Thursday, January 19, 2017
Opa was my model of the Greatest Generation. He was a man that returned from a war, worked hard to raise and support his family, and took pride in the respect that he gained as an administrator at Richmond Memorial Hospital. Along the way, he worked in a prison (and had a shank he claimed came from a notorious killer) and down in what was the American Canal Zone in Panama.
As a very young boy, I recall being in awe of the WWII combat veteran, though he never really said much about the faded scars on his legs. I was fascinated with this history, building model WWII airplanes, playing with soldiers, reading and watching movies. Opa would just laugh, quipping that he didn't need to watch a movie because he had starred in the original. Much later in life I understood that those memories would remain as vivid in his twilight years as they had been three quarters of a century ago. On any other subject Opa could talk for hours. (Photo below: Opa, 270th Combat Engineers - wounded outside of Saarbrucken)
Oma and Opa's house was a combination of museum and library. Books were in every room on most subjects you could imagine (Opa had read them all), and a collection of artifacts adorned the shelves and table tops, from miniature cannons that fired and sailing ships to walrus teeth to animals and other figures carved in far away places. Many of those books are now in my house or in my classroom. He had swords on the walls and a Civil War musket. Coo Coo clocks and pendulum clocks marked time, some built by Opa in his woodshop. I was never bored there, because there was always something new to discover, and with everything came a story.
Opa loved the outdoors, and memories from my childhood include fishing trips to the Outer Banks, chasing blues and stripers up and down the beaches, to hikes around Virginia's historic landmarks. He was an avid angler and a naturalist. My collection of fishing gear still contains many of the Penn reels he fished down in Panama and which I occasionally use today. His firearms were not something to be feared, but marveled at, so long as proper safety was observed. I've taught my son to shoot on the .22 Remington that he received from his father as a young boy.
I am grateful that his great grandchildren have had the opportunity to get to know and love Opa, and while saddened by his passing, are learning to understand that this is also part of life and that our memories can be cherished long after his passing. So today, I am not mourning, but taking the time to remember the man who helped instill in me a love of history, adventure and the outdoors that has played such a large role in my life. I will surely miss Opa, but his life was one lived to the fullest, and his legacy continues in his grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Posted by RNA at 8:40 PM
Monday, January 16, 2017
Explore A Slice of Fishing Heaven On Jamaica Bay - On The Water: In the shadow of skyscrapers sits the artificial estuary known as Jamaica Bay
Posted by RNA at 8:00 PM
Sunday, January 8, 2017
SO I finally got out on the ice today, though not until later in the afternoon. I decided to run up to the NW corner, where I knew most everything had at least 6-8" of ice. Since I know Tyler and Bantam were busy, I decided to check out Dog Pond. The air temps were still in the low teens and I sat through a few snow squalls, but it was worth it for the last 'Golden Hour" before sunset. None of the fish were big, and I didn't get a single flag, but I was jigging one crappie after another with some perch and the odd bluegill thrown in. The chartreuse Clam jig with a Maki Plastic was the way to go. Looks like we're going to have a warm up this mid-week, but it shouldn't be too bad if it gets back down by the weekend. I only need to make it through a few weekends of this until I'm down in FL :)
#icefishingCT #CTFishing #Makiplastics #Clam
#icefishingCT #CTFishing #Makiplastics #Clam
Posted by RNA at 8:56 PM
Saturday, December 31, 2016
This is not only a great video, but proves that there is another generation of striper anglers who understand the need to protect this magnificent fish. This gets an A in my class any and every day. Well done! #lonelyospreyproductions #betweenthelines #stripers#longislandsound #stripersforever
Sunday, October 23, 2016
If you're viewing my blog (or Facebook), send in some fish pics. I'd especially love to see some from the viewers outside the US!!
Thursday, October 20, 2016
The days are getting shorter, the weather snottier, and opportunities to get out and fish the salt water are quickly dwindling. Before too long, the
New England winter will be descending, and
I will begin a protracted battle with cabin fever and a longing to head back
south. Occasionally, I may sneak in a trip, but more than likely I'll be holed
up, hoping for an early spring. It's a great time to get in a few books, and I
love a good story centered around the sea. Several years ago I picked up Hatteras Blues: A Story from the Edge of
America by Tom Carlson. It's the story of a place I love, where my own family
connections run back generations. It's
the story of the birth of sportfishing in the Outer Banks, as a local Ernal
Foster decided their might just be something in taking folks out to fish
charters. My Aunt Betts was the first woman to land a marlin fishing out of the
OBX aboard the Albatross with Capt. Ernal in the early 50s. The book chronicles
the history of what was a tiny, isolated village and its people, tied to the
sea, and it's evolution into one of the sport fishing capitals of North
America. Hatteras Blues is
a nautical history of perseverance in the face of war, natural disasters and
changing times, the struggle of a traditional way of life dependent on the seas
against times that seek to bulldoze the past and replace it with McMansions. Tom
Carlson has written a page turner that follows the Foster family through all of
this. I loved this book and it instilled in me a need to get back down to the
OBX and take a trip with Capt. Ernie, now himself in his 70s, to capture a bit
of a bygone era of fishing, which is a whole other story! If you're going to be holed up for a spell
this winter, give Hatteras Blues: A Story
from the Edge of a read. I think you'll enjoy it. America
Thursday, October 13, 2016
Plum Island Swim Baits really do. Let me preface this by saying that I fish a TON of soft plastics in both fresh and salt water. I live less than a mile from Lunker City, who’s Sluggos have been a staple for years. I have literally bins full of soft plastics from dozens of manufactures. Some stuff is great and will always be in my bag or on my boat, others not so much so. So why have I fished Plum Island almost exclusively this season?
I picked up a few packs of Plum Island River Eels 7.5”, Flukushima OGs and Flukishima Mondos this spring after seeing a few online posts about this local company that was making some great soft plastics. With every soft plastic, the balancing act comes between a bait with great action and durability. The stuff with the best action is typically really soft and tears up pretty quickly. Super durable often equals too stiff and a lot less action. Plum Island seems to have hit the nail right on the head. Their baits have great action in the water, feel super soft, and are tough as nails, often holding up to a day of striper fishing or numerous bluefish strikes. Did I mention that they are scent impregnated as well? These things are not your rock hard GULP baits!
It turns out that one of the guys behind Plum Island, Gabe Ravizza, lives ten minutes away from me, and invited me over to check out some of the stuff they’ve been working on. We talked fishing for awhile, and I left with a goody-bag of soft plastics, including a bunch of new designs and color combinations. Among my favorites were some of the albie baits that were absolutely slaughtered the last few weeks. I’m sure you’ll be seeing some more of these next fall. I had the chance to get out on the water with Gabe this past week, and try out even more styles and color combinations on fall run stripers and blues.
The list of shops carrying Plum Island Swim Baits is expanding , though Gabe emphasized their commitment to maintaining the quality of the baits over the growing shop demands for expansion. Want a custom color combination? They can probably do that for you as well. Check out Plum Island Swim Baits. You won’t be disappointed.
Tight Lines, and Remember - BUY LOCAL/BUY AMERICAN
Take a look at the Fishin' Magician's Skid Stik lure as I fish it for stripers in the mouth of the Connecticut River.