's really grimy. It's got like the the coconut weave mats on the wall. And that is where the famous piano pad has been belting out her beautiful raspy tunes under her hair helmet for literally fifty six years.
She's been there forever. She's amazing. Anybody seriously, she you can look her up online piano. Pat Cymbidium, Great Falls. You won't be sorry.
And then behind piano Pat behind the bar there, these windows into the pool and they hire men and women to put on merman and mermaid costumes and swim around behind the bar.
It's I don't know if I'd call it actually a fishing bar, but it is pretty close to the Missouri River. And I have been there after fishing, so I'm calling out the sip and dip.
Well, shit, I can't top that, but I know my new life goal. We have to record from there at some point and have piano pat on, but I bet you do it.
You just do it. You stole my thunder. Mine's lame. McBreen across town tavern in starlight like big.
I can walk in there with my waders on big. You just crushed me. They got good fried mushrooms though.
Anyway, look, here's the thing, right? We need you guys to step up clearly based on just our two examples. We need your help because Miles and I don't know all these bars.
So this is your chance to rep your local dive or your favorite cantina when you travel, or maybe just the most memorable fishing bar that you've ever been to. These are the places where it's OK to walk in in a T-shirt covered in tuna blood. White deck boots are welcome. You will still get served the cheese curds when you walk in sweating and leaking snot after a day on the ice.
So for our first installment, we're taking a jaunt to the Midwest today, to the Driftless region of Iowa, which is an awesome place to fish.
And it's very it's very near and dear to my heart, in fact. And today's nomination comes from Jay Aldrich, who writes The Knotty Pine Tavern in Dorchester, Iowa is only 50 yards or so from Waterloo Creek in the beautiful Driftless Area.
It's a small bar with tons of old pinups, and you will often find the regular old timers having a few beers and telling stories from their glory days.
We always try to stop there for a beer whenever we're in town.
When I was younger, my old man was waiting there for my buddy and I to get down fishing. He was only there for about an hour or so and the locals showed him such a good time that my buddy and I had to guide my dad back to the car so he didn't fall in parentheses again.
And then and then we had to drive him back to the hotel.
I have actually fished Waterloo Creek, and I am I am just very disappointed that my my peoples out there did not take me here because I already know I would love the Knotty Pine Tavern.
You know why? Because I looked it up. I was trying to do a little research. There's no social media page for the knotty pine.
There are no perfect reviews. There is no menu online.
OK, all I could find was a phone number, which tells me this is this is the joint you go to when you're asked.
Doesn't want to be found for a little while. You know what?
I'm I'm just picturing like a beige rotary phone mounted on the wall next to the bar that never rings. It's dusty.
You can it's caked in dust. But yeah, like that's I'm going there. I'm going. And I'll bet you the food is delicious. Just I just have a hunch, you know, Yelp reviews aside, I do wish there was one Yelp review, though.
I wish there was just like one Yelp review that just said four stars had to be carried out like that. That's a bar I would definitely frequent if I were in Iowa.
So help us out. Keep sending these to us. We need more of these the next time I am any place.
I hope to have a whole list of great bars that I might be able to go to.
Yeah. Killer, killer, first nomination from Jay, these low key joints are exactly what we want, and you can email your nominations to us at Bent at the Meat Eater dot com to nominate your favorite corner dive bar full of dusty skin mounts and perhaps featuring an old bathtub like trough in the men's room instead of urinals.
Which and that is that is a mark of a truly great fishing bar.
Oh, man. I have a new life goal, Joe. I hope to one day be in a band called Dusty Skin Mounts.
We are just about out of time this week, which brings us to the end of the line, our aptly named closing segment about what bates' laws are flies. You need to be throwing basically on any criteria that we want. Could be something me and Miles have been slapping on lately. Could be a hot new law that intrigues us, might be some ancient shit we found in the garage and totally forgot about. So while Miles is out hunting down band members for his new gig in Dusty Skin Mounts, strong chance.
Many of those dusty skin mounts you see in bars. Lodges in fish camps were caught on one of his favorite vintage retro baits, the bass Adreno.
It's not loud enough, but is it a crank bait, a service, a jerk bait, a glide bait?
I don't know. And I don't really care, because as far as I'm concerned, the bass arena occupies a category all by itself.
The original Bass Arena was patented in 1915 by James Olds. Olds immediately sold that patent to the South Bend Bait and Tackle Company who went on to manufacture ballerina's for almost 70 years. The bait was so popular and so effective it spawned a whole genre of plug's from tiny little trout rhinos designed to be cast with fly rods to midsize surfer rhinos for inshore fishing, to stout musk merinos for muskie and big pipe. None of these offshoots ever really caught on. And you know what?
They didn't really have to. The design of the original was so brilliant. It worked on just about every shallow water predator with any bait fish imitation. It's all about the wobble and the bass renewables like nothing else. It's not even really a wobble.
It's more like a high speed dart and glide with a few random hip thrusts here and there. Engler's like to compare the action to dancing. And if modern cranks or Miley Cyrus, the bass Renaults, James Brown, you never really know which direction it's going to go when it gets up and does its thing. The Bass Arena is part of the first wave of industrial leuer innovation in the United States. It was patented the same year as the first lipped crank bait the creature.
But the arena has no lip. It's a cylindrical, solid wood lure with a sharp taper to the tail and a scooped out face. That scoop sits right below the surface of the water when the baits arrest so that when you start retrieving it, it digs down into the water and forces the bait under the sharp rear taper creates the erratic, darting, wiggling and gliding that is seduced, irritable and hungry fish for more than a century. I'm not giving you some nostalgic B.S. about vintage tackle.
I am not now, nor have I ever been one of those guys who collects old lures in their original packaging to arrange at soft angles and curio cabinets. Lures are meant to be fished and if I'm I went on, it better get bit. My uncles have been fishing the lakes of northern Wisconsin together for more years than I can count to this day. Every single time they go out together, one or both of them is guaranteed to tie on a bass rhino y.
Couple of reasons. First, at this point in their lives, neither one of my uncles has any time or patience for finesse fishing. They want a fan cast around for a couple hours, get that hit of adrenaline from a hard bite on a quick retrieve, and then head home in time to catch the first pitch of the Cubs game with a Miller High Life. The solid cedar body and aerodynamic shape lets them cast ballerina's long distances with little effort and burn them back, searching large areas for aggressive fish.
Second Mile uncles are generalists. They're not so much interested in specific fish.
They're after willing fish, Bass Pike, Walleye Muskie. They don't care as long as get bit. Once in a while the battery goes generic. Bait fish look and timeless strike triggers means that just about anything hungry enough or angry enough will take a whack at it. And the three trebles dangling off the belly give them a good chance of putting at least one fish in the net, even if they're not really paying attention. Third, they have confidence.
These guys have been consistently hooking up on these lures since Carter was in office maybe earlier. I don't actually know. One time my Uncle Jim was fishing a favor to Reno the frog color, and he hooked a hammer handle pike. When he went to grab that fish from the net, it surged and my uncle wound up with two barbs in the meat of his hand at the E.R. later that day, the doc asked if he could keep the plug and add it to their collection of lures a.
From fishermen, my uncle said, hell, no, that's a damn good lure, I'm not giving that away. The following season, he cut his personal best Muskie on that exact bait. He still has the scar in his hand, the muskie on his wall and the best arena in his tackle box. Sadly, no one makes this bait anymore. Jensen acquired the patent in 1982, but discontinued them a few years ago. The good news is he can still find plenty of used ones online for cheap.
Don't be afraid to buy one that looks like it's been chewed up a time or two. Those scars, they're just proof of good mojo.
All right, that's it for this inaugural episode of Meat Eaters first dedicated fishing podcast. Let's have a drink. Miles, we got we got we got through it, man.
Please, Joe, pour me an extra finger or three while Joe and I get drunk. Please let us know what you liked, what you hated, what we messed up. And just generally, how are you doing? Send an email to Bent. That's a B.A. at the Meat Eater dot com. Also, why are you there?
Give us some stars. Leave us a review. And best of all, if you like this show, tell two friends about it.
Then they'll tell two friends and so on. It's like six degrees of Kevin Bacon.
Remember that? I never got that. Never got. So I got to say, we need a closer for this, Joe, and it just pisses me off. It's like a pet peeve in the fishing industry of the fishing community when people end conversations or emails or anything with tight lines, tight lines. So I'm going to tell you right now, I'm never going to sign off any of these shows with tight line because it just irks me.
Instead, I'm going to say simply skill fishing and I'll keep the rods bent while I'm doing.