CTF Name: chris med Real Name: Chris Medeiros Age: 36 Current City: East Lyme Hometown: Lebanon, CT / FT. Worth Texas Family Members: Wife, Tina; Son, Brendan Occupation: Golf Professional/Business Owner
1. You own and operate the Cedar Ridge Golf Course in Lyme, CT. How did you get involved in running a golf course? Well first off, I own a part of Cedar Ridge. I live there, and run everyday operations. I'm Asst. Superintendent to the greatest Super (Matt Guilmette), a professional teacher, GM, head professional, yadda, yadda, yadda...I consider myself a "JERK OF ALL TRADES"!
It's a long story in itself. I guess in reality it all started back in Sept. of '86 when I got kicked in the face during a soccer game and was blinded in my left eye. (hence the gimpy eye and loads of "It's all fun and games......" quotes!) My batting average went right out the door and I wasn't able to play hockey anymore for almost two years! My childhood dreams of MLB and Maine Blackbear Hockey were pretty much done.
So, one sleeting/freezing rain day at Chanticlair golf course I tried playing some golf with my brother. It was the only non-contact sport, or so it seemed I could play while a detached retina healed. Well, my first time out I shot a 41 and from there I have basically lived for the game! I worked at Pautipaug, and Manchester CC as well as Chanty throughout the rest of high school and on college breaks.
I got into commercial fishing for a number of years, but it seemed every time I was fishing, I wanted to be golfing. Kinda opposite these days! When I met Tina, she tolerated the commercial fishing life for a few years, and then she had enough. So, I went to Fenner Hill, got a job on the greens staff there as it first opened and started looking for an Assistant Pro job.
I landed at Elmridge in Stonington where I worked for 6.5 years until I was offered Cedar Ridge! It's been SOOOO much fun, and I am truly fortunate to be one that loves his job everyday! Cedar Ridge is the greatest Par 3 in the state,...and Hardest!!!! (ask Cwoodman!) and a great place to learn the ropes of "THE BIG BIZ."
Tina, Chris and Brendan at Cedar Ridge.
2. What are some of the challenges and benefits of running your own business? Challenges...easy one there...PEOPLE!!! It's almost impossible to keep everyone happy, all the time. 95 days can go perfect, then the one day it doesn't for them, you KNOW your gonna hear about it. That's the thing I pride myself on is just trying to be "me" around every person that walks in my doors. Keeping golfers happy...it's the toughest job I have ever had.
Benefits...HAHAHAHA...um not many! Work every weekend and holiday that "normal" people have off. Work 70-90 hours some weeks during the beautiful weather months. Try and scrap together a 2-1/2 day vacation at Tmack's Place in VT. And have the winters off? I shoulda been a school teacher!
But, I am TRULY fortunate. Did I say that already?! And that is the truth! It's what I do.
3. How is your golf game? The saying in our business is that we are "Golf PROFESSIONALS, not PROFESSIONAL GOLFERS." Actually, after all the crap the last two years with my son's injuries/diagnosis. I actually had one of my better years playing last year. I haven't competed in the big events in the last two years. But now, for the love of God,with everything behind us, I may try to qualify for the GHO/U.S Open, and CT Open again this year. We'll see. You have to be 10,000% percent committed mentally, or you're just making donations for someone else to take home! My game is looking good for this coming year!
Cedar Ridge Golf Course in the fall.
4. How long have you been into fishing and how did you first get interested in it? March 30, 1972! The day I popped out! From growing up on the Yantic River in Lebanon trout fishing just about every single day unless we were skating on the river. It's been a passion since I was two my mom tells me. I have my dearly missed grandfather to thank for that!
Looking back years later, riding your bike 30 miles to go fishing was no big deal. No abductions, no this, no that, just go out crawlerin' the night before, load up the creel and go...just be back before supper. Ah the good ol' days! LIFE WAS GOOD! I can only hope that Brendan enjoys the outdoors as much as I do. I'm sure he will, he's already fishing and blowing on duck and goose calls!
5. Tell us about some of your past experiences on a lobster boat and commercial fishing. Some of the greatest times of my life and some of the worst.
First off, the anniversary of the Lady Lynn rolling over in the Thames is coming up. That was the saddest day and a thought that stuck with me the whole time I was out there! Rick "Flash" Iasiello (still the white marlin record holder in CT) and Billy Lietke died that cold February day some 200 yards from the dock. Three of my BEST friends survived, only to have Dave Mushinsky die in a car crash in Elko, Nevada some years later. Things can happen in a second on the open ocean. Look what happened in this case! Todd Rana and Garret Drake fortunately are still here.
I started lobstering on the Lindy Inc, owned by Richie Madeira in Stonington in 1995, and my God, what a few years we had! I learned SOOO much about what it takes to be on the ocean 350+ days a year, and wouldn't trade those days for anything. Well...a few close calls with ropes and winter time conching I could've done without!But days of working all morning and then to the Portuguese Club with Richie, Jonny Boy, 'Chico, Lisa and Georgie, drinkin until ......well you get the picture...days I cherish and wish I could do again! He's still at it, and I see a day coming up where I'll go sling pots, bait em', and band some lobsters again! Hell my wife use to go out with us on our anniversary to band lobsters! She absoluteley loved being out there with us!
Offshore draggin and scalloping, well that's another story. Two-week trips, big seas, and not much sleep was fun for a while but the $ started going in the toilet and thankfully Tina "coaxed" me back into the land-lubbers lifestyle. According to Joe Bomster, you have to be a "MAN OF THE OCEAN, and not some fa$$ot lobsterman." Well a year and a half was enough for me. YOU CAN HAVE IT! I looked for some great pics I took but I can't find them. We did have some fun aboard the F/V Provider though! Hey Ben, Scott, Rob, Corey, and Mo! (if by chance they read this.)
Actually, charter boat mating out of Galilee was a hoot. But commercial rod and reel fishing with my friend Al out of Snug Harbor, is where I learned almost everything about offshore "fishing. The man is a fish magnet, a genius, and one helluva angler!
I'm writing a novel as it is, and I could go 40 pages with stories of offshore stuff. What can I say...The Perfect Storm movie was a joke!
From Chris' days on the dragger (around 1995) with a 60-pound tilefish.
6. Did you ever think you’d make personal friends from a website? Tell us about some of the people you have met and friends you have made as a result of ctfisherman.com. Two word answer, sort of, "HELL NO."
I remember when Buckcall sent me a PM just after signing up. Then to Mansfield Hollow for a CTF tourney, hanging out with Joe G and Walt (Jighead)...way too many "incidents."
In all honesty, pretty much everyday of my life has interaction with someone from here and that thought is WEIRD! I basically spend all winter at FinalTimeOut's house!
Paul D was the first site member to say "yeah let's go duck hunting," which I needed because my old hunting buds aren't doin it anymore. And this year, I was fortunate enough to hunt with a lot of guys! Duck Killer and Tom Reynolds, along with Major Woods for the Norwalk birds, Paul D and his dog Suzey(RIP) for some goosin' on the river, and two VERY MEMORABLE hunts with Keith(KWK) and Oz. Sungana Beach joined all of us that last day of the season and it was great! Sadly it was the last time I would hunt with Paul's dog Suzie!
Ice Fishin' -- can't even BEGIN to go there and those times!
TEAM TUESDAY! Hands down, the day that I live for! I bugged that jackass Cwoodman for a year and a half to take me fishin. Finally he said yeah and look what happened! Cwoodman is one of my best friends now, and man have we had some gooooood times! Fishin, golfin, drinkin, and whatever else. You can bet that 45 Tuesdays a year we'll be doin sumthin!
Vacationing with Buckcall and his family in NY, and Tmack and his family at their place in VT this year. What great times.
All brought together by this "fishing website!"
Nevermind Handy Andy and his traveling sh!tshow!!!! Get the Picture?? Hey Pistol, Frank, Pat, Kapt, and Ice....spring is coming!!!!
Who could forget the Mid February Dusty/Med showdown? What a great two days! Report.
I have indeed made friends here that will be "lifers". NO QUESTION!
C'mon people go to an event and introduce yourself. You'll find someone in this crowd that's worth hanging out with! You'll see what I mean!
The crew of Ducks Rule 3 after a victorious day flukin.
Chris accepting his 2009 ctfisherman.com Member of the Year Award at the 2009 CTF Winter Banquet.
7. You received a lot of votes for CTF Member of the Year from fellow site members. If you had to pick someone for Member of the Year, who would it be and why? That's a tough one. Seriously, how do you pick just one?! I was really humbled and excited by that. And hell, after all, I was just having fun! It was nice to see that somehow, something I did, made a few people think that way!!
8. How did you get into making your own fluke rigs and freshwater hair jigs? What do you like about your versions compared to ones you can buy in a tackle shop? I got sick of cheap a@# components and over priced rigs! Plus there is NOTHING better than catching fish on stuff you made! Gamakatsu hooks RULE!
It actually passes a lot of time for me. Wintertime and even in my shop! Moday mornings are pretty funny. We have golf leagues going out, and almost everyone that walks through the door asks me where we're headed on Tuesday. Gee, did all the hooks, line and squid skirts give it away? I kinda take pride in the fact that my golf shop is the only one in the state, covered in fluke rigs on Monday morning!
Hair Jigs? AAAAH. I just give them to Simone and Cwoodman, they use the hell out them! I throw them a little but not like those two maniacs!
9. We all gotta know. What the hell is with your choice of Busch beer over other beers? Have you met anyone else whose favorite beer is Busch? Russ (RV6) and Paulie, wanna chime in here and help a Busch brother out. Oh yeah, we Busch drinkers don't care what the "critics" think!
Good to the last drop, and cheap without all the hangover factors of that crap you, Scott, Zach and Pdona drink! (The Zach part was serious...Pabst Blue Ribbon?!) And you're picking on me?! He's got PRAHBLEMS!!!
Don't worry, sooner or later everyone jumps onboard and lowers their standards! Why, you didn't like yours at the banquet after party?!
I've been known to dive into a Guinness or 10 with Slacktide, and enjoy Blue Moon, but my liver is with the Blue and gold!
Team Busch Member (RV6) on a night of crabbing, Red sox talk, and of course an few Buschies.
10. What is one of the most "Beyond Addicted, Just Plain Sick" things you have done in the pursuit of fish? Do cases of beer, jugs of fuel, a 21'CC with a 200 Black Max and the FishTails count? Let's just say I scratched that off the dumb ass things to do in life list! BTW...We caught and we made it back home...enough said!
The other, definitely more life threatening was the F/V Provider...Munsons Canyon...50-60'waves and 90 mph winds. The sounds of a wheel that big cavitating and a boat that big surfing down the back side of a mountainous wave...hour upon hour...is something that still makes me cringe. NOAA broadcast the wrong weather report(I KNOW HUH?!) and we got stuck out there in the winter of '97. By far the most scared I've EVER Been for 36 hours! Rob Cabral did a helluva job driving his boat.
We had windows knocked out of the wheel house and all our satellite stuff and antennas were knocked off the top of the A frame by waves. No one heard from us for a few days until we made it back in. All my wife knew was that a boat went down by 2nd Beach in Newport and we were nowhere to be found. This was the other main factor of getting out of the business. When your mortality faces up like that...um...I think I made the right choice!
11. What is the toughest thing you’ve had to overcome in your life? Watching my son in the Pediatric ICU at Yale...toughest thing any parent deals with. Nothing in my life even comes close to July 2, 2006.
Brendan took a fall down the basement stairs, coming out to go on a golf cart ride. Tina turned around to close the door and he was gone. He fell about seven fee head first off the side. (Hug your kids everyday and never take your eye off them.)
Cat-scans showed a fractured skull with a bleed in the brain. Life Star coming for your child is one thing that hits hard. Fortunately, he was .007 of a millimeter (yes 7 one hundredths of a millimeter) of blood shy of them having to open up his skull and operate. Apparently in the trauma business, he was on the "brink" and made it through.
Brendan's first day home from Yale.
Brendan and dad catching fish on Gardner lake last spring.
We are still so gun shy when it comes to a romping 4-year-old toddler. And after Nicky's (the Real Ice Man's son) hockey game last Saturday, he's found a new passion! (thanks for the game puck Bob!) I think it's awesome!
I would've said the Asperger's Diagnosis a close second. Fortunately with some great advice from Frank and others, and one helluva special Education program in the East Lyme school system, things are progressing really well which is a big relief for Tina and I! Autism has many spectrums, and as life goes on, we'll deal with this one!
Geeze, and most people woulda thought I'd say a gimpy left eye and a big nose!
12. Do you have a dream fishing trip or destination? Easy answer. Alaska. Halibut. One day man, one day!Thoughts of catching a huge halibut (fluke on mega-"roids") on stand up tuna gear...now that's my cup of tea!
13. What kinds of hunting do you enjoy, and what is your most memorable hunting experience? Pheasant hunting in Iowa is something EVERYONE should do once in their life! But waterfowling takes the cake. If that doesn't get your blood going, I really don't know what will!
Paul D said it best in one of his posts...and I quote:
Must be cuz we waterfowlers seem to give up sleep, warm covers, and a large chunk of our "expendable" income to go out in conditions not fit for man or beast day after day and keep comming back. They say it has something to do with those magnificent sun rises/sets, the wild things we witness, the solitude yada, yada, yada. Or it may be the adrenaline rush of having 15-20 birds circle, cup their wings, and commit to the decoys while your heart has stopped beating and you proceed to get so wound up and frazzled you cleanly miss three shots at in your face birds. It may be watching a pup you have raised from 9 weeks old that lives to retrieve. It may be the friendship and comradery of your hunting partners, and at times the competing hunters around you, the stories told while the birds aren't flying. It may be the anticipation of tomorrow's hunt "like a kid at Christmas" I have heard.
So is it fun? Hard to say. It takes a certain kind of person to enjoy this type of activity. One thing I can tell you is that a majority of the people that are dedicated to the sport of waterfowling are the type of people I find it a pleasure to associate myself with for their dedication, strong will and character and work ethic (or at times lack of).
As for memorable, Iowa has produced some doozies! But in honesty all the trips with PaulD and Suzey on the River stands out. But if I had to choose one,...it would be the jewlry report.
Man, I'm gonna miss that dog.
And, this year with KWK at his spot poppin' geese and "Mr Quackers" are two that I won't ever forget! Report.
14. Other than the offshore story above, have you ever been involved in another life-threatening experience in the outdoors? If there had to be a second, it'd probably be this last summer before a big storm. I say before because the skies were black on the horizon, the sun was out here at the course and BAM! I and a few others were about 40 yards away when the bolt hit my 9th green!
Chris' staff on the 9th green after a lightning bolt hit.
15. Does CWood Man really catch more fish than you? What the hell kinda question is this and how many cases of Molson XXX did he buy you?!
Being that everyone must be a runner up in the "High Hook" department, I plead the fifth, dirtbag! THERE, YA HAPPY?!
In all actuality, we've become best friends over the last two years and I have NO PROBLEM bowing to the best all around fisherman that I know! HOWEVER...not always!
I may not always beat him, but I would never get caught singing Carly Simon!
16. Do you have any fishing superstitions? NOPE! I know, a short answer. Fishin is fishin. Some days are good,, some days not so. As long as good friends and cold beer'ski's are there, well hell, why ask for anything more than that?
17. When you're not running your business or enjoying the outdoors, how do you like to spend your time? I have an attention deficit problem, I think! I can't sit still for too long! Some people sit around and do nothing for relaxation Absolutely not possible for me! You only get one go-'round'. Make the most of it!
Taking my boy down to Niantic Bay Boardwalk and the beaches is it for me. Kickin back at Skippers sharing some fried clams and ice cream with him and Tina. Now that's livin! Can't wait 'til this year when he gets out on the boat a lot more.
But "craft" wise, it's definitely spending time up at Bill's (Finaltimeout) garage. That is a place where things get done, and Bill is sooo good. You may have seen his projects, but I'll tell ya, it is so very cool to see a piece of crap turn into something that you are proud to be seen in!
It's not Jack's story (Fortunateone) but it's what we have. Jack's post is simply awe inspiring, and truly INCREDIBLE! I'd be blessed to one day step foot on that masterpiece!
18. What fishing techniques would you like to improve on in 2009? I'd have to say deep water flukin'. Now that I have some 16 and 20-oz. jigs, I will be "out there deep" a little more than normal this year. My goal is multiple double digit fish. Hey, everyone has to dream right?
I would like to teach my buddy Cwood man the fine technique of beverage conservation. That dude knocks over more...well..nevermind!
19. What specific fish or fishing trip is most memorable to you? Flukin with Paulie and Chris every Tuesday are memories in themselves. Every single week is just out of control. Offshore tuna fishing almost everyday for three summers in the mid-late 90's. I could go on and on. But to answer the question with one, the Pollock slam is unlike anything you can imagine.
The Team Tuesday Freak Show: Pauliewoz 13, Cwoodman, and Chris.
But, bringing Bob (The Real Ice man)and Kapt blackfishin' last year, where Bob proceeded to have the hot corner and boat fish after fish, until he broke off and then it was on for us! Kapt got his PB, I missed mine by a few oz's and I inherited the treasured "Tog Horn" which is now a permanent fixture on Ducks Rule 3!
Chris, The Real Ice man and Kapt after a day of big togs.