I'm starting a blog series spotlighting Skippers. At our core, we are our lake and river pages and up-to-date reports. You, the Fish Explorer community, provide the reports helping out your fellow anglers. Skippers are integral to the quality of conditions reports and I want to start shouting out these members who go the extra mile to rep, check, and share their favorite water.
In this inaugural blog, there is no better representative for a Skipper, FxR member, angler and all around good guy: anglerwannabe
aka Jim. Many members have had the opportunity to fish with Jim and while we all like to give each other a hard time, we'd all be quick to admit that fishing with Jim is a hoot. And he's always quick to help out folks on the forum. Oh, and the Skipper stuff. Jim skippers a few more waters than usual, but he fishes a lot, gets on the site a lot, and provides quality reports a lot.
I asked Jim a couple of fishing questions, so we could all get to know him a little better:
Whatís your earliest memory fishing?
This is a tough one, itís been a while so it kind of runs together. As a little boy in Germany we used to go and catch eels in the canals. Back in TX my step-grandfather used to run trot lines and then there was the small 160 ranch we had that had two ponds on it. You could catch most anything in those little ponds. Bass, Bluegill, crappie, catfish, heck, once I even caught a big bull frog.. that was fun.
Why do you fish?
This is a multifaceted question. First, ITíS FUN! There is nothing like feeling that THWACK when your lure gets demolished or that so subtle tick on your line when using plastics. The fish is your quarry and you coaxed them into your game, just how cool is that? Itís my sanctuary, my ability to get away from daily responsibilities and put things in perspective. The solitude of being on the water when the sun rises cannot be measured.
Whatís your favorite species/technique? Why?
Species? For now, either large pike or really big trout (especially browns), but I havenít caught a wiper yet! Lol Both species are so beautiful with their respective patterns changing from fish to fish. No two pike or trout are ever the same. They also give a great representation of themselves on the end of the line. As for technique, either top water or plastics. Nothing and I mean nothing is more exciting than a really large fish blowing up your top water lure. It will make your heart stop and then immediately race. Plastics? Usually on the bottom, just waiting for that slight tick you feel on the rod, or seeing your line move. The bite is often so subtle because fish love to take the lure on the drop. Unlike a crank bait, the fish donít smack plastics. Mostly kind of inhale it and if they donít like it, drop it. In my mind both these techniques require you to be a pretty good angler. They both require great self-control and patience. Your initial reaction to these techniques is to set the hook! But you cannot. In both instances you have to allow the fish to take the lure and then be sure to get in some slack line before setting the hook. Especially on the top water bite. Itís so hard to reel down the line and wait until you actually feel the weight of the fish before you make your hook set. Oh almost forgot.. my favorite way to fish is on a tube. lol
Whatís your dream fishing vacation? or What kind of fishing have you never done but want to learn?
All these difficult questions! Take your pick. Canada for some pikemuskie fishing? South America to get after the big peacock bass. Or fly fish Christmas Island and sight fish for Trevally, Permit, Tarpon and Bonefish. All these trips would be amazing and would offer so much to learn.
Whyíd you become a Skipper?
There is a gap on the forum. All our well known bodies of water have plenty of skippers and just members in general that know them well. Since I enjoy exploring the smaller and less well known waters, it seemed like a good match. The draw back is they are all over the place and some are reasonably remote so fishing them frequently is a challenge. On the other hand I do fish all of them at least once a year and have managed to find the biologists that maintain all of them. All my lakes also require a plus side membership and I treat them as such. This wonít be popular but I will divulge more info to plus side members than I will to non-plus side members. The reason is simple and straight forward, plus side members pay for the privilege of getting more information from the forum.
Anything else you wanna say for the fishing world to know?
I truly enjoy helping people. Both at work and at play. At work, helping people get promoted or fitting them into better positions that suit them is highly rewarding. With fishing, helping my airmen get started or just helping them get some gear because they canít afford it is great! The members of this forum have been simply amazing at helping with that particular goal. From there, helping our forum members learn new things, whether it be technique or gear to get more fish is exciting. We have forum members that almost never post but they send me emails sharing things they accomplish. Sometimes itís from something I posted or have helped them with directly. Others for whatever reason just picked me to share with and Iím honored to have that confidence from them. Really look forward to hearing from other skippers with similar experience!
Please join me in giving anglerwannabe a big thanks! And I look forward to spotlighting more of our great skippers in the future.
IceFishingFool, CO 1/19/2018 6:59:13 AM
Well done pilgrim, well done.
LastKast2010, CO 1/19/2018 7:49:57 AM
never heard of her! lol
LastKast2010, CO 1/19/2018 7:54:02 AM
great guy and awesome fisherman. good to see he is the first person featured. nice write up!
Gunny Airborne, CO 1/19/2018 8:43:04 AM
Met him once, nice guy.
But, boy is he a funny fella, he always cracks me up!
ColoradoRay, CO 1/19/2018 8:47:32 AM
AWB has a great sense of humor and I enjoy kidding around with him on the forum. But I also have a lot of respect for him because of his generosity and willingness to help others. His actions speak louder than words. Hope to see you on the water again sometime soon Jim. Or maybe the ice? I have info from good sources that you secretly venture out on hard water.
Ajax5240, CO 1/19/2018 10:24:12 AM
Jim, you're alright! I look forward to getting to fish with you sometime soon.
Kev-o, CO 1/19/2018 10:25:15 AM
I fish with him as often as I can, great angler. His ice fishing career is taking off as well.
fishman1, CO 1/19/2018 11:19:03 AM
Jim, still hoping to fish with you. We need to get rid of that damned boot!
FishSeal, CO 1/19/2018 11:33:02 AM
Couldn't have selected a better skipper to start with!!
Coyute, CO 1/19/2018 1:37:25 PM
Smelly, CO 1/19/2018 3:11:56 PM
I give Mr Anglerwanabe a pretty good "razzin "on this forum. But truth be told. It was AWB and guys like him that got me " hooked " on this site.
Co worker that fishes told me about a website called Fishexplorer. Went on it. First imperssion was ...meh. Ok, some really good fisherman on the site, nice place to "occasionally " visit. Maybe pick up and share some pointers.I've played this game for a while (getting close to 50 years). I've learned a bit, but there are lots of fishermen out there better than me. Good fisherman are informative, but not always interesting to me.You can learn a lot from them.But for whatever reason. I sometimes get the impression that the "Fire"has been dimmed a little.I don't always.. feel the heat... from them. Passionate.. Fishermen will allways interest me ! And I don't really care how good they are. Reading posts from AWB and others . Made me realize .There are some pretty Passionate fishermen on this site.That is why I am still here and a Fxr+ member. It's Anglerwanabe's fault!!!
Damn You Anglerwanabe !.... And thanks.:-)
bron, CO 1/19/2018 6:20:15 PM
Really cool idea and blog guys! I think Jim is a mentor and inspiration to most lake skippers. Great sense of humor and always fun to hang out with.
culinarypunk, WY 1/19/2018 7:51:25 PM
Great blog Tom!
Wannab is always so helpful! I know i appreciate it
anglerwannabe, CO 1/19/2018 9:19:25 PM
Tom - thank you, I'm honored to be your first victim.. errr I mean skipper spotlighted. lol Thank you so much everyone, it is truly awesome to see your kind responses. I particularly like the harassing words of encouragement. lol Let me share this with you, Stephanie will be the first one to tell you how good it's been for me to find this forum. It has taken me from being very reclusive to fairly outgoing. Many of you have become dear friends. I'm proud to say that the people on this forum have become part of my life. Probably the very best this forum offers is how many folks on here will step up and help in time of need. I've witnessed donating all kinds of fishing gear from rods to ice huts and more. When people have had vehicles break down, folks on here have volunteered to take them fishing. We're talking people that have never met before. The sincere warmth and generosity of many members on here is astonishing. Thank you all.
esoxrocks, CO 1/19/2018 9:34:10 PM
Stopped reading at ďall around good guyĒ I knew it was just a puff piece and fake news. Hahaha
FISHRANGLER, CO 1/20/2018 7:24:10 AM
I donít even know what to say. I almost cried. Did this guy AWB pay you Tom? Iíve never heard of him.
FISHRANGLER, CO 1/20/2018 7:30:38 AM
Ok ok ok Iíll say something nice about AWB. Heís allowed me to pick on him. Heís a great ditch pickler! And nice guy.