Archive for April, 2008

Death by Fish

魚による死
“sakana niyoru shi” (Death by Fish)

I love to swim, but I have to admit that every time I’m in the ocean or a lake, I do wonder if something’s gonna bite my legs, or worse, pull me under. Fact is, there are a lot of ways fish can do you in (and I’m not just talking about getting slapped too hard by a large trout), but let’s start with the basics:

Eating You

More than just another horror b-movie, “b” standing for horror “blood” and horror “boobs”, Piranha did for piranhas what Jaws did for the Great White, bringing animal terror into popular culture. That they travel in schools multiplies an already impressive showing of razor sharp teeth in a typical piranha mouth.

piranha

Watch a piranha gnash through a pencil in the nice educational video below:

[youtube]http://youtube.com/watch?v=OuW4V5RD27k[/youtube]

Maybe even more frightening is the adult Snakehead, not afraid to attack humans either. Growing up to three feet long, these bastards can crawl on land and survive for up to 4 days. If they do appear in a lake near you, it’s the rest of the lake’s marine life you should be worried about – entire lakes have been poisoned just to get rid of them.

giant-snakehead.jpg

Choking You Out

In 2003, a Cambodian teenager caught a spiky fish called a Kantrorb, which leapt out of his hands and into his mouth, loding itself in his throat. He choked, and died. Then, in July 2005, a Malaysian boy caught a Climbing Perch that did the same thing: leapt from his hands into his throat in ultimate taking-you-down-with-me ninja-fish style.

choking.jpg

Poisoning You

The chokers kill as they’re dying, but the poisoners can even kill after death. Thinking he was immune to the poison inside, Japanese actor Bando Mitsugoro VIII died after he ate toxic livers from the Puffer fish. “Delicious yet potentially deadly” does attract some types (not me), with a danger = sweeter principle that applies better with Russian Bond girls.

major-anya-amasova.jpg

Considered a delicacy (especially in Japan), Fugu has to be prepared carefully – a chef undergoes 2-3 years of training to be able to cook and serve it safe. “Death by Puffer Fish” has established itself as a resilient cultural meme – at least as far as the Simpsons barometer goes. One of the more memorable near-death-of-Homer episodes, he was told he had a day to live after a replacement chef botched the cooking.

simpsons-puffer-fish.gif

Stinging You

The Crocodile Hunter wasn’t the first to be killed by the barbed spine of a stingray, much as he was maybe the highest profile. They’re not known to attack humans, but if you hang around an animal’s super-deadly weapons enough, you start to face some risk. Same thing happened to an Australian woman in March of this year.

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stingray.jpg

“You Have Too Many Lures…”

“You Have Too Many Lures…”

“You have too many lures, you don’t need any more!” Is a phrase that I hear from my family and my friends when they find out I purchased new fishing lures. But are they right to say that I do in fact have too many lures? To be honest, they are partially right because line, hook, and worm would do just fine. After all, it is the most trust worthy bait ever used.

However, fishing for me is more then just sitting and waiting with a worm under a bobber for a fish to bite. I enjoy pitching a jig, ripping a jerkbait, and skipping a finesse worm under a dock. Lures offer more opportunities to catch fish. They are designed to imitate the real thing and to be used as a tool to hunt for those fish. The key word in the previous sentence is hunt. Lures allow you to go out and find the fish. Whereas, when using live bait you are sitting and waiting for the fish too bite.

I’m a collector and I enjoy seeing my tackle trays being filled with various types of lures. And it is only fitting that I do fall victim to the latest bass fishing trends. More notably, the swimbait trend. These giant lures with the most realistic paint finishes are a different lure then from prior years. Who knows maybe the next lure you by may be worth a pretty penny in the future.

Yet, the main reason as to why I purchase lures comes bake to fishing and catching more fish. I want to be prepared for any situation that nature throws at me. Whether it’s a lake that is clear or dirty or even filled with weeds I want to have lures that will best be fit for each situation. The key is being able to use the right lure in the right situation. You can’t use a hammer to screw in a 4 inch screw. It is important to have the right tools for the job.

The bottom line is that I buy so many lures because I realize that there is no one lure that can catch fish and be used all the time. Different situations call for different lures. This is a hard concept for the weekend angler to grasp. However, once an individual embraces the sport they too, like a bass, will fall victim to a new lure.

‘Till next time: May your hook sets be Massive and your fish be Monsters!

Peter Natev

Sunglasses are not optional!

On a warm winters day as February is coming to an end, I decided to wander on over to a spot on the Bow River where three weeks ago was fully covered in ice. I was frantically looking for my sunglasses before I left the house for the river, I then remembered they were in my car the whole time. I loaded my new Berkley rod into the vehicle with care and strapped the camera firmly around my neck; you never know when you are going to hook a monster! I dressed for the occasion; ok I overdressed and stepped on the gas pedal hard. There was one reservation however, would the water be open or would it be loaded with ice?

As I arrived at the river I was pleasantly surprised the river had opened wide enough to cast a lure. The sun was beating down on the slightly stained Bow River and making the water glisten as it sparkled off the choppy water in the afternoon sky. Sure glad I had those sunglasses with me! I surveyed the river and the tall ice ledge I was standing on as I put safety first while walking on ice. You cannot reach the bank of the river as the ice has heaved and piled up in this area of the river so I needed to be crafty and select the right hook for the conditions. This was no foot of ice, eight feet of ice has piled up and lined the river bank.

Blue Fox was the first out of the tackle box today. Presentation was important today! I aggressively casted upstream and quickly retrieved my lure as naturally as possible. This method looks real to a trout as the lure is moving downriver. Food is carried from upriver to where these fish were lying in wait to pounce. A twenty plus inch Rainbow was quick to grab a hold of my Blue Fox and take it for an exciting ride across and down the river until he was tired enough and was landed on the ice ledge. I had to step down onto a lower block of ice to get him back into the river without a ten foot drop from where I was standing. This was just the tip of the iceberg.

I had the presentation down to a science and several Rainbow Trout later I decided to change hooks. I am a big fan of the Rapala X-Rap and decided it needed to seek and find some trout along the river bed. The color selection plays a factor when the water is stained or dirty. I fancied a color that was more on the natural looking side of the color spectrum. I launched it out into a slower pocket of water just below a long run in the river. I slowly reel the lure to make it dive down into the water and then I gently lift the rod tip up to make the lure rip in the water, this ripping affect makes the fish go nuts and entices them to strike. If at first I do not get a strike I leave the lure sit in the water and do not reel for a few seconds, this pause is sometimes is what the fish are looking for, a wounded fish not moving which makes for easy prey. Six trout later and a sore arm to show for the effort, I unhooked the lure from my line and placed it back into the clear plastic box it came from.

Before I left the river I stopped and sat on the long brown grass that the cold and snow has killed. I could not help but think to myself; only one more month and spring will be upon us once again. The ice will be gone and the sunglasses will be taken out from their case to shade the glare of the sun from the reflection coming off the clear blue water of the Bow River.