As I brace my knees against the transom and adjust the “drop” between my rod tip and the little whip eel, I scrutinize the plot of water where it appears that a body of substantial bass or gorilla-sized blues has been erupting in the dim 3 a.m. calm.
If there is one recipe that reliably yields top-flight fishermen — in terms of basic human traits, talents, root skills — I’m reasonably certain that a hard-wired scientific bent is the key ingredient.
Me? I’m a humanities guy. A creative type. A science guy might base his angling strategy on months and years of careful observation conducted with absolute objectivity and a highly systematic approach to technique.
Outside the charter fleet, where rigid schedules and the need to catch on command force captains to lean on high-percentage methods, you won’t find many anglers singing the praises of wire-line or downrigger slow-trolling. Nor will you encounter many casual anglers with a powerful urge to spend their free time monkeying around with cumbersome ground tackle.
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Tim Coleman died May 3, in Weekapaug, R.I., doing what he loved to do best at that time of year: scouting the salt ponds and outer beaches for spring striped bass. He was an exceptional saltwater angler and a prolific writer. Thousands of readers lost an advocate and authentic storyteller for fishing in the Northeast, and anyone fortunate to have known Tim lost a good friend.