Transcribe your podcast

God love them, Maslin's, they do two things really, really well. They're so good at soaking their dreads and patchouli oil and throwing shade of Bozeman.


I hate to say it, but he's the quintessential Southern California guy. He doesn't want to listen to anything I have to say. He's doing his own thing. They're just hatchery rainbows that are bred to basically be hunter orange and practically glow in the dark. It was as if a Red Lobster buffet had risen up to exact its revenge. Good morning, degenerate anglers, welcome to bend to the fishing podcast that five out of six doctors agree is less painful than a discount tattoo removal.


To get rid of that Chinese symbol you found out years later actually means hedgehog, not lion.


I'm just Somali of Miles Nalty. We we really should have paid off that six doctor today.


We are going we're going everywhere, man from from the seamounts of Hawaii to the jungles of Malaysia. Grander billfish on one hundred and thirty pound test to palm sized gourami on inch worms.


We got decks drenched in blood and snakeheads savagely biting their own young and half. Oh, do I sense a young full on horror movie?


Because we kind of already did that. Did do that, right? Nope, nope, nope. I don't I don't think we can. I don't think we can. Top billed dance in the Poltergeist. How are you this morning? Doing OK? Do you look more purple and brown, kind of a purple? Can keep it beat in one spot. What do you look for in a good vacation, right when you're on a fixed income?


I'm actually I'm trying to shoehorn this here, I'm trying to move us toward a topic that you and I have discussed off the air, but not so much on the air, which is, you know, just general cultural attitudes about the value of fish and fish lives in some cases because.


I'll tell you, I never liked that song. For the record, it's not my favorite Nirvana track. I'm also like, if I'm going to be honest, I'm like I'm not like a huge fan of this topic, but I will I will go on this ride with you.


I'm along. I'm along for this journey. We'll do it.


I didn't think this was going to be your favorite one. I didn't. I didn't. I was like, oh, Joe's going to want to talk about this. But I do I really do appreciate your tolerance.


As for the song, I think it's fine, you know, but that particular line, they're always kind of bugged me. And it led me to this thing where I blamed Cobain for Phish torture in an article I wrote a couple of years ago for the media to Netcom. Yeah, yeah. It was called it was called Ethical Fish Killing. What about the fish?


Because because hunters think and talk all the time about how an animal is harvested and its level of suffering, but no one seems to give a shit about fish.


Yeah, no, that's accurate. But and so we understand it. It's not that I don't think this is a valid topic because it is. Right. I just always felt because I've dealt with this before, I always felt like if you analyze that too much on the fishing side, it can easily lead to a conclusion that essentially we just shouldn't go fishing ever, unless the mission is only to catch exactly what we need for the table. And I mean, it's like it's not very meat eater of me to say, but food isn't the main motivator for me.


You know, like I like to eat fish, but it's not what makes me go. And I think most people listening to this podcast would feel the same way.


But it's a nice business. I'm with you and I like to eat fish and certains. Don't don't get me wrong. But I know it's not the reason I fish. And I agree with your point. Yeah.


And I do understand what you're saying because it just if we're just talking about treatment, I see that shit all the time and I can give you a thousand scenarios. Like the one that pops into my mind is guy striper fishing on the beach. Right.


You catch a blue fish and like dudes, I will literally kick the blue fish hard.


Not like a gentle nudge, like with a ballerina toe like full boot to the head, kick a bluefish back into the water. But then, like, when they catch a striper, they'll gently cradle it for the release.


And I'm like, dude, that's that's hypocritical. You see it like, yeah, you see it there. You see it all. I see it in a number of different places, to be honest. And the idea for the article came to me because I was ice fishing with some buddies one time and they're just like tossing their fish up on the ice. Just let them flop. Right. Right. Slowly die. And I mean, whatever they call me soft.


But it bothered me. It just didn't seem necessary. I'm not talking about the killing. I'm probably killing fish, but yeah, the slow, torturous death part. So, like, I pulled out my blade and I started, you know, dispatching all the fish. I killed everybody's fish and my buddies, those being all dramatic. And so that got me thinking about this idea of attitudes toward fish, because those dudes would if it was if they were talking about game, like they wouldn't have just been letting deer kind of like hobble around in the back of the truck.


They all die naturally. Yeah, that's not that's not a thing.


And I've heard I've heard Steven Rinella explain this by saying the people don't care about anything that doesn't have eyelashes, which I don't know might be spot on because we just it's weird, man.


Like if you start digging into this topic, did you know, for example, animal cruelty laws don't apply to fish in just about every state, like we have animal cruelty laws, but they don't cover fish. They don't care. Oh, I know. I didn't know that. Although I. I'm not really surprised. Fish are not cute. Right. And the eyelashes thing makes total sense. But I mean, it's it's not a hard, fast rule.


There are exceptions like think about it. Sea turtles are cute.


You know, dolphins are cute. No, that's a good point. A family on vacation. Like we you get the whole fam walk on the beach and they find a dead dolphin. My tears are shed, you know what I mean?


Dolphins, stuffed animals are later purchased and hugged to make the children feel better. But if the same family walks up on a washed up tapin or grouper, it's just gross. Don't touch.


They're costing you. It's gross, right? Yeah. Because fish can't be anthropomorphized the same way a little bit here and there. Like Nemo. Yeah. Dory. But that's like that's not enough to change the overall perception.


No it didn't work that neither neither did the the sea kittens campaign. For those of you PETA's brilliance and like.


Yeah. On the on on the Finding Nemo thing, they made two of those. The Dory sequel didn't work either. Oh yeah.


I've seen them all a million times, a million in one constantly.


But for all this, like you hear about this, like I said, PETA does their whole campaign. You hear about this in some places. But but the fishing media, like fishing folks, kind of avoid this because like as you're saying, it's kind of uncomfortable. This conversation is happening, though, and I feel like we as anglers, we need to be up on it. We need to have our answers ready. So, for example, last year I stumbled this weird story.


But it's true. I stumbled on this academic pissing match between camps of scientists who disagree about whether fish do or do not experience pain.


There's there's a whole book titled Do Fish Feel Pain from 2010 and. Spoiler alert. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah, absolutely. It's not a it's not a popular book, it's an academic. It's like a fish physiology book. But yeah, it is. And, you know, I know you're going to run out by that tomorrow, but spoiler alert, the author thinks that they do. Hmm. Right.


But then, like, right after that came out, this other researcher published a paper titled Why Fish Don't Feel Pain, which was a total shot at that book. And basically like the academic way of being like, yeah, you're stupid, you're wrong.


And I got sucked into this whole deep, dark hole and ended up into the reading. A lot of animal physiology journals, dude. It went on and on and on, as you might imagine.


Yeah, yeah. Nothing about you going on some science journal vision quest to figure out a fish feel pain surprises me. Right.


But I cut to what's the takeaway cut to the chase. There is no take that. There is none. I'm sorry but I didn't mean to set you up to think like I have the answer because no one knows the answer. Right. What this comes down to is that that pain and suffering are completely subjective experiences. Right. So they're almost impossible to study effectively. But I will I will leave you with one thing that I found useful. And this is this is the thing that I think is most compelling and short if you wind up in these conversations.




So pain researchers. And that is a thing they can separate unconscious responses to pain from the pain experience. Right. So to give you a concrete example, if you if you accidentally put your hand down on a hot stove or a hot pan.


Right. You notice that you will jerk your hand away before you actually feel the pain. Yeah, right. So those are two different things happening in your brain. There's the response to get your hand away, which is unconscious, and then like, oh, that hurt, which is conscious. So it's it's possible and possibly probable, depending on who's researched. You read that fish brains have the capacity for the unconscious response, like they can jerk away from bad things, but they can't actually they're not sophisticated enough to have a pain experience.


So that's what I tell myself, like that's my justification for like I'm OK with this. Yeah.


Yeah. I tell myself, what if it's like acupuncture, whatever feels good. Nobody can say that's inaccurate because nobody knows if they feel pain or not.


So I'm just like, what if that was like like a pleasurable well, a little jab in the mouth. And now, like, maybe he feels better his whole body anyway.


Yeah. Just to just to release the Israeli all sounds like a whole lot. I like Navel-gazing because as you said, all these really smart people have conducted all these experiments and written all these papers and books.


And the fact is we still don't know. Right. What fish experience when they get caught. But you know what?


We do know exactly, exactly the level of discomfort that people experience when they're trying to catch fish. We can speak to that. I know that well. Yes.


And on that note, we're going to transition here to our Smooth Move segment, where we bring on guides and outfitters and charter captains and get them to tell us stories about crazy shit they've seen clients do. And today we're traveling to Miles Original Homeland.


Whoo! How fun is that to hear an offshore captain tell a story of a sport who experienced suffering and humiliation, that you do not need a PhD to understand why.


Why don't you tell me how these people might die in our virtual studio, that we have a we have one of my old friends who I have not seen in ages at least 10 years. I don't know how long it's been my tap, man. What's up? It's really nice to see you.


Yeah, it's great to be here. Thanks for having me. Yeah, we always get those friends on, but now I feel like it's my turn.


We won't judge you on that. So I just don't have that many friends. Let's be honest and for context for everybody out there. Mike and I met when we were both guiding for trout and salmon at the same lodge in Alaska and and we were neighbors up in what we called the guide ghetto, because the clients all slept in actual buildings down by the river.


But the guides all lived in weatherboard tents up on the top of the hill. So we didn't frightened or offend the paying customers, I assume, and men as much of a pain in the ass as some things were about that place. I really miss that river and I really miss our crew. Like we said, good folks.


Now, it always seems to be like that by the end of the season. You can't wait to get out of there. But it's kind of like a Stockholm syndrome going on. It's like when do you go home? You're like, where's Miles? Where's my buddies? Yeah.


When we were getting up there, it was it was it was flyin conventional in Alaska. But then then you went off on a completely different direction. You went straight offshore. And I don't exactly remember how that happened. Like, how did you wind up going from what we were doing after chartering offshore boats?


Well, I've kind of been into all of it from the beginning. I grew up in New England, fishing in our striped bass and that sort of stuff. So then and small creeks for brook trout and stuff like that. So and then expanding to Alaska where I met you. I did that for a bunch of years. And from there I went to Key West where I get my toes into the offshore, but it was lighter tackle sailfish, Mahi's, that sort of thing.


Mm hm. And then wanted to expand some more so on a whim. Just came out to Hawaii with one phone number. I was a contact and here it's all heavy tackle. One hundred and thirty pound tackle just dragging lures for the biggest fish you could ever imagine.


I was going to say, man, you went you went right to the all star game. Like from like that's minor league in Key West compared to what you're doing. I'm excited to have a blue water guy on.


I don't get to talk to blue water guys ever is the first time on here. Yeah. The first water dude. Yeah, man. We want your favorite offshore smooth move. What do you got for us?


So this particular day I went to pick up my charter in the morning and it was a split charter. So it's not one group that rents the boat. It was a couple people are their part in. A couple of people get matched up with them that are strangers until that morning. So I go to pick up my charter and it's a young honeymoon couple from Illinois and then a single guy from Southern California. So about as different as you can get.


It's all good. Everybody meets new people, always have fun. So we get on the boat and I'm running through my safety spiel in the fishing spiel, letting them know what they're in for. And I hate to say it, but he's the quintessential Southern California guy. He doesn't want to listen to anything. I have to say he's doing his own thing. You guys know the deal. He's got this. He's got that. Yeah, yeah, yeah.


Let's go. Let's go. Oh, I know him. Yeah, yeah, yeah.


So we get out there, we're facing, we're trolling. So we get eight, ten miles off shore and we set up and we're trolling. And doing this offshore as a charter captain, you learn to pick up on the clues of when people are starting to feel not quite right and one of the main ones is they disappear for a long time. And I always tell people one of the main things, if you're not feeling good, you do not want to go down into the head.


You'll get a phobic. Yes.


Fresh air. Yep. Mm hmm. So I noticed that this gentleman from Southern California has disappeared for 20 minutes. So that's a red flag there, so I call my dad to end up on the bridge and I ask him where this guy is, he said, oh, he's been in the head for a while. I said, you better go check on him. It's been a while. So he goes down in there and he promptly comes right back up to the bridge and says, yeah, he's in the head, he won't come out.


I said, that's not good. You need to get him out. Open the door and drag him out into the fresh air on the. He can't stay down there. So he goes down within a couple of minutes, I'm looking down from the bridge and I see him basically dragging leading this gentleman out to the cockpit. Into the fresh air, and he is covered with vomit and feces from shoulder to ankles. Oh, and you'd think that would be the worst part.


But this guy figured in his seasickness stupor that probably the best thing to do on a shared charter with strangers would be to take off all of his clothes also.


Yes. So this oh, this guy is completely naked, stumbling around, covered in vomit. And my dad can sit him down in the corner and promptly gets the deck hose and starts spraying him off to clean them, which probably made him feel better.


The fresh water probably made him feel better. But the look on the faces of that young honeymoon couple, the shock and awe in their eyes, is something that I'll never forget. So here we are on one corner of the cockpit is this young couple trying to enjoy their honeymoon in Hawaii and then on the other side of the cockpit is this naked, overweight, hairy man curled up in the fetal position. It's not something that I like to advertise or say that this is what you'll enjoy on our trips.


But unfortunately, it's the reality. It's part of the deal. It's one of those days that you look back on and you don't want to repeat, but you'll never forget.


Did that sour or trigger like the the happy couple's trip in any other direction? Because, I mean, you've got a dude covered in shit and puke like that could easily make you get sick if you were, like, almost there. So luckily it didn't.


There was a huge division. So we're in a forty two foot sport fishing and it sounds like a big boat. But when you have something like that going on and you're on one side is on the other side, it's not a very big boat. You can't get very far away. They shrink really quickly on a short trip.


We got a couple of fish. They caught a couple of my mice and they stayed on their corner. And we had the guy covered in a towel taking care of him, kind of out of sight, out of mind. So they had a good time. They caught a couple of fish and they were smiles when they got off the boat and it all worked out all right for them.


I would have insisted on, like, mugging with a mahi with him in the frame somehow, like, can you get him in the frame laying on the deck like I would have had?


Yeah, it would have been funny.


But is that really a picture that you want to have an opportunity to look at now? See, that was great because that was that was a smooth moves and a tackle hack all wrapped in one. Whether people realize that or not, we got to laugh at poor Sokal sucker.


OK, and for those of you who are not well versed in offshore fishing, here's the valuable lesson. You never go below deck if you're feeling queasy. Now, if you are even getting a sense that you might be getting sick, you ride it out on deck, you stay in the fresh air. And I used to have a much smaller boat than Mike with a much smaller cabin. I'm not rolling around in Hawaii style boats, but for all those years I had it, if someone was like, man, I don't feel good, I want to go downstairs, I'm like, no, you are not.


I would I wouldn't literally put the lock on the cabin door. Yep. You do not go down there. Room number one. That is very good advice because you think you want to do that, but you don't. The what you got to do, take deep breaths, find a point on the horizon to focus on and just hope you don't go full on fetal because there's really no coming back after after you go there.


And one one other thing that you never, ever, ever, ever want to do on a boat, if you even have a tendency to get the keys, is read. I am a huge proponent of reading, but you don't bring books on offshore trips. It's just a bad idea.


I'm laughing at myself. That's no joke. So I don't really get seasick on a boat anymore unless it's like crazy, crazy rough.


It's got to be bad. But if I try and read anything like a menu, a book, something on my phone, in just a moving car, I'll vomit. Oh yeah. And it speaks to it's really what it is. It's anything close focused on the boat is bad. Yep.


That's why you want that horizon focus. That's why you want to look in the distance. Exactly.


I don't know how many people I've taken out who are totally fine until they have to like tie on allure like oh or in their face and entitlement in rock and see.


And it's just over, it's over right there anyway. So save the books for when you get back to the hotel room and Azure you're laying there on your crappy mattress feeling like you're still rising and falling with the swells, trying not to fall over in the shower, but perhaps enjoy the book Miles is recommending in this week's freakin Philistines.


What's Folkston? It's a guy who doesn't care about books or interesting films and things.


The first in the book recommendation for this week is Jungle Blues by Stu Tripti Stoos. Like the dose, a key sky of fishing, a guarantee his life story is more interesting than yours and mine, even though I don't actually know all that many details about him, which just kind of adds to the allure. He's a Scotsman who started winning fishing competitions at the age of nine, got into punk rock in his teens and spent a good bit of his youth driving tour vans across the UK and doing God knows what.


He ran safari tours in Africa, traveled the world, catching the strangest and most challenging fish you could find. He somehow settled in a small town in New Zealand, open that country's first flash shop, and became the first certified master caster in a nation that's synonymous with technol trout fishing.


Studeman made a name for himself as one of the most talented casting instructors and fly designers on the planet, but see nothing about STOO squares with most people's assumptions of a fly fishing expert. He's still a punk at heart, sporting tattoos and piercings, his shop, which no longer exists, was called Stew's Orgasmic world famous fly-Fishing shop and had a massive sign out front that simply read Fishing is fun.


Point is, Stew's our kind of guy, he loves the fish and he's a serious angler who doesn't take anything too seriously.


That attitude is on full display in his book when he drops off in the second sentence, you know, you're in for a departure from the standard fishing tone.


Reading Jungle Blues is kind of like closing the bar with an interesting and knowledgeable dude who knows how to tell a story based order. Another pitcher, Jungle Blues, recounts a travel fishing trip. But Stu doesn't go to a famous fishery, stay in a posh lodge and get guided.


That's not his style. Instead, Stu flies to Panang, a city in northwest Malaysia, because, well, he decided his house might be conspiring to kill him after he burned his bare ass cheeks on the new fireplace.


The South Island winner felt a bit too long and dreary, and his most recent attempts at small town tender proved disappointing. So he heads to Malaysia to meet up with an old friend and fishing buddy who's in the process of starting up a sport fishing business in the heart of the country. From the start, nothing goes to plan. Stew's buddy Paul gets sidetracked, stranding stew in Panang for a few days. With unexpected time on his hands, Stu decides to buy himself a little discount corrective eye surgery.


The results are just about exactly what you expect.


He also measures some severe food poisoning before finally getting out of the city with a twisted gut and a busted bleary and leaky eye. After meeting with Paul, Stoo gets on to the ostensible purpose of the trip fishing for Giant Snakehead on Lake Tamminga. This book is not great literature. Don't expect polished phrasings, potent metaphors or soaring prose. This is just a damn good story told by a compelling person. I don't want to give too much away, but Stu spends many weeks exploring the lake, living out of an aluminum boat in a sweltering jungle with just a few tarps, a hammock, some basic supplies and a few fishing rods still runs that derelict boat around a completely unfamiliar reservoir where a minefield of sunken stumps hide just under the surface and threaten to rip off the lower unit.


Since this leak isn't yet, an established sport fishery still spends much of his time looking for fish and works through many fishless days.


Nothing about the trip sounds comfortable or glamorous. He spends every night in a hammock or on background, eats nothing but canned food and absorbs severe sunburn and constellations of insect bites in addition to his busted eye. But for all the discomfort, Stoos trip is rich and fascinating. He learns how to find and target giant snakehead by searching for the schools of juveniles that swim near the surface and are accompanied by their full grown parents. He also discovers that while protective, those parents can't resist their predatory nature if one of their young winds up struggling on the end of a fishing line, he learns the habits of monkeys and watches Asian elephants frolic.


More than anything, though, Stu offers an understated primer on how to embark on a fishing adventure instead of a fishing trip. The cliché about valuing the journey over the outcome usually strikes me as a justification when someone falls short of their actual goal. Not the case here. Stu catches the big snakehead he's after. But that's not the climax of the story.


The climax, if there is one, is the slow build of relative comfort and familiarity that Stu achieves with an unfamiliar and somewhat uninviting place. Perhaps the best part about this book is that Stu doesn't need to make himself the hero or the expert. He's comfortable just being who he is. Here's a taste. Imagine it in a Scottish accent. In random remote areas around the island, Paul would find enough signal, though never a particularly strong one, to do his emails and stories.


He was tethered to the Internet and this became a common theme during our trip. He'd stay where he could find signal and I'd go off in a different direction on my own. This was fine, as were both lone wolf fisherman.


Anyway, we'd catch up once or twice during the week to talk shit around the campfire and share a few beers. For me, it was the perfect setup for discovery, adventure and fishing. We had two boats loaded up to last four to seven days at a stretch, Paul's boat was well set up for its size and mine was a similar four meter aluminum boat, though not as well set up. Both vessels had been spray painted in Paul's version of camouflage chic as he was convinced this looked cooler and was less likely to scare away fish than reflective aluminum.


Paul gave me a quick rundown of what was and wasn't on the boat and how the engine worked. He was very relaxed about it all. You'll figure it out. He kept saying hope. So I thought to myself, though, I was also glad that he wasn't trying to babysit me. I was excited to get on and do things for myself. We stopped on a small island with steep banks, long grass, Paul eased his boat between the tree stumps and onto the shoreline.


I cruised in behind him more slowly and warily and eased my boat alongside his. I jumped out with my rope, but as I did so, the boat shot forward and the nose dipped downward, hitting Paul's electric trolling motor and snapping the propeller in half. I was mortified. Here it was on our first boat journey, using equipment that Paul had kindly loaned me and within the hour I was electric outboard.


It was not a good start. I did my best to console Paul. I plied him with beer and let him know that I would pay to get fixed right away. He was pretty calm as he knew it was an accident. And here in the jungle. Well, what can you do? At least the main outboard still worked. You have to just learn to deal with it. He said it is what it is was. And at least nobody died.


How are you going to take the snakehead book? Oh, come on, I'm the snakehead guy. We got a travel book about snakehead fishing. And you didn't pass it on to me, weren't you? You were supposed to send me a copy of this book.


So that's a double insult. You like, I got this great book and you'd love it.


And then you don't send the book and then you do a segment on the book.


Yeah, I was supposed to do that. That's true. Your copy right here in my office, I can see it.


And I do feel a little bad, but only a little because. Yeah, OK, you got the line on snakeheads. You're the snakehead guy. But I actually got drunk with Stu, the guy who wrote that book one time in Florida. So I have as much right to claim that book as you do.


Yeah. You're the you'll end up doing like a stripper book next.


Yeah, I maybe I will. Maybe I will, but I won't. If you get off your ass and beat me to it, you could do Philistines anytime you want. Man, I'm not stopping you.


Yeah, but in this case you did stop me. You failed to send me the book which is stopping me. Right. Never mind.


Never mind that I can't actually really find any time to read anymore like I used to also. Never mind that the trout magnets, I promise you, arrived at your school and your goddaughter.


I knew you were going to do that. All right. Whatever. You're a better person. Fair enough. That's fine. But getting off of this topic is completely losing this. And back onto the topic that we were talking about with cultural attitudes about fish and books.


Do you know the classic children's book, The Tiny, Scrawny Lion?


No, I cannot say I've ever heard it. All right. All right. Quick overview, because you had to kind of know it. It's about a lion who eats all the animals in the jungle every day. But no matter how much he eats, he's never satisfied. This book is God. Awfully inaccurate and deeply messed up for a lot of reasons. First, lions don't live in jungles. Second, there's a whole thing about the lion eating kangaroos and, you know, wrong continent.


But factual errors aside, the whole book maybe was taking place during the time of Pangaea.


Oh, God. But the over the message. Right. The message from this kid's book is about how the land shouldn't be eating animals. And in fact, the lion only finds happiness and satisfaction when he stops eating all the animals and switches over to a diet of pure carrot stew, which he gets, which he gets from his new friend, the rabbit.


The rabbit teaches him a different way of being that centers around eating only carrots do and being friends with all the animals that he used to eat all the animals except for the fish which the rabbit catches and puts in the magical carrot stew. And again, there's so much wrong with this story in terms of what we're teaching kids about, like natural systems and predator prey relationships and what rabbits and lions actually do and don't eat. But I have to bit like the thing that stuck out with me was its attitude toward the fish.


Right. The whole the whole thing in this book, it's telling kids is eating animals is bad, but eating fish. Totally cool. Totally fine.


OK, all right.


But then we talk about Nemo, then you have those Nemo sharks with that whole fish are friends, not food deal memory.


Yeah. I just left me wondering then what do they eat. Do they only. They never answered my question. I know.


Do they only eat humans and scuba divers and rip people off boats and eat birds and shit because then that be, it'd be kind of painting sharks in a bad light to the children.


Yeah. Anyway, why are you asking me?


Why are you asking me about this book. Where is this coming from.


My my mom was reading it to my son over the computer the other day and I, I, it really bugged me and I haven't stopped thinking about it so well.


We should have her on and ask her what it means to her, like Reading Rainbow. Like what did she what is what is the message she gets out of this anyway.


Maybe maybe your preoccupation with this will play in my favor this week, because maybe you just been too distracted to follow up on the headlines and bring your A game in this week's Fish News.


Bishnu. That escalated quickly, OK, so very quickly, I'm sure we all remember the finger laws that we covered in Sabeen not long ago. I know you haven't forgotten the ones you know, the ones you insisted are fake.


That I insist are real and will lead to an investigation and subsequent Netflix docu series.


So this so we we posted the photo of those finger laws on our Instagram accounts.


And, man, did some people weigh in. Furthermore, a bunch of you have have seemingly done some sleuthing because we've gotten several links to other fake silicon fingers up for sale on online classified sites.


Apparently, they're used for people learning to do nail work. I didn't know that.


Yeah, I don't think somebody needs people who are weird going to work at a nail salon anyway.


Fair enough. But here's the fingerstyle. But here's the thing. Regardless, right. As far as I'm concerned, ain't none of them look as real or as good as the ones in the finger lower post.


Like none of them struck me as that. Realistic. And I feel the need to just relay this comment from Vince Stone, who is Vince has been following me for years. And Vince is a mortician by trade.


And this is what he what he wrote to me. He says, as your favorite mortician, which he is, I can confirm that those are the realest replication of severed fingers I have ever seen.


There are details on those fingers.


You just won't know unless you've seen them in real life.


Bang. Plot thickens from a real life mortician. Thank you, Vince. That's all I've got on that. But I'm just I'm just saying I'm backing myself up.


Yeah, fair. I'll say Vince is Vince is really going to like one of my my stories this week. Oh. Oh, I'm a little foreshadowing there, but Vince, listen up, because I think you're going to dig it.


I'm not going to call anybody out by name, but a lot of you have responded to the big mouth Buffalo fan clips. Oh, you did. And I appreciate all that.


And and looks like some people have figured out some ways to catch them, but but nobody seems to have fully cracked the code. So I'm sticking by that being like the next big super fun sport sportfishing to figure out.


Anyway, let's jump into let's jump into the news, as always. This is a competition, Joe, and I have no idea what exactly the other one is going to bring to the table. We just know that we want to vanquish one another into oblivion.


And the man who holds the key to that deciding factor, the decider himself, our engineer Phil.


All right, man, it's your week. Yeah, I do, I get to I get to lead off here. Man, you've already like you've already hinted that you're excited about one of your stories. So I'm nervous here. But anyway, we'll I will start here. And while this is kind of a foreign notion to you and that's a good thing out here on the East Coast, we are creeping in on trout season and opening days of trout season in many states.


In fact, I've seen both of my news stories around Stocker Trout.


So I've been hitting the drought season, by the way. That's yeah, I know. But it's been really just like allowed to.


It's not because there weren't any there last Tuesday until they came with the truck. It's just a different thing.


And some states have already opened out here, I believe. And while people that live in serious wild trout territory like you don't maybe fully get this rush to get out and beat on these tank range trout, for better or worse. Right. This is a big cultural thing here, you know what I mean? Like, my entire life opening day was the jam. I actually had an easier time falling asleep on Christmas Eve than the night before opening day trout when I was little.


And I mean, I retired from opening days many years ago. But I'm thinking this might be the season I dust off the change stringer because my kids are like right about at the right age.


So, you know, anyone planning to fish and well, lake on opening day in Jersey, I'll be there dominating and I apologize for that.


But anyway, we're within these completely manufactured fisheries, right? There are three goals. One is to limit out.


And that's the easiest goal, too, is to catch the breeder like you want to be the guy in the parking lot with the queen pellet head on your chain. Stringer jangling Right.


And then three is to stick a golden trout, otherwise known as a palynologist.


That's not golden trout. That's a palomino trout. There's a difference. I'm not trying to be a dick, but. No, no, you're right.


Scientifically speaking, you are correct. But both terms are acceptable here.


And if anybody doesn't know, like the ones I'm talking about, they're just hatchery rainbows that are bred to basically be hunter orange and practically glow in the dark.




So catching them palomino, it's somewhat of a rite of passage. So needless to say, when the state of West Virginia canceled its annual gold rush last spring due to covid, people were extremely upset.




And according to the story I found on West Virginia Metro, the annual gold rush is such a draw in West Virginia, the state feared that the crowding it's known to cause on lakes and streams could become like super spreader events. That's how many people are down on the gold rush. So they nixed it.


And so you understand many states stock palominos, but they're just kind of, you know, they're just like scattered in the mix, which is why in Pennsylvania, as an example, they're often prized because there might be one in an entire, you know, long stretch of stock stream and everybody will be crowded around the whole it's in because you can see the damn thing, right.


So it's like who is going to get that one out of the hole?


But West Virginia raised fifty thousand golden rainbows this year for the much anticipated gold rush, and they'll be planted in sixty two bodies of water, both lakes and streams.


For comparison, Pennsylvania will be stacking a mere thirteen thousand Golden State wide this year. So West Virginia, I've learned from this, may be like the most golden trout, palomino obsessed state, because what they do is they dump all these fish in the same week.


So unlike other states where the palominos are mixed in with the regular stock dates, this is a Gore voter.


It's more of a gold blitz. Then it's a gold dump. It's a gold dump. It's a gold blitz, if you will.


So here's a quote from the story.


We start getting calls around October asking if we have made plans for next year's gold rush.


There are people all over the country who make vacation plans around the gold rush, said Jim Hedrick, hatchery systems manager for the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources.


So in the past, I guess there have been some prizes involved for tagged fish and such. But this year the state is going bigger and better than ever. The story. The agency has also created some additional suspense around the fish this year. Catch a tagged trout and you could win a three, not seven, stay at Blackwater Falls State Park. A one night Gavyn stay in a state park or forest, a West Virginia state parks gift card or exclusive gold rush merchandise.




And so here's my opinion. Anything that gets people excited to get out and fish cool. I'm all about it.


I personally have never really understood the appeal of these fish, but I never I never got it. And I mean, if you ask me what they're good for is letting you know where other trout are. I mean, it's like, oh, there's palominos. So there must be ten more trout around it.


But I use the term indicator species to a totally different level spot on.


But I find them like kind of gross and often dumb and like people post pictures of them on a grill and it's just like it's like koi, you know.


I mean, like they're still bright orange after you've sprinkled them with Mrs. Dash and put them on the web or, you know, however, that said.


I will admit that while I don't ever seek them out, if I stumble on the one by accident and there's nobody around like you just can't help it because it's like a friggin I can see that magnet gets a magnet.


And like, what I refuse to do, like I said, is stand around a hole with 10 other dudes and like, bombard one.


But mutual buddy of ours, Tim Romano and I, we were floating a local creek near my house a few years ago, late season like for smallmouth. And all of a sudden we spot this big golden in a run far away from a stock point.


And we sat there for like an hour trying to catch it, like, you just can't help it. And it happened to me this past summer. Same thing, late day, super slow. Nothing happened except for this one giant friggin golden trout. And we sat there for an hour change in flies and like, you see everything that happened.


So it's a great movie. Oh, man.


Turned off of it, you know what I mean? And it you just like you get glued to it.


So that's like a no no.


So I find his a palomino tip for you, pal. You know, hungry people. It's like you got to crack him right away because he'll chase for a while.


But usually, like, they're aggressive, if you like, as soon as you throw a spinner or stick bait or whatever or even drift a worm.


But like they get wise quick there they are kind of aware.


I mean, every hauk inherent in the planet, it's just like, oh, there he is.


So, you know, I don't know, man. I kind of feel like I want to go to the gold rush. Like it's a thing like even though I don't care about palominos, I'm interested in the West Virginia gold rush I got.


Right. I've a couple of things. Number one, I don't feel like that was a great use of agency money because it sounds like the gold rush is already such a thing. Like why are you incentivizing that?


It seems to me like if you're going to spend that money, spend it on getting people excited about, like the catfish that nobody wants or. Yeah.


Or the new river smallmouth. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I don't I don't think that's the best use of resources because I don't think you're going to need to incentivize people to go after them from what you're describing.


But more more to the point, I just sort of feel bad for these fishermen. Like first of all, they're raised in this hatchery laboratory setting to be this creepy, weird color. And so they lived most of the life in a race where a hatchery pond, which can't be that great, and then they get dropped somewhere and they just have to live in fear because they're either being bombarded by by anglers or attacked by predators. It seems like a terrible life, is what I'm saying.


You know, it it is it is probably a terrible life. But it's like out here, man, like you will take our golden trout out of our cold, dead hands like this with our gold.


That's not what I'm saying. I'm just I'm just what I'm really saying that because that sets me up to talk about my next story, which is what I'm to, which has to do with with, you know, potentially feeling feeling bad for fish. So just so you know, that whole thing was all about me and getting to talk about what I want to talk about.


Good. And it also needed help with your Segway. It also fits with the theme of the show, right. That we've been talking about, which is, you know, feeling bad for fish, fish, welfare, all that stuff. So I recently read a Vox article titled The Next Frontier for Animal Welfare, Colen Fish. And in reading the article, I found out about a relatively new nonprofit called the Fish Welfare Initiative.


Now, considering the source article where I found this group and their name, I was like, oh, no, here we go with sea kittens again.


God damn it.


But hold on. Actually, wait before I keep going. I think that's the second time we've referenced sea kittens on this show. And and I feel like we got to explain that. So for those who have no clue what we're talking about, some years ago, PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals put out this whole anti fishing media campaign that tried to get everyone to stop calling fish fish and start calling them sea kittens.


Was that the same campaign with the comic book called Your Dad's an Asshole or whatever it was? I know your dad is a murderer. Your dad's a comic book by PETA.


I should have kept it. I had it and I tossed it. I mean, it was like like they really thought that just this simple rebranding exercise would, you know, convince the world to completely change global commerce and food supply and destroy the recreational fishing industry just because they made a comeback.


And as we've also said, it worked in the opposite way for Chilean sea bass. You say they changed their name and they're all dead. So careful what you wish for.


And shockingly, the Sea Kittens campaign, it never really took hold.


It's kind of it also, if you see their more recent one, their most recent PR campaign to to end this is a quote, remove speciesism from our daily conversations, by the way they're doing this is by replacing idioms like kill two birds with one stone with feed two birds with one stone or bigger fish to fry becomes bigger fish to fry.


Oh, I, I try I try to at least be respectful when I see people working toward goals they genuinely believe that are right, even if I totally disagree with them. But dude, PETA just they're just such an easy target.


I can't help myself. I know.


And I don't want to get off. Remember when they made those photo frames for social media like PETA put out those like you'd frame a picture of an animal you loved and put this autopsy to frame on it. And everybody thought it was funny to just put their dead deer in bears and stuff in that frame.


Yeah, in my opinion, I'm like, don't do that, because I know you're trying to be funny, but you're just still calling attention to your terrible move. It's true.


Anyway, you know, but back to the back to this is not a PETA story. Back to the Fish Welfare Initiative, which is also known as why.


Like I said, I thought they were going to be going to peter out when I first wrote about those, like, oh, God, but. Their mission is much more practical, which makes them harder for me to dismiss as opposed to PETA, whose arguments are just like purely anthropomorphic and are purely just just appealing to emotion. There's no logic there. Why focus on sound research and rational perspectives?


Their stated mission also has absolutely nothing to do with fishing. So FBI wants to change fish farming. Fish are the most farmed vertebrates in the world, up to 180 billion fish are being raised at any given time and that number is growing.


But fish farms have lots of issues that we've we've we've talked about on this program before, like we are not huge fans. They pollute ecosystems, harm populations of wild fish and a bunch of different ways allow non-native species to get into places they're not supposed to be. Feeding farmed fish requires harvesting huge amounts of wild fish and pulling them out and and way back a few months ago, I did a story on Luser Fish, which is the actual industry term for the 25 percent of farmed fish that give up on life and stop eating and never make it to harvestable size.


Point being, current fish farming practices are problematic. I totally agree there.


Now, the Fish Welfare Initiative realizes that aquaculture is the fastest growing food sector worldwide and their goal is to help fish farmers shift their practices in ways that will make fish farms more efficient and less harmful. So far, I'm totally on board. They're currently partnering with fish farms in India and they're looking to expand to China and the Philippines to make these farms more productive, more profitable and less detrimental to ecosystems and wild fish. Again, totally with that. Right, but while they lead their conversations talking about increased profits, fish quality and sustainability.


The core of their mission is all about improving living conditions for farm fish, as I read through their materials, I find myself simultaneously like nodding along to like, yeah, totally agree with you.


And then stepping back and wondering, like, what am I am I just opening up my mental gates to to a Trojan horse?


I'm not opposed to fish welfare, like I said at the top of the show, I'm that guy that puts other people's fish out of their misery when they're flopping on the ice or in the deck of a boat. Yeah, one of the many reasons I hunt is to avoid supporting factory farms too much. I got no issue with eating animals, but I don't like eating animals that never really lived. I think industrial chicken farming is nasty and industrial fish farming isn't much different.


It's very, very similar at sea. That's accurate.


So I'm totally in favor of changing the way that those practices are done. So why does this group make me nervous? Like, why do I find myself struggling to trust this initiative and fully get on board?


Because even though they don't mention fishing anywhere on their website or the articles and reports I read, I can't help but think that an organization called the Fish Welfare Initiative isn't so hot on fishing for fun in sport.


Their stated mission is, quote, to improve the welfare of fish as much as possible.


They also stated on their website that, quote, Fish are sentient beings capable of feeling pain as much as terrestrially farmed animals. On that point, I just absolutely disagree or whatever. I choose to disagree because I've read the research. I even interviewed one of the leading experts on fish pain experience. And I'm just not convinced that fish pain is the same as sentient being.


I'm not convinced or I choose not to be convinced whatever however you want to look at it.


That said, I still think fish farming is is problematic. And I don't like the idea of fish living their entire lives in overcrowded confinement, stewing in each other's waste. I also understand that aquaculture is going to be more and more important for feeding growing global population, especially if we want to take some of the pressure off wild fish stocks.


And and I would like to see that farming done in ways that are more efficient, more more profitable, produce higher quality meat, create less waste, don't screw up ecosystems.


And yeah, sure, if that's less terrible for the fish, I'm on board with that too. Like, they can't check all the boxes. But I wonder, like, can we ever really be friends? Like now, can an organization like the Fish Welfare Initiative ever see anglers as partners? Almost all of our stated goals are the same. I want them to succeed. But not if it means that we have to agree that fish are sentient beings and that fishing is therefore barbaric and cruel, it's this weird thing where, like, I'm with them all the way up to a point.


And I think when push comes to shove, we're going to fight.


You can't call fish sentient beings and then be OK with recreational angling. So let's just assume that we would not be friends.


I know. I don't know that it's you know, it's a tough thing, man.


And I might sound like a little jerky here, but, you know, if you look at it from all sides, it's like you and I aren't really huge on fish farming in the sense of like we don't really buy farmed fish.


I don't eat farmer's salmon and all that stuff.


But can you have it both ways?


Like fish farms are existing because there's a demand for more fish. And I mean, that is hypothetically taking strain of wild fisheries in certain places. But now this group is like.


But yeah, but those fish aren't happy, right?


I mean, that's basically what they're saying is like the fish like.


So if you go down there, bullet point list, like, that's the bottom of the the list. It's all like profit sustainability, efficiency, workers rights. Like they hit all these other things. I'm like, yeah I agree, I agree, I agree. And you get to the bottom like and the fish are said and I'm like, well yeah I care about that too, but not as much as those other things. Yeah I am.


I'm sort of like at a loss for what to say on that one.


I mean, I'm all about, you know, efficiency, right. I don't I don't like waste in any farming.


You don't you don't you don't really want to know or talk about like how much chicken or fish or whatever it might be is is is wasted.


Is it awful to say, like I, I don't feel sad for farmed, I don't feel sad for fish. I am very respectful of fish that I catch. I don't want to harm fish.


Right. Unless I'm taking them to eat them. If I am I'm going to dispatch them humanely. But like I can't.


I can't look at them like the sad turkeys in the Purdue video, I just can't it's a fish and and with with the pain thing, look, for better or worse, that's a huge debate. I am pretty much on your side, but like, you can't hear a fish, you know, like a dog.


You know, you step on the dog's tail dog, let's, you know, like. Yeah.


So what if they don't vocalize? So, you know what's it's like there's just there's just no winning with these people.


Sometimes we want to see wild salmon. That's good. So we have salmon farms, OK, they have their issues, but they are serving a purpose and a demand.


But those fish are sad like, holy shit, I'm sorry, I'm going nowhere here.


I'm just like stream of consciousness spouting off. And I just just what's really set you up to have a lot to say there. I just I found that to be first. It fit the theme of the show and to like this is a new initiative that's coming in. I think it's something that we as anglers are going to contend with.


And it found I was interested because I agreed with so many of their points until that last year. I'm like, I don't think we're actually friends.


I just did it. And we're not and we're not going to be friends. And at some point these people will will come up again, I'm sure.


If they're upset about the well-being of fish, I don't know who worries about the well-being of bugs because they're going to take issue with my last story. Who are the bug people? All right. I'm just letting you know right now, OK? I don't need to hear it. I don't need your bug comic book, you know, a. butterfly nets or whatever.


And this is not really news anyway.


But I flagged it because when I read it, I was struck with the notion that you can, in fact, teach old dog new tricks.


And it also fits, like I said, with my stalker trout theme. Plus, I learned something I never knew. And I'm curious after after everybody hears this to see if anyone writes in and goes, yeah, dude, this is legit. And I've been doing this for years. OK, anyway, there's always just a bunch of sort of spring related nature stuff in the news this time of year.


And, you know, like the caucuses are blooming in Central Park or get out and look at the grass.


Chicago, you know, like all that junk. Right.


So so this this is similar vein. This little story comes from the citizen's voice, which appears to cover northeast Pennsylvania.


And it's all about goldenrod and more specifically, the Goldenrod golf fly.


OK, so goldenrod, extremely common grows coast to coast.


Wherever it grows, it gets these these golf flies.


And the main photo in the article is a stock of goldenrod with an almost perfectly round like ping pong ball size, not right in the middle of the stock. And when you see this photo, many of you like me, you'll probably be like, oh, yeah, I recognize that. I've seen those knots a million times walking around out in the woods and along the streams.


And of course, I never gave them much thought and but the knot or gall, which is what it's really called, and how the fly gets its name, it's the same color as the stock and it looks like just a seed pod or something. You just assume it was part of the plant. But inside each one of these Gall's, these knots is a single clump, fat, juicy little grub. Right. So these golf flies hatched in the spring, but right now, at least in the northeast, they should still be in grub form.


And because the goldenrod isn't in bloom and all the undergrowth hasn't come in, these knots or Gall's are much easier to spot right now.


And according to the author, I know where you're going with this. I really hope you're going where I think you are. I don't know. I now I'm nervous that I'm not going there and you'll be disappointed it.


Anyway, according to the author, Craig Morgan, those golf fly grubs are like exceptional trout bait and hand fish bait.


Yes, like premium premium, high quality shit here, man. And this bait supply is free and easy, easier to collect even than digging worms or looking for grubs like an old wooden stuff.


And he says, you know, you go clip off a couple dozen of these gulls, just put the whole goal in the largest pocket of your fishing vest, and then you just use your pocket knife to slice them open as needed and look inside. Each one is just like a perfect, delicious, juicy trout.


You got to do this.


Yeah, I am going to go do this, OK, right before I head to the gold rush.


All right. But he says he does know. Be careful because these goals can be kind of hard. So I cut him open carefully. I don't like, you know, let your knife slip. And not only did I find this pertinent, like I said, with trout season about to open, but for me it was like, who knew?


I have there's so much goldenrod around here, especially along a lot of the streams.


I fish in North Jersey and you just look at this and it just looks like a like a nasty weed pot seed thing.


And you're like, holy shit. So all these years of trudging along these streams, like there was an endless supply of awesome trout bait there I never knew existed. And then, you know, the competitive world of opening days, you know, you want the leg up.


Yeah. Yeah. You'll be the only one in the hole on opening morning with something better than your special blend of power base. So I am very curious.


This is one of those things that somebody listening has to have been doing this and is either like ours or I can't wait to try it. I can't wait to try it.


So it's just this little nature thing. It certainly wasn't focused on fishing by any means, but like, look at this little nugget which I have now shared. That's great.


You have you have gold. You are going to be. Yeah.


I mean, we're later our season living here, so it's not up yet. You have them later on the lookout for that for sure. Yeah. The only Segway transition I can think of is that I'm going to talk about something that I really hope nobody wants to use for bait.


I really hope so.


My next story comes from National Geographic. And like you alluded to earlier, after the response we got from the Severed Fingers Leuer segment, I just had to run with this.


It is it is kind of a stretch for fish news, but I think I think I found a way to justify it at the end.


We'll see if you agree.


In the Pacific Northwest, between Vancouver Island and the mainland is this body of water called the Salish Sea. And down at the southern end of it is where you find Puget Sound. Yup. Since 2007. At least 20 human feet have been found washed up on beaches and rocks in this small area.


Oh, I love it. I love this. They are never found in pairs, always individually, though.


Sometimes a matching foot will wash up later on a different beach and the feet are always found encased in shoes. Generally, sneakers. In 2008, five different disembodied feet were discovered, local media were were all over the mysterious feet beat, as you might imagine. And people started freaking out, right. Like rumors of a serial killer started circulating in Wisconsin.


He doesn't need to out the police. Tip lines were just lighting up with all these assertions about deranged murderers and sunken shipping containers full of migrants, some warnings of an impending alien invasion. And, of course, of course, the well-meaning psychics that were constantly calling in on their services. As always happens. Ultimately, though, it wasn't law enforcement who eventually did figure this mystery out. But forensic pathologists and oceanographic researchers see when bodies end up in the water.


They usually sink, they might float first, but they usually sink and in cold water, like off the coast of the Pacific Northwest, they don't decay or bloat. They just kind of sit down there. And in certain circumstances, bodies can last for centuries, if undisturbed, in cold, low oxygen water, but that doesn't happen in the Salish Sea. Instead, any organic tissue dead, humans included, is quickly set upon by a mob of scavengers like shrimp, lobsters and crabs.


And this is where I just I've got to quote the article like this is the best line from National Geographic.


I have to quote it directly. So here it is.


It was as if a Red Lobster buffet had risen up to exact its revenge and props to Erica Engle helped for some solid word smithing there because that was that was very well done.


Anyway, the sea creatures feast on the remains and they start with the soft bits.


Ankles happened to be very soft connective tissue, so feet will quickly become disarticulated from the rest of the body and modern sneakers, such as the ones we've been using for about the past 20 years, are very buoyant, right?


Yeah. And in all but one of the washed up feet, that was the case. They were in modern buoyant sneakers.


So it makes sense. The bodies lost at sea would lose their feet if they were wearing sneakers and that those feet would drift away, but that doesn't explain why they keep showing up in this one localized area. That mystery was solved by a researcher who created a computer simulation. And the point of it initially was to predict what would happen in the event of an oil spill near Seattle. And his model shows that just about anything set adrift in that area will flow straight into the Sailor Sea.


Yep. Yep. It's all kind. It's all about exactly. Yeah. Yeah. And you add into that the fact that the Pacific Northwest has lots of people wearing sneakers and hiking around the rocks and you get this logical answer for why the area attracts all these disembodied sneaker clad feet. Creepy, none of these feet, none of the feet found has ever been connected to foul play. It's all natural causes, but they keep going to that same place.


They find the real people they like. They've connected like they they figure out who's feet. They are not out there, haven't they have not identified all of them, but they've identified a lot of them. The majority of them have been identified. It took a long time. Some are decades old, but yeah, they found them. And it's possible that some people out there, maybe even you, Joe, are currently wondering why this this counts as fish news and I have answers.


First, several of the feet belong to anglers who are thought to have slipped off the rocks and drowned. So this is a cautionary tale, right? If you're sure casting, be careful. Bad things can happen. I'm not saying don't go do it.


Just be smart.


Second, a lot of the feet were found by fishermen, which again, not surprising, right? Who's down on the rocks getting to the places where things wash up that aren't always seen going to going to be going to be anglers. But the final reason and my personal favorite one is, is like I'm talking to all the shellfish lovers out there, myself included. And I just want us to recognize that given the chance those shrimp, crabs and lobsters would gladly eat you and your whole family.


All right.


And whether that makes you feel better or worse about dumping them live into a pot of steaming water is totally up to you, but know that they would have no qualms about it. Love this.


I don't care why it's connected to fishing. I was like, I don't care how you connect this. I just absolutely love this. And it brings up a few things for one.


OK, as a Northeast surf fishing guide, anybody fishing rocks anywhere, even if it's in like August and like, it's super warm.


I was always blown away when I first started wearing Geddie cleats on rocks, like how effective that is.


So even if you get like the stupid little strappy crampons by tiny little studs makes a world of difference, you will not slip off the rocks.


But OK, what this brought to mind, because I knew right away I was like, there's something about the current that's putting the feet there later.


And I fish a lot on the Niagara River out of Lewiston, New York. And that's about, I want to say, seven miles, six miles from Niagara Falls. Niagara Falls is upstream of there.


And almost every jumper that jumps off of Niagara Falls to commit suicide, they pop up at the boat ramp in Lewiston.


And it's just because of the way they sink and the currents work that like 99 percent of the time if somebody jumps and they're they're going to be recovered, it's because they pop up there in Lewiston. And that's what this made me think of. And I'm up there. I'm like, please don't let that happen. I really don't like I really I don't want to see that.


But I find that and I find that. I love that little stuff.


It was a good I. I very much enjoyed the.


Well, we'll see what Phil has to say subsequently.


That just put me in the mood for Cheddar Bay Biscuits, that story and hear from Phil. Maybe they have that or a version of it at the bar we're going to go drinking at.


I am nothing, if not basic, and therefore a little light body horror gets me going. So, Miles, you're the winner this week.


Joe, you beat me to the punch with that Cheddar Bay Biscuits reference. So I had to make some tweaks to this next joke, and I hope it works out just as well.


OK, here we go.


You don't have to tell me that a shrimp would gladly eat my eyeballs out of their sockets to get me to go hard on some scampi and Mountain Dew margaritas at my local Red Lobster.


OK, not great, but I'll workshop it. Best God damn bartender from Timbuctoo to Portland, Maine, to Portland, Oregon, for that matter. This week, we're bringing in the pub praise back to Montana, you might remember that our first ever that's my bar segment, shout it out, the sip and dip in Great Falls and also pay homage to the joints.


Legendary master of ceremonies piano.


Pat, was that our first man that feels like forever ago? It was a while ago and I don't know.


I don't remember if it was the first, but it was it was among the first. I know that for sure.


And we haven't had another Montana bar since then. We have not. We have not.


And this is why I'm so excited, because, you know, to be totally honest, the sip and dip is like kind of an expected play. It's probably Montana's most famous bar, like has been written up crosscountry, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. But that's not the case for this week's watering hole. This week, we've got Tobey's Tavern, which might be the state's best kept secret.


Yeah, it's a good email. Have you have you been at this place? Well, that's what I'm saying. Like, that's why I say that way, because I haven't I have to admit that I've I've never been there and know that, like, I've never even heard of it. I had no idea existed until listener Ryan Knapp sent a very, very persuasive email. And it convinced me it's good.


I'm I'm 100 percent convinced that I need to get my ass over to northeast Montana for a drinking trip with a little fishing thrown in very, very soon.


Now, here's a point. Even though Ryan never said so in his email, I'm pretty damn sure that the dudes from Missoula, because he made sure to work in a dig on Bozeman when he was right in there. And the thing is, Godlove, a Maslin's, they do two things really, really well.


They're so good at soaking their dreads and patchouli oil and throwing shade oppose me.


But I personally, I don't I don't debase myself. I don't get into that whole petty rivalry thing. It's it's nothing but for me.


No, clearly. Clearly you are well above such pettiness. Yeah.


Enjoy that. Maslin's back to this bar, though. It's Ryan's moment, not yours.


Here's here's what he writes.


He says, Located in Knox in Montana, up near the Idaho panhandle on the Clark Fork River, you'll find Toby's Tavern.


Toby is no longer with us. However, his daughter Gail keeps this eclectic establishment going with an infectious passion for this cultural landmark. To hear her tell it, she was married in the bar and has been there ever since, working six days a week. And she can easily fill an afternoon with very interesting stories.


And Ryan says, Ask me how I know that I want to because I do, too.


Yeah, the thing I this is a great email, but I really wish that Ryan had provided at least one example from Rachel's repertoire of storytelling because, you know, they're good. Yes. Right. And, you know, good on him. It's probably the better call because now I know I have to actually go there to get a taste. But the other thing I got to I got to say, Ryan did well here is that it was a smart move leading with Gail.


Right. Because having the right character, pouring drinks and wiping glasses is really what ultimately makes or breaks a great body. Totally. Right. Like that is the core. That's the nucleus of a great bar is a great bartender. And it sounds like Tobi's has got it going. It sounds like Dale is is exactly what you want in a bartender.


But the space itself also sounds like the kind of spot where I want to listen to Gil tell stories. Here's here's how Ryan describes the ambiance. On stepping through the door into this dark space, one is overwhelmed by the accumulation of photos, memorabilia, shoulder mounts and big fish adorning any surface to which they can be fixed up to and including the ceiling bumper stickers on the coolers and glass are an entertaining time capsule into the contentious issues of the Arabs when they were put up.


It's obvious this bar doesn't take itself too seriously, as evidenced by the copulating mountain lion taxidermy set up on the jukebox. And that right there didn't even have to read the email.


Just click the photo. That was the moment I knew for sure we were going to shout out this bar.


Yeah, because there's there's there's mountain lions having sex over the jukebox. Somebody did that.


Somebody took to real mountain lions and skinned them and then made that best of all, Ryan, he said like I said, he sent us a photo. Right. So head over to my Instagram account.


If you if you want to see this skin mount, rendering of lion love on top of this jukebox loaded with country classics.


I'm sure you might be wondering, however, if this really counts as a fishing bar. Well, Ryan covered that bass, too, he explained, while indulging in successive rounds of Just one more with my wife. We met folks passing by on a road trip. Couples on Harley's enjoying the scenic Montana roads, locals just stopping in to say hello. And a gentleman who was in town working on his hunting cabin that gave me a hot tip on a mountain lake full of cutty's in the nearby cabinets.


Boom, beautiful fishing bar perfection.


Nailed it, Ryan. Well done on the submission. If you take me to your secret tudy lake, I will buy all the drinks at Tobey's afterwards, I promise. And if any of you out there have a bar that deserves a shout out on the show, take a cue from Ryan.


Give yourself a few minutes and write a compelling callout, then send it to Bente at the Meat Eater Dotcom. Definitely put Tobi's on your summer travel list, I think we'll all be traveling more this summer, someone traveling right to. Yes, going straight, straight over to Toby's, that place sounds 100 percent legit. Just a damn fine drinking and bullshitting establishment. No gimmicks necessary, which which actually makes it the polar opposite of the lure that Joe is going to tell you about in this week's end of the line.


It's not loud enough, but. Roland Martin, Jimmy Houston, Bill Dance, Hank Parker, when most Americans think about bass fishing pioneers, those are the names that stand out. I mean, we've watched them on TV since we were little, grown up with them and caught more HOGGE Bass because of them. But those four fellows wouldn't complete the Mount Rushmore of bass legends should something so breathtaking ever be chiseled because someone is missing and that someone is Chuck Woolery.


A lot of you grew up watching Chuck Woolery, too, albeit as the host of The Love Connection.


Now here to tell us more about Love Connection is our host, Chuck Woolery.


And for many of our young listeners that don't know what the love connection is, it was tender in front of a live studio audience which got to decide who you hooked up with.


And this is Charles. He likes women with smooth skin, long legs and loving eyes.


But as it turns out, while Chuck spent 11 years connecting awkward people on a hockey game show that paved the way for shit like The Bachelor and MTV's Catfish off camera, Chuck was connecting with bass. I learned this from listener Eric Hopkins, who made me hip to what could be the greatest bass lure you've never heard of. The Chuck Woolery series modeler Eric sent a photo of the Moto law, which he says a friend purchased some years ago at a goodwill store.


So taken aback was I that allure bearing the signature of the guy who played the band manager in the 1997 made for TV movie. Hey, hey. It's the monkeys had slipped past my radar.


I had to know more. Little did I know, though I was throwing myself into one of fishings greatest mysteries.


Usually the end of the line focuses on allures history and every lure.


Even the TV famous ones like the Banjo Mineau and the Flying Lure has a story that starts with one man's garage innovation.


They have roots tied to real angler's, but not the moto lure. It seems to have just appeared out of the ether like the monolith in 2001 A Space Odyssey.


While there are several styles of moto lure, the one that pops up most often looks like a standard popper.


But the line Tiye on all these lures is connected to a string that extends when you twitch it in the water, thus winding up an internal mechanism that makes the tails kick and vibrate for a few seconds while the bait is at rest.


It's simply modeled after a pull string car or dinosaur Pokémon you might buy for your kids. The Lures slogan continuous live action.


In essence, you can say this was the precursor to today's robotic laws that are charged via U.S. B, but Chuck Woolery and Motorola are in it together.


How? Why? My investigation led to a DVD released in 2004 titled Bass Fishing The Basics with Chuck Woolery.


It's still available on Amazon for 15 bucks and it has exactly five reviews, one of which reads, If you have never fished in your life, then you might get something out of this.


But I was very disappointed in a world where everything is online, clips from this DVD are suspiciously absent. In fact, all I could find was the DVD shitty musical intro, but at least I had a timeline, assuming the Matola endorsement came in the early 2000s to coincide with the DVD. But as mysteriously as the MATOLA appeared, it seems higher powers try to erase it within just a few years and you'll still find it on Amazon and a few other odd tackle sites.


But it's it's out of stock or unavailable. The link to Chuck Woolery. Bass fishing debt.


All that remains is a video posted by YouTube user Western Cowboys' called Chuck Woolery Matola Instructional.


It's six and a half minutes long, filmed in a single unbroken take as Chuck dressed in a new fishing vest and crisp camo hat, clearly pulled right from wardrobe, prattles on about the model or in a tone that says, I could give a shit about this, just pay me.


I thought it was a real gimmicky kind of thing, didn't really understand it, didn't figure out what it would do, and I was kind of forced into using it.


There's the sound. Look, click at the click, click, click. And it will do that for about seven to eight seconds.


If you want to see the moto chug action, you can find that on YouTube, too. It's just that you won't see it in action. Around the time it was released, in the handful of review videos, I watched the angler's make it known that this is something that's been sitting in their garage for years or that they have no recollection of how they even acquired it.


Notably, however, Mike, better known as one rhod, one real fishing on YouTube, use his to catch a few giant Marillyn bass in a small pond and over one million adoring fans watched him do it to me.


Leaning on Chuck Woolery to sell your bass, Lawrence seems so absurd that I can't help but wonder if it's not absurd at all. Maybe the Moto law was too powerful.


Maybe Chuck Woolery was silenced by the likes of Yamamoto and striking to ensure his next level best knowledge couldn't reach the masses.


And here's what Chuck has to say about that.


Frankly, they're missing the point. Take it from my philosophical guru and life coach. Iced tea.


You know, the right to bear arms is because that's the last form of defense against tyranny. Tyranny in the upper echelon of American barsa icons, that's clearly at play here and stopping Chuck from taking his rightful seat at the right hand of Denny Brauer.


And with that forgotten nugget, we wrap up our pop culture reference and fishing info, scavenger hunt, here's hoping you got a hold of all the hidden goodies, including one book you should absolutely buy for all your snakehead obsessed friends, another book you should absolutely not buy for your kids unless you want to deeply confuse them about food chains.


The perfect lure to put on your Tinder profile and how to spend half a week's wages completely debasing yourself and ruining someone else's honeymoon.


And if you buy a steak handbook for your friend, actually give it to them would be good. Anyway, we are we are all about public service here. And if you're appreciating all that we give or maybe frustrated about what we don't send an email to bent at the meat eater dotcom. Also, remember, we're always looking out for your bar nominations, selborne items and awkward fishing photos, among other things.


Those those emails are the highlights of my week. No, totally. So thank you to all of you who send us stuff even if it doesn't make the podcast. We appreciate it. We also appreciate seeing all the stuff you put up on the gram with the degenerate angler and best podcast hashtags.




And I honestly can't wait to see what you guys put up about the tawny, scrawny lion next week.