Who Is Songslinger And What's Up With That Name?
What Kind Of Gear Do You Use?
How Come This Site Never Changes?
Why Don't We See Pictures On This Site?
What About A Message Board For Shoreliners?
You Got Something Against Boats?
Can I Go Fishing With You?
 

Who Is Songslinger?
Songslinger is a company, a concept floating around in cyberspace. I am not Songslinger but this is the site I created. The name comes from the days of my youth when I became resigned to the fact that guitarists were mostly gunslingers.  Before we could make music together we had to know who was the better axman.   It's also a play on words:  good songs linger.  I'm a songwriter.  Get it?  Bad pun.

Want more?  Okay.  I was born and raised in a rural community 30 miles west of Chicago.  My first fishing pole was a broken piece of metal from a roof antenna with kite string.  With it I caught my first fish, a hefty catfish, called a "bullhead" back in the Midwest.  There were several farm ponds and lakes within walking or bicycling distance, including a judge's back property where the bones of a mastodon were discovered.  Later I fished the Great Lakes, the Mississippi River, and the Boundary Waters of Minnesota and Ontario.  I lived in the heart of the Rocky Mountains and then came to California for a week's visit.  I never went back.  That was 33 years ago.

What Kind Of Gear?
I use Daiwa or Shimano spinning reels on Shimano or Ugly Stick poles for just about everything except sturgeon and sharks.  Then I use Penn reels on Tiger poles.  My feeling is, I'd rather have a battle than an easy time of it. Line is basic: P-line, Ande or Maxima, depending on the situation.  I don't use line over 25# test.  I don't like braided lines(unless for backing on conventionals) or wire leaders or sinker releases.  Rarely do I use sliding sinkers because I've found it is harder to practice catch and release when a fish swallows a hook.  I hate gaffs and will only use a treble hook rope gaff in severe cases.  Lures of choice include Rat-L-Traps, Big Hammers, Krocodiles, Hair Raisers, and Kastmasters in about that order.

Why Doesn't This Site Change?
It changes, just slowly and subtly.  I'm not doing much with it anymore, though on rare occasion an article gets put up.  

Why Aren't There Pictures?
What, you don't like my graphics?  I appreciate good fish photos and think they look fine on bait and tackle shop walls.  This isn't a scrapbook, however, it is an active database.  To me, that's what the Internet is all about: information.  If others want to erect home pages dedicated to grandchildren, girlfriends, or rock stars, fine.  This is a place where you can find out what you need to know before you go out for a day's angling.  Tides, winds, weather, trends--they are all here in one place.  Not many fishing sites have that information handy.  I know, I looked around for some time before I realized I would have to make up my own general resource page.  It made sense to have it consolidated and easy to access.  Hence the origin of this site.

Why Don't You Have A Message Board?
The Pier Fishing In California board is up to the task of providing a forum for shoreliners on piers and off.  Ken Jones the founder and Rich Reano the webmaster have been more than accomodating.  I don't feel called to create and maintain a message board on this site, though I'd certainly encourage others to start their own.  The more the merrier.

Update, seven years later: I think less is much, much more.  Talking is not fishing.

Do You Hate Boats?
Not at all.  Just jet skiers.  The truth is, there are many conscientious boat operators out there who respect the water, observe safety, and treat shoreliners with a reasonable degree of courtesy.  Unfortunately, there are many who do not.  Some of them are overtly contemptuous towards shoreline fishermen and go out of their way to denigrate and/or hassle them.  Some of them are writers, too, and make no effort to include us in the politics and business of fishing.  Boat chauvinism is rampant in fishing.  If you don't believe this, check out most fishing pages and reports on the Internet, or the various angling organizations.

I prefer the shore though I do acknowledge the fact that boat anglers do very well.  But it takes forever to hitch up the trailer, drive to the launch, put the boat in the water, and head out somewhere.  I could have been fishing by then!

For the record, here is a shot of me waiting with infinite patience as an outrigger canoe slithers past my prime plugging location.  See?  I don't hate boats.

PHOTOGRAPH BY THOMAS TRAN










  
 

Can I Go Fishing With You?
You can try.  I really am not much enthused about fishing with other people.  There are exceptions--and I hope these guys are reading this now--but they are few and far between.  It's a hassle having to fish within the limitations of another person's time frame; I'd much rather come and go as I please.  And I'm not saying my standards are perfect, but I do have strong ethics concerning nature and the habit of good conservation.  Pack it in, pack it out.  This is non-negotiable.  I'd prefer not to fish with smokers.  Or drinkers.  I like wine, but when I fish, I fish.  It's just stupid to taint the purity of the experience with Party Time.

This isn't to say that I don't enjoy encountering a fellow fisherman by chance.  I've had some great times that way, swapping stories and sharing fellowship.  And I've learned quite a bit from other anglers.  But honestly, fishing isn't a hobby, it's a way of life.







 


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