Help, my tackle bag has fallen
and I can’t pick it up

Every time I begin to pack for a fishing trip, whether it’s a trip of a week or longer, or just for a few hours, I’m always reminded of a George Carlin bit that he did years ago about “stuff”. For this story stuff includes tackle too. A friend of mine who travels to Cuba frequently has a check list a mile long but if you’re going to some far off destination and there’s no fly shop there , or no anything there, you had better be prepared, even down to toilet paper. The airlines have by their
regulations imposed some degree of control in overzealous packing by charging you for your enthusiasm. If the last leg of you trip includes a really small airplane you are going to be asked to trim you gear down to 40 pounds. This may seem silly when you get to the airport and see that you sharing a plane with guys who barely fit in the seat. Did you ever notice that the FAA never has one of those little signs like they have in bars telling you what the capacity is for that plane?
The essentials
OK, you’re at the lodge or hotel putting away your lightweight fishing shirts, pants, boots and other clothing you probably won’t end up wearing and trying to decide on which tackle bag would be the best one to bring. Which of this pile on the bed is really necessary? I remember someone telling me years ago that you should lay out on your bed all of the stuff you want to take on your trip and cut it in half, excluding tackle of course. Somehow, you get your bag stuffed in the boat along with the gear of your boat mate and you’re off. During the day you realize that you need stuff that you left in your room and you don’t need half the crap you brought in the boat…time to reorganize your stuff again. By the time you leave you have pretty much gotten it down to the perfect amount of items that you REALLY need for this trip. Next year I’m going to have the perfect packing list. I just need to write this down somewhere!

For Coastal Angler Magazine September 2011 issue

Where’s the music?

After going to the Fly Fishing Film Tour this year I was reminded of the old surf films that were popular when I was growing up in St. Augustine Florida. The surf films were grainy but inspiring,. you just couldn’t wait to get out the next morning and pretend the two footers were bigger. But the real inspiration of those films were the music. People went crazy in those sticky floored theaters in Jacksonville and Daytona Beach, The films were great but it was the music that made the movie. Where am I going with this? Where is the fishing music?

There’s music for nearly everything endeavor you can think of, but not a whole lot of fishing music out there, at least not GOOD fishing music. There’s lots of songs about water and oceans and some about different lakes and streams, places where you would find fish if you looked, but not exactly about fishing. Having been a musician for a few years, playing with all sorts of bands along the way, I can only remember 1 song…..Taj Mahal did it…Fishin blues. It’s a good song but not the “fishing anthem” we can all rally around as being the best. After a little looking around I found the Lovin Spoonfull did it too…. Jimmy Buffett hasn’t done it! I did find that most of the music was geared to bass fishing, what a surprise! Most of it fell in the “Country” classification, another big surprise. The lack of good songs isn’t because fishing is not inspirational, take a look at all of the great fishing art there is out there. How about “The Old Man and the Sea”, what a classic piece of fishing literature that is! How inspirational is that? No, I think we need a concentrated effort like the national effort that was required to send a man to the moon, to come up with good fishing songs. Actually that might not be enough!

Here’s some of the lyrics I found as an example of what’s out there: “Up this morning, before the sun, fixed me some coffee and a honey bun. Jumped in my pickup, gave her the gas, I’m goin’ out to catch a 5-pound bass”. By Robert Earl Keen. Here’s one by Brad Paisley: “Well, I love her, but I love to fish. I spend all day out on this lake and hell is all I catch. Today she met at the door, said I would have to choose. If I hit that fishin’ hole today, she’d be packing all her things and she’d be gone by noon. “Well, I’m gonna miss her, when I get home”. PLEASE, let’s all get to work on this.

After looking around I found this classic Bahamian gem which may be my
Bonefish Folley favorite of all the songs about fishing….written years ago about famous Grand Bahama bonefish guide Israel “Bonefish Folley” Rolle, sung by Phil Stubbs and a children’s choir from the Bahamas.
Click on the video above, open up a Kalik, put on your dancing shoes and enjoy!