Feelings I Forgot, By Dave Anderson

Feelings I Forgot

By Dave Anderson

The world of the surfcaster has changed quite a bit over the past 70 years and the changes seem to be coming at an ever-increasing rate. Back in the early days our forefathers had to adapt, retrofit and improvise just about everything they used. Slowly innovations were made commercially available but it really took a long time for things made specifically for surfcasting to hit the mainstream market. These days we have roughly 8,000,000 plug builders, a broadening armload of bag makers, state-of-the-art clothing, rods and reels and it’s being shoveled into our hungry mouths at a rate faster than we can chew and swallow.

The feeling of not wanting to be left behind or miss out on something new and awesome has it’s pros and cons. Yes, there are great innovations like the SP Minnow or the Stick Shadd that have achieved dedicated tube status in our surf bags, but there are far more duds than home runs. The ill effects of opening your mouth for the fire hose are that tried and true standbys sometimes get lost in the jumble. Sometimes a look back to days gone past can help you remember who really loves you.

Since the introduction of the SP Minnow, I admit, I have neglected the Red Fin, I still talk about it as a viable tool, but for some reason I tend to reach for the Daiwa these days. The funny thing is, I haven’t caught anything all that big on an SP and the Red Fin has been very good to me. You may know, if you’ve read articles by me in the past, that I don’t have a lot of affection for rattling plugs and yes, the SP does rattle. Tonight I’ve been sitting here thinking back to the pre-SP days and remembering some amazing catches.

One of my favorites was a night in early May. It was viciously stormy with a wicked wind. My partner, Dave Daluz and I had our sights set on a sod bank in a back river where the wind would be mostly over our backs. A cold rain pierced down as we traversed a dark woodsy trail. As we neared the point a silhouette was visible on the bank and I was immediately mad! And further, I wasn’t sure if we should fish, maybe this guy didn’t know what he was doing, if the fishing sucked, he might never come back! We weighed the walk back to the car and our measured a set of plan-B’s; ultimately we settled on fishing here and hoping that he’d leave before the tide made up.

I walked by, said ‘hello’ shortly, and asked if he’d had any luck. It was around 2 a.m. and pitch dark, our friend was throwing a popper—I figured I knew the answer—and I was right. “Nothing,” he said, “I’m basically just waiting for sunrise at this point.”

Talk about the bad negating the good! It was good that he hadn’t hooked up, but it was bad, VERY BAD that he was just going to stick it out. Now we were in the very strange place that only surfcasters know—fishing and hoping that the fishing isn’t good. I snapped on my trusty blurple water-loaded Red Fin and flipped it out into the rip. About five cranks into the retrieve the plug stopped dead with the force of a lightning strike, my rod bucked hard and curled into a cursive “C”. I kept my rod tip down and half-prayed I’d drop the fish, and I did. Dave looked at me and I tried to convey the news using exaggerated body language to alter my silhouette in the darkness. I cast again, and once again—BOOM—I was tight to a good one. This one splashed on the surface and our trespasser asked with a spark of hope, “are you hooked up?” With my rod low to the water I fought the urge to speak a tale that would soon be exposed as a lie. The fish came off, “Nah, I had a fish on, felt like a small blue.”P1010001-(2)

I wheeled around to Dave and said, “Dude, that’s two in a row and they were both good fish!” He rummaged for a blurple ‘Fin as I made a third cast; crank-crank-crank-crank, SLAM! Fish on again and this one was hooked good—the water exploded in front of me and line sang off my reel. The deep, hollow bursts of a decent bass trying the throw the hook shattered the silence of the night and any hope of concealing the quality of what I was tied to. Finally I slid a nice fish in the low 30-pound class up onto the bank. The hooks were buried and I had to light the fish up—my last secret was spilled—so we took a couple pics and released her. A feeling of dread washed over me as our new best friend changed over to a swimmer—wouldn’t you know that we caught one small fish for the rest of the night and into the morning! Looking back I wish I could take back that prayer!


10 comments on “Feelings I Forgot, By Dave Anderson

  1. Tony Pret

    I know that feeling very well unfortunately, arriving at “The” spot, solo. Only to find someone else there. How he had got there I don’t know? Similar out come also, I had found high teen to mid 20lb class fish playing , the night before and the fish returned again on this night. Angler #2 was very eager to find out what I was throwing. After landing one of the larger fish of the night, I also had to use my light because the fish swallowed my plug. Before I knew it the other angler was in my spot and throwing a similar plug with NO LUCK. Needless to say, I was pissed off. Because I had gotten the royal mugging from this other angler. So without regard or arguing , I moved to his last spot without saying a word to angler #2 and continued to hammer out the fish throughout the remaining tide, and took him to school. When it came time to walk out from the location, angler #2 was trying his best to become friendly and strike up a conversation, asking all the right questions, ( what lure/color ) but I refused to give the right answers… With that being said, I do still love RedFins… Thanks

  2. Dennis Zambrotta

    Adoringly known as the “Fin” in my circle. A plug with an undeniable reputation and legacy. A top three plug all time IMO. Taken many trophies including a holy grail for me and a 61 for a friend. Not bad for under $10.

  3. Richard aka Woodwker99

    Nice Videos. The guy in the canal was in the spot as you see others coming back fish-less and he hooks up on the next cast.
    And what can you say about John. he has done his work . Finding the spots. He knows exactly where and when he needs to fish. Nice work…. (Someone should stalk him… just kidding).
    And I can’t wait for the next issue. this cold is killing me. I need to rebuild my pole and I can’t get into the garage to get it done. So Hurry up with the issue guys…..

  4. fishinthedark

    Dave, no doubt the word around us has filtered into our little world called surf casting. Too much information is I think worse than not enough. Innovation is something good and the ability of the internet to provide exposure to places/people and techniques from around the world isn’t a bad thing, but for me personally I start thinking way too much when the skunk is on and maybe get away from my normal progressions. Nice read and thanks


  5. Don R

    Very nice Dave, really enjoyed the piece.
    Just read in a forum where guys were debating if the SP has replace the effort to load Red fins/Bombers. I think you provided an answer.

  6. Dave Collins

    Great post Dave! I did find it kind of ironic that your blog post bemoaning too much information and product pushing was surrounded by no less than ten advertisements for fishing products!. The other lure that we have forsaken during the SP minnow trend is the good old Bomber. Keep up the good work.

  7. Joe GaNun

    Nice post, always fun when you hear stories about the skill and the goog side by side.
    Ever sine the DSPM came out I have been a fan, and I am still a fan. However, my whole swimming plug arsenal has upgraded because of the DSPM. I have the smaller Red Fin Smokey and a Blue over white loaded in three different levels ( too much overthinking I know ) and a bunch of the 7″ version although I have not done as well with that size. Mambo Minnows in both sizes, more Bombers etc.
    My sister in law, who knows only that there are fish in the ocean gave me among other Christmas presents a Chicken Scratch long A for a gift. I’m taking that as an omen.


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