Iíve heard it said that you only fail if you quit. Or similarly, try, try, try again until you succeed. When it comes to chasing master angler fish, thereís a lot to be said for persistence and Saturday proved that to be the case.
Itís no secret that Iíve been chasing master angler fish for nearly a decade now, with the goal being to catch one of each species on the current list of 43. My personal rules are they must be caught with a fly using a fly rod, and released. At rate Iím going the list will likely change before I get there. In truth, I may never get them all, but Iíll keep trying.
The great thing about the MA program is you can make it whatever youíd like, play or not. Many chose not to for any number of reasons, such as they donít wish to reveal their ďspot.Ē Although, with some species, there arenít all that many spots. Then you have the option of keeping or releasing your catch. You can fish any way that suits you, such as fly only in my case. And you can collect as many certificates as youíd like. Iíve seen some folks submit several for largemouth bass for one day. I could have at Quincy once when I had eight MA bass. Personally, I just want one for each species. However, I do resubmit for a personal best fish, or a unique fish, such as the mirror carp which is still just a common.
Chasing MA fish requires a bit of luck and Iíd like to think a little skill. Of my seventeen species, many I was targeting specifically, such as the black bass, kokanee, carp, and yes, the grayling. Others came when I was just fishing, such as last yearís drum. Either way Iím always pleased when an MA comes to net, even if I already have the species.
Whatís next? Well thereís a fair number of easy species left for me, such as lake trout, crappie, white bass, cutthroat trout, suckers, and wiper. Itís just a matter of focusing on one of them and fishing waters with MA potential. Whether I actually, get all 43 species matters not, itís the journey that counts, and so far it has been a great trip.
Ajax5240, CO 8/2/2016 9:30:01 AM Out of all 43, which do you expect to be the most challenging?
David Coulson (Flyrodn), CO 8/2/2016 10:02:14 AM There are a few that will be challenging, in large part due to the limited waters with them, meaning few options to reach MA size. Sauger (MA size longer than record), arctic char, Sacramento perch, tench, blue catfish, Golden, and Splake are on that list.
My list is: common carp (and mirror), yellow perch, channel cat, walleye, brook trout, brown trout, cuttbow, bluegill, pumpkinseed, smallmouth, largemouth, whitefish, drum, grayling, northern pike, kokanee (both male and female spawners, need fresh), and green sunfish
Skookshunter, CO 8/2/2016 12:37:15 PM I wish you luck in your quest. I gotta think Tiger Muskie would be one tough one as well.
sportrider, CO 8/2/2016 2:05:54 PM I wish you the best of luck, I've been trying for an MA for a few years, I've been close but no cigar yet for me but I'm more optimistic then ever now since both my wife and son got one this year. I know they're out there, every time I get that solid strike I still believe "this is the one"
David Coulson (Flyrodn), CO 8/2/2016 2:09:42 PM Any particular species for an MA? Or just one in general? Some are fairly easy to come by on the "right" water. Others are extremely difficult and require a degree of luck. I think about 1/2 mine were "luck", the rest, like the grayling I was actually fishing for the target species.
D-Zilla, CO 8/2/2016 7:26:31 PM It's like Pokemon, you gotta catch them all!
I've yet to submit any, although I think the only ones I've caught are carp. (Not that those are bad fish) I don't think I'd have the patience to chase all of them. Good luck in your quest, I think the skill part you already have covered.
Ajax5240, CO 8/2/2016 9:12:00 PM That's an impressive list, keep us updated on the journey
David Coulson (Flyrodn), CO 8/3/2016 10:17:01 AM Thanks for the comments. Thinking it's time for a road trip to pick up a couple more this year. May have to wait until end of September for that though.