Looking Ahead into 2014 Fishing Season


The holidays and whitetail seasons have come and gone and now the real 2014 winter forges ahead with cold temperatures and snow for most of us – UGH! Most of us are counting the days till spring and the splashing of our boats into the bays, creeks and rivers. Meantime, the indoor activities like the sporting, boating and fishing expos are now underway. Thanks to Coastal Angler Magazine, I have a busy schedule covering the boat show circuit; meeting fans and evaluating all the new products that will be available to us in the upcoming seasons. Please try to endorse the names of the manufacturers and services you see advertising in this magazine because without their support, we cannot bring you the magazine and all the information it provides each month. Thanks in advance for that.

It’s great to see all the serious and not so serious anglers looking for that one new item or technique that will give them the edge to land a few more slobs this year. Many hope that by attending one of the many seminars, or by browsing through new tackle and boating products, they will find what they need to be just a little more successful this 2014 season.

Then there are the kids. It’s amazing to see all the young ones, both boys and girls with their parents and siblings walking the aisles. I can’t emphasize enough to families how important fishing was to me as a young boy. Starting at about 7-years-old, I chose to go fishing many days in my adolescent life rather than hanging out in the local park or later as a teenager partying in the graveyard with my Brooklyn buddies. I typically fished Saturdays and Sundays since school was always the priority in my home. Typically I would go out on a party boat usually out of Sheapshead Bay Brooklyn at 6 a.m. Dad had no car so we took the bus at 4 a.m. He worked near the boats so he could drop me off and go to work. I was usually home on Friday and Saturday nights hitting the sack early to get ready for the much anticipated day battling big blues. Although many nights I didn’t sleep much in anticipation of the rod-bending and the bluefish ripping the rod from my arm. But I held on with all my might and I can even remember winning the pool for the biggest bluefish on the head boat “Elsie K” out of Gerritsen Beach, Brooklyn when I was just ten years old. I won about 70 dollars and all the adults fishing that day were a little pissed at me taking the cash.

To this day, I am lured back to the ocean each year, and while I’m not rich in cash, I am rich in gratifying educational experiences in life that I have learned at sea. Most of all, I am comfortable and happy with the sea bringing me my sanity. Please promote and encourage fishing with your family – It was a key ingredient to my happiness and it just might be for your child too. Give your child the support needed to experience the bounty of the sea. They may be able to find sanity in their adult life like I did in the lessons of the sea.

The new season of Wicked Tuna premieres on the National Geographic Channel on Sunday, February 16th.


These junior  shers caught two mutton snappers.
These junior fishers caught two mutton snappers.

Captain Jason and his mutton snappper catch.

Ralph Wilkins is a contributing editor for Coastal Angler Magazine. Wilkins is captain of the Odysea and popular cast member of National Geographic Channel’s hit television show Wicked Tuna. Email Captain Ralph at ralphjwilkins@gmail. com, visit his website at odyseatuna.com, and be sure to like "Captain Ralph Wilkins" on Facebook.