My column on Sunday of my favorite fishing lines brought a suggestion from one reader that I should do a story on fishing superstitions.
The reader knew one superstitious angler who would immediately quit fishing after hooking a turtle because he believed he would never catch a fish after that. I know people who think catching a fish on the first cast is bad luck.
Anyway, the reader’s suggestion sounded like a good idea to me and I’ve already started compiling some. So if anyone has or knows of a fishing superstition, please share it with me on this blog or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The best fishing lines
Speaking of my column Sunday, here is the list from Outdoors Magazine of the staff’s best fishing quotes that inspired me to do my own Okie version of best fishing lines.
29. “There are two types of fisherman – those who fish for sport and those who fish for fish.”
28. “[T]his planet is covered with sordid men who demand that he who spends time fishing shall show returns in fish.”
-Leonidas Hubbard, Jr.
27. “The fishing was good; it was the catching that was bad.” -A.K. Best
26. “The gods do not deduct from man’s allotted span the hours spent in fishing.”
25. “It has always been my private conviction that any man who pits his intelligence against a fish and loses has it coming.” -John Steinbeck
24. “Bragging may not bring happiness, but no man having caught a large fish goes home through an alley.” -Author Unknown
23. “And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.” -Mark 1:17
22. “Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.” -Henry David Thoreau
21. “If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there’d be a shortage of fishing poles.” -Doug Larson
20. “I love fishing. You put that line in the water and you don’t know what’s on the other end. Your imagination is under there.” -Robert Altman
19. “Calling fishing a hobby is like calling brain surgery a job.” -Paul Schullery
18. “I am not against golf, since I cannot but suspect it keeps armies of the unworthy from discovering trout…” -Paul O’Neil
17. “There is no greater fan of fly fishing than the worm.”
-Patrick F. McManus, Never Sniff a Gift Fish, 1979
16. “The man who coined the phrase “Money can’t buy happiness” never bought himself a good fly rod!” – Reg Baird, from his video Labrador Trout
15. “He told us about Christ’s disciples being fisherman, and we were left to assume…that all great fishermen on the Sea of Galilee were fly fisherman and that John, the favorite, was a dry-fly fisherman.” -Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It
14. “Wherever the trout are, it’s beautiful.” – Thomas Masaryck
13. “Fish come and go, but it is the memory of afternoons on the stream that endure.” – E. Donnall Thomas
12. “Lots of people committed crimes during the year who would not have done so if they had been fishing. The increase of crime is among those deprived of the regeneration that impregnate the mind and character of the fisherman.” – Herbert Hoover
11. “The fish is not so much your quarry as your partner.”
- Arnold Gingrich
10. “The only thing bad about winning the pennant is that you have to manage the All-Star Game the next year. I’d rather go fishing for three years.” – Whitey Herzog
9. “Most of the world is covered by water. A fisherman’s job is simple: Pick out the best parts.” – Charles Waterman
8. “To me heaven would be a big bull ring with me holding two barrera seats and a trout stream outside that no one else was allowed to fish in and two lovely houses in the town; one where I would have my wife and children and be monogamous and love them truly and well and the other where I would have my nine beautiful mistresses on nine different floors.” -Ernest Hemingway
7. “I now believe that fishing is far more important than the fish.” – Arnold Gingrich
6. “Reading about baseball is a lot more interesting than reading about chess, but you have to wonder: Don’t any of these guys ever go fishing?” -Dave Shiflett, quoted in Houston Chronicle
5. “Fishing is a… discipline in the equality of men – for all men are equal before fish.” -Herbert Hoover
4. “Three-fourths of the Earth’s surface is water, and one-fourth is land. It is quite clear that the good Lord intended us to spend triple the amount of time fishing as taking care of the lawn.” -Chuck Clark
3. “Some go to church and think about fishing, others go fishing and think about God.” – Tony Blake
2. “The trout do not rise in the cemetery, so you better do your fishing while you are still able.” – Sparse Grey Hackle
1. “I am haunted by water.” – Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It
On Friday from 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m., I will be back at H&H Gun Range for the monthly live chat on NewsOk.com.
Come by and see me or ask questions and join the discussion on NewsOk.com. The topic is anything outdoors.
The emails keep arriving in response to the Jan. 23 stories on Oklahoma’s quail population.
I received this email from John Cox, president of Game Management Services in Nocona, Texas.
Dear Mr. Godfrey:
“I read your article about the demise of the bobwhite quail in Oklahoma. I am a private wildlife biologist from Texas, I manage several ranches in the rolling plains and cross timbers areas, but spend my fall and winters in the panhandle of Oklahoma primarily running wild bird hunts on the 50,000 acre Barby Ranch in Beaver and Harper County.
“When it comes to quail, their biology and life history,the first thing comes to my mind is limiting factors. Your article about lost habitat is certainly one of the most important ones. Habitat can be improved or restored to suit bobwhite quail if one has the patience and economics to do so.
“However, when thinking of other ‘limiting factors’, I believe deer hunters rather than deer themselves may be responsible for some very harmful unintended consequences.
“The quail have slowly disappeared in Texas starting from the eastern part of the state and now westward and even into areas of south Texas. This trend strongly correlates with the increased deer population and the huge increase of land being leased specifically for deer hunting.
“More land leased means more feeders full of corn. Baiting deer ( which is all corn does ) has had brought some very detrimental ‘unintended consequences’ to the quail population.
“There was over 600,000 million lbs. of deer corn feed in the state of Texas last season. All this baiting has proliferated the feral hog and raccoon population, both of which are proven through studies to be the two biggest predators of quail eggs.
“A hog will destroy a whole nest in a few seconds and a raccoon will either eat the eggs on the spot or steal them for a meal later.
“Even so, I believe that corn itself may be the biggest culprit. A few years ago, I started pulling samples of corn from deer feeders and discovered that much of it had high levels of aflatoxin.
“Aflatoxin is a toxic substance produced by the fungi Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus. This fungus commonly grows on corn, milo, feed pellets and cereal grains.
“There are at least eight other toxins that can grow on corn or feed pellets, but aflatoxin seems to be the most prevalent. Studies have proven that this fungus that grows on corn when the plant is stressed causes the aflatoxin to grow.
“When quail eat the tainted corn it can cause liver failure, lower their immune system and make them even more susceptible to disease and predation.
“I found a solution to the corn a few years ago, when I discovered black eye peas. They are a superior nutritional supplement that benefits deer, quail and turkeys. They are full of the vitamins quail need for nesting, are highly digestible, and an excellent source of protein (20-24%).
“We feed it year round to our deer instead of protein pellets and broadcast it along feed lanes for our quail. Most importantly it is safe and not subject to the toxins that corn or other grains are.
“We do have quail in the panhandle of Oklahoma, but there are a few limiting factors not present here. No corn being fed here ever, no hogs, not an explosion of raccoons either. Our deer, turkey and beloved quail live harmoniously and all get fat on black eyed peas.
“If you want more information please visit us at: www.alternativewildlifenutrition.com and www.gamemanagementservices.com
I admit, part of this reads like a sales pitch, but it’s true. Wintertime is a good time to visit the Lower Mountain Fork River in McCurtain County for trout fishing.
I received a news release last week announcing that most McCurtain County cabins and lodges have lowered their winter rates in January and February by as much as 25 percent to entice visitors to the area.
I don’t really need any additional enticement to go. I just need the time.
The Lower Mountain Fork River and Beaver’s Bend State Park gets tons of tourists during the summer, but the best trout fishing, of course, is in the winter and spring.
The trout are lethargic in the summer heat and are much more active in the winter.
“Cold, cloudy, windy, wet and just downright winter weather can produce a lot of fish and some big fish,” said Jesse King, owner of the Three Rivers Fly Shop in Hochatown.
“The trout fishing is great all year long, but winter provides more fishable water, less crowds and the most predictable dry fly fishing of the year. November through February is my favorite time to fish the Lower Mountain Fork.”
The Lower Mountain Fork River will get an extra 1,200 to 1,500 trout during the next 10 weeks in addition to the regular stockings of fish it receives every two weeks from the Wildlife Department.
The state buys its trout from a Missouri hatchery. But it will receive more hatchery-raised trout from an Arkansas hatchery over the next few weeks thanks to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The Wildlife Department gets the extra trout for free from the feds in mitigation to help offset the negative impact to wildlife caused by dams on state waters.
More readers responded Monday to my Sunday stories about the poor quail hunting season in Oklahoma.
“Although I believe the numbers are down from last year it is not as bad as everyone is making out to be. We have killed a three-person limit three times, a two-person limit four times and I have limited out two times while hunting by myself.
“I think the fewest I have killed on any hunt this year is six. However, I do believe it is down some from last year and I don’t believe it will ever be as good as it used to be.
“I figure it will remain steady, with a huntable population like the last two years but will probably never rebound to the great years.” – John George, owner of the rockinGkennel in Newalla, breeder of black and white German shorthairs.“
The Wildlife Department’s claims that habitat is what has changed in Oklahoma to diminish the quail population is hogwash. What have the changes been to western Oklahoma’s habitat over the last 25 years? I don’t observe any and the western Oklahoma quail are almost gone just like the rest of the state.” – David Wood of Oklahoma City.
“We have had a pretty good quail season here at the Selman Ranch Lodge. Best year in over four years with an average of five to eight coveys per day. Not a banner year but I have stayed busy. I still hold with the weather and habitat theory.” – Sue Selman, owner of the Selman Ranch near Buffalo.
“I saw quail before the season and have seen one bird since. I drive back roads every day. We have plenty of turkeys and wild hogs are on the increase but no quail.” – Tommy Pitts of Fairview.
“Wanted to let you know, I went pheasant hunting near Blackwell on Saturday, and to my surprise, we jumped at least one or more coveys of quail at each place. All with 15 birds or more in the group.
“Hunted the same places last year, and only remember jumping one covey. We shot at the covey on the rise, but then let them go after that. Managed to get four quail and four pheasant. Lots of pheasant around! So at least some areas still have some birds around. – Daryl Osmus, Edmond
“I am 69 years (old) and have been hunting quail in Oklahoma since I was big enough to ride with my Dad and his buddies starting back in the late 1940s,” Hart wrote in an email. “I still farm part time in western Oklahoma around Hydro where I was born and raised.
I would add the following to what was said in the article in the paper on Sunday.
1. The Packsaddle quail study done several years ago showed that putting out feeders would hurt the quail numbers due to more attacks by airborne predators. Many hunters put out these feeders for turkey and deer and hogs. Most are filled with corn but some mix in milo also. This just makes a buffet for the hawks, etc.
“We have more hawks now in my opinion and I have personally witnessed a hawk attack, kill and fly off with a healthy quail.
2. The Packsaddle study also made mention that the greatest predator on quail eggs are snakes.
3. County commissioners are erasing habitat along country roads by removing brush where we used to find many birds.
4. Farmers are also cleaning up old house places where we used to find many coveys.
5. Possible bad health effects on quail by farmers use of herbicides (no till farming), pesticides, and fertilizers. I know quail eat wheat both grain and green leaves.
6. Many shelterbelts have been cleared by farmers in an effort to clean up their fields for more crop land.
7. Feral hog numbers are very high also but I have no idea if feral hogs could or would destroy nests.
8. Hunting every day cannot be good as I believe quail need some days off to regroup for safety against predators and weather.
“I would like to go back to Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and holiday hunting myself.
I know it would not be politically correct to blame the farmers but I think some of the more modern farm practices might be hurting our birds.
Well, these are some of the things which were not covered in your article which those in authority might consider.”
Bass Pro Shops in Bricktown is holding free fishing and boating seminars Saturday and Sunday.
Seminars on using electronics, towing your boat, fishing tips and more are scheduled each hour from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m.
Oklahoma pro angler Edwin Evers also is scheduled to appear at the store this weekend.
The Talala pro will be making his 10th Bassmaster Classic appearance next month. He finished second to Kevin Van Dam in the 2010 Angler of the Year race.
Other Oklahoma pros in the Classic are Terry Butcher of Talala, Tommy Biffle of Wagoner, Jeff Kriet of Ardmore, and Sand Springs rookie Dale Hightower, who made it to bass fishing’s biggest stage through the Federation Nation.
The five qualifiers ties Oklahoma for second with Texas as the state with the most entries. Alabama has 10 anglers in the Classic.
Heading into the final days of duck season, duck hunting has finally improved in the state.
Arctic cold fronts have been pushing more birds into Oklahoma, especially in the northeastern part of the state.
“We are finally actually seeing some pretty good numbers around the state,” said Josh Richardson, migratory bird biologist for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.
Some of the best duck hunting has been on rivers lately, and I’ve heard of some real good duck hunting on the Arkansas River system, especially around Kerr Lake and in the Webbers Falls area.
Roy Loris, avid duck hunter and sales associate at Academy on Northwest Expressway, reports duck hunters are also having success at Kaw Lake near Ponca City and Copan in northeastern Oklahoma.
Webbers Falls, Fort Gibson, and Oologah are three areas that are reporting moderate to high duck numbers in Wednesday’s weekly waterfowl status report released by the Wildlife Department.
It will be the final status report of the season for ducks. Duck season ends Jan. 30.
To see the complete report, visit http://www.wildlifedepartment.com/wf_count.htm
Cabela’s announced Tuesday that it will open a store in Wichita, Kan., in the spring of 2012.
The 80,000-square-foot store will be located in the Regency Lakes Shopping Center at 21st Street and Greenwich Road, and will be Cabela’s second retail store in Kansas, joining the Kansas City location.
Headquartered in Sidney, Neb., Cabela’s has no stores in Oklahoma.
According to a news release from Cabela’s, the building’s exterior will reflect Cabela’s traditional store model with log construction, stonework, wood siding and metal roofing.
A large glass storefront will allow customers to view much of the store’s interior as they approach the building.
The inside will highlight the company’s next-generation layout, which is designed to immerse customers in the outdoor experience and includes conservation-themed wildlife displays and trophy animal mounts, the news release stated.
The store will also feature a Gun Library and Bargain Cave. Construction is expected to start in late July 2011.
Cabela’s is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.
Walther is one of the oldest gun manufacturers in the world. The German company is best known for its PPK pistol made famous because it’s James Bond’s gun of choice.
In the United States, Walther partners with Smith & Wesson. Last month, the president of Walther, Wulf Pflaumer, visited Oklahoma City’s H&H Gun Range.
He sat down for a brief question and answer session with The Oklahoman, talking about the history of the company and new products to be introduced at next week’s SHOT show in Las Vegas, Nev.
Q: Tell me a little about the history of the company.
A: The company Walther was started in 1886. In 2011, we will celebrate the 125th anniversary of the Walther brand. My company purchased Walther from the family in 1993.
Q: Why are you visiting Oklahoma?
A: It is very, very important for me every year to go to many gunsmiths. I like to see what is going on, especially in America. The American market is completely different than the European market. For me, it is a must to go every year to many American stores.
“It is important for us to understand the retail market in the USA. I like to check to see how our current products are performing and ask questions about the users in the USA and the USA competitors so we can learn and use that information to improve our current products and develop new products for the USA market.”
Q: Do you have any new products on the way to the market?
A: At the SHOT show, we will be working closely with Smith & Wesson to launch several new products. First for the Walther brand, we will be launching our new PPQ which is a new full size pistol in 9mm and .40 caliber.
“This pistol is based on the same duty weapon carried by many divisions of the German police. It has a newly designed grip with a new texture that improves the grip, an ambidextrous magazine release and a very smooth and crisp trigger.
“We will also be launching our new P22 in the ‘Q style’. The Walther P22 is the best selling .22 pistol in the USA. The new pistol has a redesigned housing that reflects the same grip texturing as the PPQ and also has a new serration design on the slide.
“This change provide a nice update to the already excellent P22 and improve the overall styling and ergonomics.
Lastly, with Smith & Wesson, we developed the new Smith & Wesson M&P22 based on the quality and specification requirements of our U.S. partner. This new pistol has the same ergonomics and features of the Military & Police range of pistols, but is chambered in the less expensive .22 caliber.
“We have developed this product for sports shooting but we also expect it to be used by police agencies for training.”
Q: What is Walther’s number one selling gun in the United States?
A: “Our number one selling gun in the United States is the Walther P22. It was actually the first tactical .22 handgun available in the USA. Since it was launched, we have sold over 500,000 units. At the SHOT show this year, we are updating the look of the P22 with a new housing design and a new slide design.”
Q: How many guns has James Bond sold for Walther over the years?
A: “This is the best advertising for us for more than 40 years. James Bond is carrying a Walther weapon. I think we have a lot of fans all over world (because of James Bond). Everybody doesn’t know the name Walther but everybody knows PPK because this means James Bond. I don’t like to give the numbers, but we are not unhappy.”
After a two year absence, Oklahoma City is getting a winter tackle show but with a new promoter and at a new location
The Oklahoma Tackle and Hunting Show will be Jan. 28-30 at the Cox Convention Center.
The Oklahoma Tackle Show, held each February for 29 consecutive years at the state fairgrounds, was one of the premier tackle shows in the Southwest.
In its heyday, the Oklahoma Tackle Show attracted huge crowds, as many as 30,000 visitors over the Valentine’s Day weekend.
Before Bass Pro Shops came to Oklahoma City, the Oklahoma Tackle Show was the one-stop shopping mecca for anglers.
years. Hue Wiersig, the man most responsible for the show, died in 2006 and the show was taken over by an Indiana promoter.
Blaming the economy, that promoter canceled the show the last two years.
Now, Montgomery Productions is bringing a tackle show to the Cox Convention Center the same weekend as the Winter Boat Show at the state fairgrounds.
In addition to tackle and hunting guides, the Oklahoma Tackle and Hunting Show is advertising knife dealers, a dog show, fishing seminars, a kids fishing pond, kids archery shooting, blue grass music, a wild turkey calling contest and more.
For more information, visit www.okctackleandhuntingshow.com.
For more information on the winter boat show, visit http://www.okcboats.com/