An interesting article caught my eye on the Internet this past week. The story was about a man who lives on the east coast and catches striped bass. Not just any old fish but real monster-sized stripers. His name is Greg Myerson.
Myerson has earned the reputation as the best striper fisherman in the world. To earn this title, he has consistently caught fish in the 60- to 80-pound range. Those are some huge stripers. Naturally, people are curious as to how he does this so often.
Some folks even go to such lengths as to wait for Greg to launch his boat and then they try to follow him to his secret spots. While he mentions in the article that he would never deliberately reveal his locations, the key to catching these fish is in understanding them.
As anglers and hunters, we have heard this phrase often. We need to understand the animals that we are after. Why should we, what does this mean and how do we go about this?
The answer to the why is quite simple. To be successful we need to take our pursuits seriously. The better you understand that game animal you wish to pursue, the more likely you are to be good at it.
What does is mean to understand a creature? We need to be in tune with what they eat, where they sleep, where they loaf when not eating and how the weather impacts their routines. We also need to be conscious of the seasonal patterns that drive an animal’s activity.
That is a lot of information to try and uncover. Unfortunately, there is no easy way. It takes time and experience to become a master.
We can read all we want about our favorite game and we can learn a lot from these research-based articles. We can also garner lots of tricks and tips from friends and other experts. That is all great stuff, but until you seriously tackle the task of gathering information on your own, you will not reach your potential.
It’s kind of like someone telling you how to build a house and then actually doing it. The mistakes and learning opportunities we uncover when getting our hands dirty is where the real learning takes place. That leads me to how Myerson learned about stripers.
He started by listening. That’s right, he listened. He built himself an aquarium and placed lobsters inside of it. Lobsters are a favorite food of stripers on the coast but that wasn’t enough information for Greg. He wanted to know what sounds they made.
Anglers have known for a long time that lobsters and crayfish make a clicking or a knocking type of a noise when they crawl across the bottom of a lake or ocean.
Myerson though, wanted to replicate the sound exactly. He works as an electrician by trade so he had the equipment available to him to measure both decibels and frequency. He also used a stethoscope to get a better sense of what sounds he was dealing with.
Myerson took what he learned and tinkered with some homemade baits until he felt it was just right. Because of his tedious work, he is rewarded with huge catches. Obviously he has a deep passion for striper fishing. He doesn’t do all of this for fame, he doesn’t do it because someone is paying him to, he does this because he loves his sport and it is interesting to him.
Do we all have the desire to go to the level that Myerson did? Probably not, but we can learn something from him. The observations that we make each time we are in the woods or on the water are valuable data that can help us on our next adventure.
Even those days where we come back empty-handed have something to offer if we only take the time to reflect on what did and didn’t work. In fact, those days are often some of the best learning tools we have.
I wonder what Greg Myerson has planned for his next round of research.