Gary of GermanikAngler.com discusses his fishing and blogging with us. Learn about his fishing 3 E’s Philosophy, how he became the angler he is today, as well as his plans to educate others about the sport he loves.
Why do you blog about fishing and the outdoors?
Writing about fishing and the outdoors gives me the ability to express myself creatively while discussing topics that I have known and loved virtually my whole life. Despite growing up on the border of Queens, NY, I was exposed to camping, nature, and outdoorsmanship from a young age. My grandfather had been a Scoutmaster nearly forty years by the time I was born. My father, an Eagle Scout, was an Assistant Scoutmaster in that same troop. Between their involvement in scouting, eventually mine as well, and the fact that my mother also enjoyed camping, though by no means an outdoorswoman, I had been camping regularly since birth. In point of fact, my mother discovered she was pregnant with me while camping with my father and friends. Eventually camping became a way for me to spend more time fishing as that is my primary outdoor activity.
As far as writing, frankly that is something that developed in later years. I was not the most ambitious student growing up but discovered during my high school years that I enjoyed writing if I was allowed to write on my own accord about topics in which I had a vested interest. Initially I found a creative outlet in poetry and history, in which I have an M.A., but now that my formal schooling is over I have turned to my first passions.
You have a philosophy called the 3 E’s. Can you describe that for us?
Explore – Educate – Enjoy; Make it Count = E3MIC.
The Three E’s are interrelated and it should be self evident that if you are outdoors, you are exploring nature, educating yourself on your immediate habitat, and enjoying the time you are spending not cooped up in the house or office. However, you should be willing to take a step further and test yourself, especially when your standard practices aren’t necessarily working the way you planned in your current circumstances. While I provide some specific examples on my website, there truly are endless opportunities to put the Three E’s into practice whether your motives are purely self-driven or you are taking the time to help others, such as my daughter, do the same. Despite the fact that my wife has been and is extremely understanding, in terms of my semi-regular request to go fishing and camping, I am a father and husband first and foremost. The responsibilities of family and career limit my time outdoors so I have to make every moment count. With this in mind, I developed the philosophy of the Three Es as your time outdoors should never be wasted.
What are your goals for the blog?
There were actually several goals in mind when I created the website. I have to give credit to my friend and fishing buddy, George Herger (@RugidOutoors), as he called to ask if I wanted to be part of the brand he was creating. While he has a great brand, we had a different philosophy about what the brand was and should be. Since it was his idea, and I do recommend checking out rugidoutdoors.com, I did not want to infringe upon his vision in any way so I developed GermanikAngler.com in keeping with my goals and philosophy.
Having a creative outlet to discuss the outdoors and fishing provides me with an extreme sense of satisfaction. It has given me a venue to offer both practical and tactical insight from my decades of experience fishing and camping. Hopefully the reader finds as much enjoyment in reading my articles as I did in writing them. Additionally, I provide trip journals and product reviews which I hope are equally as entertaining and/or informative as my articles.
Lastly, I must admit that I was hoping to eventually earn a Prostaff sponsorship so I would truly feel like I was apart of the fishing industry. When I was younger I considered becoming a fishing guide but instead sought a degree in the rewarding field of secondary education. When I created the website, I thought about the possibilities that sponsorship could bring and created a dedicated page for Prostaff positions in order to increase my marketability for potential sponsorship. I am now proudly sponsored by two great companies; Cinnetic Fishing and PowerTeam Lures. While I by no means consider myself a “professional angler,” I have nonetheless enjoyed my Prostaff experiences tremendously and feel an enormous sense of pride as I have become a part, albeit a small part, of the fishing industry.
Your favorite home water is the Upper Delaware River. Why do you love this fishery?
I started fishing the Delaware River once my father felt I was capable of listening to his satisfaction as a river holds additional safety hazards beyond those typically found on the water. My first days on the River were generally on various stretches in the Upper Delaware watershed with my father and Michael Padua, a family friend and founder of Sweetwater Guide Service. To this day, I prefer the Upper Delaware River to any other body of water. The river is pristine and free flowing, the view is consistently breathtaking, and wildlife abounds, Bald Eagles, bear, deer, and beaver to mention a few.
As for the fishing; unparalleled. My favorite species to target are Smallmouth Bass, Trout…Brown, Rainbow, and Brook, and Walleye, which can all be caught on any given day from boat or shore. In my opinion, the Upper Delaware is one of the most underrated fisheries in the country and would argue that it is a World Class flyfishing destination for Wild Rainbow and Brown trout. When I was 10 years old, my family purchased a vacation trailer and I was fortunate to fish extensively in the area of the Delaware River surrounded by the Poconos. While I had countless great days fishing with my dad from our 15’ boat and shore, few if any compare to any of the days we spent on the Upper Delaware River.
What three pieces of advice do you have for someone fishing the River for the first time?
Know the species you are targeting and the best time of year and locations to go fish. For example, fishing in the early part of the year may dictate that you head to the West Branch and headwaters for trout while a few weeks later you’re targeting the Shad run. As you head into June, you are likely heading down stream and can expect to catch 40-60 bass between you and buddy on a really good day. Knowing what, when, and where will increase your chance for success and enjoyment.
Related to my first bit of advice is to find a local expert. Whether you are an experienced angler or brand new to the sport, fishing with a local guide offers a variety of benefits, especially if fishing a body of water for the first time. If you can afford it, spending a half or full day with a guide will only increase your chances of success, as you are fishing with a person whose main objective is to yell “fish on”, and provide additional opportunities to obtain knowledge from the source. Furthermore, the lessons you take away with you may potentially be applied to other fishing locales and/or can improve you’re chances of success the next time you have the opportunity to fish that same location. If you prefer a self-guided tour, I would recommend hitting up a local tackle shop. Tackle shop owners , and fishing guides, are small business owners; entrepreneurs who thrive on word of mouth and repeat business. They are more than willing to share information that will increase your chances of success; best locations, water conditions, best lures or patterns, etc. Consider the fact that they have their fingers on the pulse of local fisheries and are generally the medium through which a great wealth of first hand information is exchanged.
Finally, the principles of fishing a river or lake are fundamentally the same but learning how river flow affects fishing is key to success. Look for subtle and not so subtle changes. I like tossing my offering towards eddies (often formed by a large rock), the inexplicable mini whirlpools that form (no danger to you or the boat) and areas where there are changes in current speed. These changes can disorient baitfish and result in a tight line. Also, make sure to cast in the direction of your drift when in a boat to avoid snags.
Where else do you consider your home waters?
Sadly I would consider myself a man without a country. Though I have recently taken up surf fishing, I still fish freshwater primarily and generally find myself driving 55 – 180 miles on any given day to target my favorite species. To be sure, there are decent freshwater fishing opportunities on Long Island but that style of fishing is not my strong suit. Generally by the time bass season opens my local lakes are overgrown and require heavy braid and power fishing techniques. However, I have started taking my daughter fishing, she’s a pro, and return to the lakes that my father took me to when panfish and pickerel were king. For that reason, the Twin Lakes in Wantagh and Massapequa Reservoir will always straddle a unique combination of nostalgia and future hope.
You recently wrote about fishing with family on your blog. Who were your early fishing influences? And what did they teach you?
By far, my main fishing influence was my father who started taking me fishing when I was three. I immediately took to it and he taught me all of the basics of fishing while instilling in me a deep respect for nature and the importance of conservation. As I grew and became a more advanced angler, I preferred lure fishing and started absorbing more from my secondary fishing influence, Michael Padua, since my father’s preferred method of angling is bait fishing. Since the age of 12, I have fished exclusively with artificials and soft plastics; Mike has been the biggest influence in that aspect of my angling education.
You had an August bass fishing trip to Maine. Where did you go and how did the trip go for you?
I went to Salmon Lake in Belgrade, Maine. Unfortunately the fishing was SLOW this year. Last year the conditions were perfect for bass fishing and the quality/quantity of the catch reflected that. This year, environmental conditions proved difficult. The lake, which typically runs 68-72 degrees, was 78 degrees and has been for much of the summer due to the mild winter and recent drought which has reduced the water level by more than 1 foot. Combine that with swirling winds a majority of the time and it spelled a recipe for SLOW fishing. Several locals lamented how the fishing last year was significantly better and unfortunately I was forced to concur. Of course the day we left I looked at the lake temp on the depth finder and saw that it had dropped four degrees overnight. Looking at the lodge website afterwards stung a bit.
Despite the slow fishing, I had a great time with my father and friends and put the Three Es into practice. A day floating on the lake with a line in the water is definitely a good way to kill time. The old axiom, “a bad day fishing is better than a good day at work,” really is true. As an added bonus, I had ample opportunity to use my soft plastics from PowerTeam Lures and keep a field journal to identify trends and aid me on future trips . In a group of 5 men, typically 4 fishing at any one time, I landed 48.6% of all fish caught…17 of 35 fish; yes, including a keeper lost at boat side as I reached down to lip her. Of those 17 fish, 88.2% were bass (15) which amounted to 62.5% of the total bass caught (15/24). Putting things in perspective, I would say I did comparatively well.
What is your review of the fishing lodge where you stayed?
You should only stay at Whisperwood Lodge if you are interested in supporting a family run business with excellent food, rustic yet clean lakeside accommodations, and reasonable rates. Clearly, I would rate Whisperwood rather high. The current proprietors are actually in the process of transitioning the business operation to their son and his wife. It is clear that Doug and Candee are leaving their public legacy in very capable hands and I for one was very happy to see that Whisperwood will stay with this family as they are of the highest quality. I expect the transition to be smooth and seamless and booked my trip for 2017 they day I left this year. I am actually hoping to bring my wife and daughter in the near future. If you see them at a sportsman expo, please tell them Gary Jr. said “Hi.”
What can you tell us about the companies that sponsor you? What do you love about representing each of them?
I can tell you that my quest for sponsorship was aided immensely by nationalprostaff.com and that I have to thank them as well as Cinnectic Fishing and PowerTeam Lures for honoring me with sponsorship and trusting me with the responsibility of representing their companies.
From my limited experience, I have learned that each sponsor/company has its own requirements and expectations for Prostaff. Generally among those are purchase requirements as you can not support/promote something of which you know nothing about. I had watched a good deal of product video for each company but had not used their products previously. If after making my required Prostaff purchase I determined I could not promote their product, I would graciously discontinue our relationship. I advised each company that for my part they could expect honest feedback. From both a marketing and writing perspective, my word means everything. If people can not trust that I am speaking or writing truthfully, than I have nothing. My “word” must count for something and I was not willing to risk that “word” because a company was willing to give me a chance on their Prostaff.
I am pleased to report that I am extremely proud to represent these companies and have significantly exceeded my purchase requirements for both. I believe in these products and have started using them almost exclusively…it will take time to switch over all of my fishing reels to Cinnetic.
Regarding Cinnectic: The company originated in Europe and has made its way to the United States. I am currently using the Crafty HSG and Crafty Black for my freshwater rods and a Cayman XP 7000 for surf fishing. These reels are extremely well made, can be used in both salt and freshwater, and have price points that are far exceed by their quality. They are honestly the best reels that I have ever owned; truly elite gear. If you use the promo code GERMANIK at checkout, you will receive 15% of all Cinnetic products at cinnetic-us.com.
Regarding PowerTeam Lures: I have already discussed their effectiveness in difficult conditions above. To be sure, I have also had outright success fishing in saltwater and freshwater with PTL. What I haven’t discussed yet, as far as the product, is the astounding durability of these soft plastics. One of my favorite methods of fishing is hopping/swimming a grub on weighted jig heads. Anyone who uses this technique knows the frustration of having little “tail biters”, a.k.a. Sunnies, Rock Bass, etc, rip the tails from our grubs rendering them effectively useless. I have not lost a single tail in several days of fishing. The quality of PTL products is only matched by the customer service of this excellent company. This is another family run business operated by an extremely hardworking, caring, and efficient couple. I am amazed at how quickly orders are filled and the lengths they will go to ensure your satisfaction. It is rare indeed to receive a phone call or e-mail directly from the owner of a company in response to an inquiry but it is something that should not surprise you when you decide to join the PowerTeam Lures family. As with Cinnetic, using my promo code, GERMANIKANGLER, will also give you a 15% discount at checkout at powerteamlures.com. By the way, be sure to view product videos and read the product descriptions.
So much great information. Thank you Gary. Follow the blog at GermanikAngler.com. You can also follow through social media.