Three Lantern Marine

By Steve Zelck

Ok, so it’s Super Bowl week and our beloved Patriots are all over the headlines accused of deflated footballs. I immediately went down to the marina and accused them of under-inflating my anchor ball in this spring. This could be the reason why I didn’t catch as many tuna as a should have last summer. Ha! To all tuna fisherman everywhere, check the P.S.I. of your anchor ball. That’s it! Mystery solved! Case closed! More tuna for all of us next year! Does this sound stupid to you? You betcha! We had an old saying at hunting camp when one of the fellas missed a deer and tried to blame his gun, the scope, or the sights for his failure. It isn’t the gun; it’s the idiot behind it. It applies to fishing as well. It isn’t the rod that is to blame; it’s the idiot behind it.

Whether it is tuna, stripers, cod, haddock, or any other ‘fresh’ water species, all of us anglers are always trying to find the latest and newest ways to fool and outsmart our favorite fish. Has anyone asked the striped bass how they felt about the invention of the Sluggo or perhaps the tube and worm? There’s Mr. Striper following the shallows, when suddenly, he inhales what looks like a tasty morsel, only to find out it is a fake! The horror! The human has cheated. Now, let’s take Mr. Trout for example. He happily hangs out in a stream in Montana when he spies a nice tasty bug struggling on the surface. When Mr. Trout approaches the bug, he discovers that it is made of fur and yarn! We all as anglers are trying to find new ways to cheat, and that’s ok. As long as you play by the limits, you can find a way to outwit the next monster. You have to, because many of these fish have seen many of the artificial lures that are on the market.

Imagine how poor Mr. Bluefish feels, thinking he is biting into a soft, juicy mackerel, only to slam his jaw on a fake lure! And you wonder why they are so pissed when they get to the boat and try to bite you. You cheated! Have you ever thought about what it’s like to be a fish? Here you are, a happy, little mackerel or a herring swimming around, and you spy a little something. You go to eat it with all your little mackerel friends and then, whamo! Fooled again, by the cheating angler! Imagine you and all your mackerel and herring buddies suddenly get snatched by a cheating captain, and he puts a giant hook through you! You get thrown over the side,back in 120 feet of water, watching your friend’s body parts float by.

So my point is, we all cheat when it comes to fishing. As one of the old timers used to say to me, “this fishing thing will drive even a good man to drink,” which is bad news for most of us. So hang in there fellas, spring is right around the corner! And as for fishing goes, I’m all about playing by the rules following them. However, win if you can, lose if you must, but always, always, cheat if it helps you land the next fish.

Headshot_SteveZelckFORECAST BY: Steve Zelck was born and raised in Gloucester. Steve’s love of the sea lured him back to pursue his fishing passion and not a day goes by without him checking the pulse of the harbor for action. If you don’t find Steve at Three Lantern Marine, you can bet he’s out working on the F/V Jean Elizabeth hauling traps or hunting bluefin on the F/V Eagles Nest. www.