Bio CTF name: Capt. Alewife Real name: Mike Gentle...touch Age: 29 Current city: East Hartland, CT Hometown: West Granby, CT Family members: Small family -- one sister...no kids that I know of. Occupation: Line/Prep Cook err...something...I work with food.
1. You've caught some big trout over the years. What are your top three tips for trout on lakes, rivers and on the ice? Lake fishing 1. Understand the bait/forage in that lake, try to stay near it and keep in that zone. Your offering should be the same or something similar. Sometimes SIZE of bait can make or break a trip. Try to have different sizes.
2. Break each lake into zones. Learn them (contour, ledges, drops/humps). Try to establish patterns/seasons, as different times of year fish will be in different places. Try to remember when and where you were successful, as it can be a annual occurrence.
3. Fish at dusk/dawn. Night fishing, trolling and drifting are my preferred methods. I don't do very much casting for trout on lakes unless I'm shore fishing/flyrod, which can be very effective at certain times of year.
River/Stream Fishing 1. Learn to read water. First be able to identify fish holding water. Learn to identify "lies of trout". Eliminate "dead water", be able see and follow your line at all times. Adjust your presentation to what type of current/depth you're fishing in. You can apply the same tactics you use on a stream that is 6 ft wide to a larger river, just upsize and multiply everything. The more you understand the force of moving water, the better you'll make your presentation in all situations. Use polarized glasses. Seeing near your bait can account for many more fish. Sometimes you'll see a follow or a flash. Sometimes a subtle twitch or lift or drop will trigger the strike. The more scenarios like this you encounter, the better angler your are, and the more you understand fish behavior.
2. Go light, go stealth. From line to leaders to hooks, use the lightest stuff you can. It will draw more strikes, then it's on you to land the fish. I think it's more sporting. Light 7-7'6 spinning rods and 3-wt fly rod is all I use.
3. Switch it up. I don't know how many times I've been in a slump and haven't gotten a bite for 20 minutes or so. Then I switch to something else and bam.. fish on. Whether its flies or bait, fish get bored seeing the same thing float by every minute or so. Sometimes just changing your offering/presentation is all it takes. It pays to have many baits/flies.
Ice-fishing 1. Fish high, fish low. I generally run my baits just below the ice or on or "near" bottom. 2. Use a flasher to mark your tips/rods, you can mark where fish are flashing and put your bait right there. I don't care for sounders. Next year I'm going to have 2 flashers, one for marking baits and one for just jigging. 3. First ice is best. -nuff said.
2. You were openly critical on the board about some of the events/behavior when a large group gathers for ice-fishing. What are your thoughts about mixing partying with fishing? Gee, that's a tough question. In that particular incident I had some equipment damaged. It really pissed me off at that time, especially since I tried to stay away from the crowd and still got dragged into it. But after all it was an accident. I laugh about it now. My only regret was that I offended a good friend of mine. I still have guilt about that. I guess I have mixed feelings on this one. I do like to party, anyone who knows me , knows that. But when I'm fishing, I'm not "partying" even if I AM drinking a few beers, I always focus on the fishing. Moderation is key. I think when people start to interfere with others fishing, that's when it crosses the line. I do have a big problem with drinking and boating -- people who use boats as a "floating barstool." Not too many fishermen are guilty of this, but it's more pleasure/ski boats. I don't care for having drunks in my boat either, falling over and such. Not only is it dangerous, but annoying to me as a captain. If someone brings beer on my boat, I make sure it's a "reasonable" amount, as I will usually only have one or two if ANY!! For the most part, I'm a live and let live kinda guy. Everyone is out to have a good time, lets all be courteous of each other.
3. What do you think about the proposed saltwater license? Well, I don't do NEARLY enough saltwater fishing, but what I don't understand is WHY NOW?? Why all of a sudden have one?? It's about $$ obviously. I say the ocean is the ocean. Keep free, let it be!!
4. Pound-for-pound, what do you think is the best fighting fish in or around Connecticut waters? Freshwater fish: I'd have to say Steelhead/salmon. But for CT, I'd say either Atlantic Salmon Broodstock or smallies. As much as love trout fishing, pound-for-pound smallies take the cake!!
Saltwater fish: Striped Bass. I've yet to catch an albie, though.
5. You're fishing a hole on a river and landing fish. A guy upstream takes notice and starts moving your way. Eventually, he gets close enough that he starts casting over your line. How do you handle it? Depends what kind of mood I'm in, haha. It has happened a few times. Usually, I'll just try to alter my drifts so we're still able to fish the same hole, just taking turns drifting paying attention to his line/cast and timing it with mine. But if someone actually comes up and crosses or hooks my line, I've been known to quickly reel in my line with theirs attached and snap off their rig/bait and mumble incoherently enough that they might get the point. I don't think that's happened five times in my life. though. I would say this is common practice in upstate NY though. I'm generally not a big fan of fishing in big crowds or in front of "audiences." I tend to shy away from those situations. Although, I've also been known to walk into a crowded pool and start hooking up with fish left and right, ruffling feathers. Some might say I am not courteous, so I guess it goes both ways. I see no reason to adults cant fish next to each other civily if they ask politely or are friendly. I always start out friendly.
6. Describe your ideal woman. Have you found her yet? I have not. The problem is just when I think I've found a good one, they always go away for one reason or another. I have a saying "That's why I fish, the fish never go away, they're always there." But on the same token, at the end of the day, the fish aren't there, so it's a catch 22. I've had some lousy things done to me, lied ,cheated ,stolen from. So I tend to be very cautious and not trusting now. Ideally I'd like a woman my age or SLIGHTLY younger who enjoys outdoor activities and of course fishing, but I'd settle for one who didn't. Sometimes I think my standards are too high, but I am selective. Maybe it's time to lower my standards LOL. Things that I seek in a woman (based on past relationship experiences) 1. Must be able to communicate, and express feelings. If you can't talk about what's on your mind or in your heart, it will never work. 2. Have a love of nature and the outdoors 3. Must be somewhat family oriented. 4. Not materialistic, superficial. More of simpleton, conservationist. 5. Must be able to raise that captain's sail. That's really it.
7. What excites you about living in CT? What bugs you about living here? I like the diversity of CT. I really enjoy the area of the state that I live in and the surrounding areas. I would miss it if I ever did move. I also like the fact that it's quiet as a mouse here and I'm near some of the largest untouched forests in CT, and some amazing wildlife. But at the same time, I can be in downtown Hartford, or say hopping on a plane at Bradley Airport in 25 minutes. The geography is good. We're close to some major cities and the ocean isn't far, even for those in the NW corner. I can't really think of one thing in particular that bugs me about CT. I guess the biggest complaint for me is cost of living (energy/fuel/taxes/property). For a state with such wealthy occupants and high taxes, I think it's shameful that there are still VERY poor people and bad living conditions here in CT. But I guess that's everywhere. The corruption and special interest in CT politics annoys me too, but I try not to worry about things I cannot change.
8. If you were going to move to another state, which one would it be and why would you move there? Prolly Maine or NH. I'd like to have a fishing campsite/piece of land in upstate NY near Ontario. I would move to Virginia Beach. I used to live there for a year and my family has a beautiful home on the Chesapeake Bay. My cousin is getting re-married, and her husband works on a fishing boat down there. I have had thoughts of going down there for a year and getting a job with him (he offered). This could happen tomorrow or next year…or never…I'm pretty content in CT. I'm a small town guy.
9. Have you ever hit a really low point in your life? What happened and how did you get out of it? My life has been a rollercoaster indeed. I've had my share of pain (emotional and physical). I once in the SAME WEEK, lost a girlfriend of two years who was cheating, got laid off from an IT job I had for a year, AND got a DUI. That was a pretty tough time. I got through it, though, sobered up and got back on track and working. Fishing helped me a great deal during this time. The best thing I've found is to stay positive about life, and most importantly live ONE DAY AT A TIME. Don't stress the things that you cannot change. Learn from your experiences and love life everyday. I say thank you every morning i wake up. I've always said family and friends are the most important thing. Good friends are priceless. Love the family you have. Do what you love and love what you do.
10. What's the most inspiring thing you've seen one angler do to help another angler? I can't think of one incident in particular. But all the things that are coming to mind right now have to do with helping children and teaching children. Instilling a love and respect for nature and wildlife is very inspiring to me. This is something I look forward to if I ever have children. I have to thank my father for doing this for me. While he's not a serious fisherman, he's more of a nature lover. He laughs this day about the monster he's created. The CTF East Twin Monster Trout Tourney comes to mind. Site member Bass Tracker and his father showed up. It really felt good to be able to help out a younger upcoming angler like that, and see how grateful he was to all of us. I wish someone had done that for me when I was his age.
11. When you're old and gray, what are some fishing accomplishments you want to have achieved? I want to fish out west (Montana/Idaho/Colorado). Do a trip to Alaska. I have dreams about fishing for living, if at some point that happened, I'd be a pretty happy guy. That would a big achievement for me. I would like to do more saltwater fishing. I would like to get a boat down in Virginia at my family's place. Maybe have some sort of awards or recognition to hang next to my "wall of fame." Maybe have a section of Salmon Brook named after me and managed for C&R for wild trout.
12. Do you have any good restaurant stories that might make people question where they choose to eat out? I'll tell you what. I could write a book about the things I've seen/done. AND I JUST MAY DO IT!!!! If I don't write a book about fishing first.) I've rarely seen people food messed with, but it has happened. I won't give details -cause I've seen some bad things done and I wouldn't want to incriminate myself or my place/s of employment. There are a couple tips I could give. Don't mess with people who cook your food, plain and simple. It's a simple concept. If you're the type who likes to "create your own" modify/substitute, etc. just know that you are taking a gamble. Order straight up and with minimal special instructions and your food will be good and come fast. People who repeatedly send things a back and complain, must beware. Also try to avoid coming in at closing time, or just before they close. You ALWAYS start off on the wrong foot that way.
I've seen it all in restaurants -- sex, drugs, rock n roll, theft, fights, fires, explosions, plumbing problems, greasetrap overflows. I saw a kid fall into a fryolater head first. He never came back. I've een people chop off finger tips and stab themselves by accident.
Then there is the 2-second rule, or the 3-second rule, or the "however many seconds you need rule." I won't elaborate any further.
I even saw a guy have a heart attack and die at a restaurant I was working at. I've seen people choke, vomit, and do many other god awful things in restaurants -- and those were customers!!!
One story that comes to mind…One time some kids were stealing beer out of an outside walk-in cooler we had. Well, we (the kitchen staff), were being accused by the owner of stealing the beer, and the missing kegs. Well, one night we see these little punks running across the parking lot with cases of Rolling Rock. Me and the three other cooks saw red. This was time for revenge. Despite a full restaurant and orders still coming in, all four of us got off line and chased these punks down. I wish I could have gotten a picture of their faces when they saw the 4 psychos in checkered pants and chef coats come running out the back door at them full speed. It was a motley crew, trust me on this. I remember screaming like an Indian, and yelling "you boys better ruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuun." And they did. But they didn't get far. They dropped all the beer it smashed everywhere. We tackled three of them. One of them tried to fight, but he ended up with is face mashed in the pavement right as the police arrived. Our manager told the cops, they better get those kids 'cause he needed his cooks back in the restaurant. And she was worried what we would do to the kids. LOL. Our boss later apologized for accusing us of stealing. I have a lot of fond memories of late night parties and easy waitresses
13. Do you have any "fish that got away" stories that still haunt you? I've got a few, who doesn't? Last summer I had on what I guess was about a 8 to 10-lb. largemouth at my private Lake X. It jumped out of the water and was the size of a 5-gallon bucket, no exaggeration. I broke off my 10-lb test. I've had a few large trout that have eaten smaller trout off my hook that were on for a brief time and got off -- just enough to see the fish and break your heart. One night I was casting a spook over 80 ft of water and something hit the spook peeled a 150 yards of line off and broke me off in about 30 seconds. Never saw that one. I still am haunted by that fish to this day. I also have grudge at Hogsback Reservoir. Two times now I've had on fish that were easy 7-10 lbs. and lost them at the last minute. I saw both. A large trout I botched at the hole at Colebrook two years ago. That one really hurt. But like I say, that's fishing. There is a 20-lb. fish in Twin Lakes. I don't know if anyone will ever catch that thing. I don't know if he'll ever show himself again. He might never come out of that big hole again. I scared him pretty bad I missed what would have been a PB Pike on CTF member TBone's boat last year. That one hurt pretty bad, too.
14. What is your favorite piece of fishing gear? I'd have to say my custom Ray Z 7'6 Noodle rod .Its a 2-wt Avid St. Croix fly rod blank. I've caught all kinds of fish on this rig. I've landed fish to 7 lbs. on 2-lb test. I'm also very fond of my Thorne Brothers deadstick rods. I used them in my boat, too and love them. I battled a few 6-ft. eels on them last summer. That was a riot.
15. What fishing mistake are you still trying to overcome? I still -- after all these years and all these fish -- I get excited too easily and pull baits away from fish and break them off on overzealous hooksets. I still have a hard time being calm when I see something huge about to hit my offering. I get this adrenaline rush and I react too aggressively. Maybe with age I'll learn to be calmer. The other thing for me is challenging myself to fish new water. I'm guilty of fishing the same areas and I think that hurts me as a angler when it comes to versatility. I wish I were more confident with a flyrod. I'm decent but I lack confidence. Every year I challenge myself more and more. I want to catch more fish on dry flies this year.
16. If you could write three new Connecticut fishing laws, what would they be? 1. All TMAs should be SINGLE HOOK ONLY. No stinkin' trebles! 2. Minimum length 24" for brown trout at Twin Lakes. One brown a day. 3. Night fishing to be permitted at Colebrook/Hogsback Reservoirs.
17. What's the most inspiring thing you've seen in nature while fishing? I've seen water spouts on the Chesapeake Bay, that was an experience. We were on a boat close by. As many times as I've seen it, I still get a rush from seeing a bald eagle pluck a trout out of a lake. The skill and coordination I cannot fathom. Weather patterns such as forming thunderstorms and fronts have always fascinated me. I once had a black bear cross the Farmington River right above where I was fishing. I was alone, it was magic moment for me..
18. Do you think another 911 is possible in this country? Are you happy with what we're doing to try to prevent it from happening again? I have very radical political views. I don't care to get into it all. But there are ALOT of unanswered questions about 9/11. I'm very dissatisfied with the way things are going and being handled. I think something similar is possible, especially with our current leadership. I must admit I'm a conspiracy theorist, but when something is documented, and there are so many unanswered questions, cover-ups, and murders, one must think if its really a conspiracy. All empires crumble, history repeats itself. If you look at the global playing field, we've got a lot on the table and we're not having people line up to be our allies. But again, I try to not stress the things in life I cannot change. I do believe the media will be the ultimate demise of the this country, with its misinformation, and smoke and mirrors. Too many people believe everything they hear.
19. If the Internet disappeared tomorrow, what would you miss most about it? What would you miss the least? This doesn't necessarily have to relate to ctfisherman.com. I've always liked the information accessibility and being able to find out anything about anything. I am able to do research on anything. It's invaluable to me. I also enjoy the communication with others. I've always enjoyed instant messaging, and chatting. It's a good way to find and meet people, you just need to be careful. I do fear the Internet is becoming more evil all the time. Nothing is sacred now. I'm sure that privacy is a thing of the past, and different companies pay to get your information and purchasing habits. I fear the rise of a cashless society, internet billing and banking is the beginning of the end. Once your personal finances are on a hard drive, it's there on a platter for anyone to get. It won't be long -till there is no cash and your personal finances are there for who is the highest bidder. I might miss free porn a bit too. I wouldn't miss the pop ups and junk email and spyware that you are plagued with. I think the Internet is here to stay. I just think scams and privacy are a big issue on this here world wide web.
20. What's the greatest character trait a person can have? What is the worst fault a person can have? I've always thought the trait of helping someone in need is most important. If someone is down on his luck, alone in life, or needs help, maybe someone who has no family, or has a mental illness, or whatever. I've always been one to try help another person in need. Do unto others as wish done unto you. I still get a good feeling helping people. I have a few friends that have really tough lives I always try to be there to help.
The worst trait? There are many. Someone who doesn't respect themselves and abuses themselves and others. I've always hated thieves. God help the person I catch stealing from me. I don't like liars and people who can't communicate and express their feelings.