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Frank Ruczynski

I've spent the last twenty-five years chasing the fish that swim in our local waters and I've enjoyed every minute of it! During that time, I've made some remarkable friends and together we've learned a great deal by spending loads of time on the water.

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July 22, 2016

Gotta Catch 'Em All!

by Frank Ruczynski

The new Pokémon Go app seems to be taking the world by storm. Just in case you're not up on the latest craze, Wikipedia states, "Pokémon Go is a free-to-play location-based augmented reality mobile game developed by Niantic for iOS and Android devices. It was released in most regions of the world in July of 2016. Making use of the GPS and the camera of compatible devices, the game allows players to capture, battle, and train virtual creatures, call Pokémon, who appear on device screens as though in the real world." Sounds like a blast right?

Admittedly, my little knowledge of Pokémon comes from my children. My oldest son, Frankie, absolutely loved all things Pokémon. I'd like to thank him for engraving Pikachu, Poké balls and the cartoon's theme song into my brain forever…

"I wanna be the very best
Like no one ever was
To catch them is my real test
To train them is my cause

I will travel across the land
Searching far and wide
Teach Pokémon to understand
The power that's inside

Pokemon! (Gotta catch ‘em all), it's you and me
I know it's my destiny
Ooh, you're my best friend
In a world we must defend
Pokémon (Gotta catch ‘em all), a heart so true
Our courage will pull us through
You teach me, and I'll teach you
(Gotta catch ‘em all!)
Gotta catch ‘em all!

It's the kind of jingle that you just can't shake – even fifteen years later. Thanks Frankie!

Wanting to see what the hubbub was about, I downloaded the new Pokémon Go app - more out of curiosity than anything else. A few minutes later, I captured a Charmander in my living room. I learned a little more about the game and decided it wasn't for me. I understand why some people may enjoy the game, but I have some of my own very real Pokémon to catch. It just so happens that all my characters have fins!

Even though I'm not into the new fad, I can appreciate the many ways the pocket monster's game relates to fishing. Right off the bat, the tag line in the chorus "Gotta catch ‘em all" is right up our alley – as anglers we can appreciate that. The Poké balls strangely resemble bobbers and both are used as an aid in catching our quarry – the Poké balls are red on top and white on the bottom while many of our plastic floats are white on top and red on the bottom. In most scenarios, each of us is searching for the largest, strongest and most rare of Pokémon/fish species. Many of our targets require an intimate knowledge of the Pokémon/fish species in order to be successful. The more you think about it, catching fish is a lot more like catching Pokémon than not. Maybe we can make fishing the new craze?

Gotta Catch 'Em All!

Can you imagine if fishing was as popular as the new Pokémon Go app? There seems to be a lot of pros and cons to anything that becomes so wildly popular. Most of us are aware of the pros – entertainment value and monetary benefits quickly come to mind, but some of the cons include some real horror stories. Over the last week, some of the news stories are mind blowing: trespassing, robberies, and assaults – all while hunting for virtual pocket monsters? To top it off, I just read a story about an 18-year-old shot dead while playing the Pokémon Go game near Guatemala City – police found twenty bullet casings at the scene of the murder. Maybe we're better off if fishing doesn't become the next craze?

Meanwhile, back in my little part of the world, it seems like the dog days of summer are here to stay. With air temperatures nearing triple digits, fishing action has slowed down considerably. We're still catching fish, but mostly 14 to 16-inch bass - the big girls just aren't eating like they were a few weeks ago.

When I'm not looking for trophy fish, I like to take my kayak out into the lily pad fields. July's bright sunshine and intolerable heat sends the bass looking for cover and the pads offer shade much like the umbrellas we use on the beach. Sometimes the bass can be a little sluggish, but they still have a difficult time passing up a well-placed cast.

Summer Fun On My Wilderness Systems ATAK

Recently, I've been on a bit of a top-water fishing kick. I started with frogs as I've always enjoyed froggin' the pads. The only complaint I have about the frogs is the amount of missed hits – some days, my blowup-to-hookup ratio is unacceptable. I needed to change it up.

Topwater fishing in the pads is a blast!

A few weeks back, my daughter's boyfriend, John, passed along a pack of Doomsday Turtles and I was dying to use them – thanks John! To tell you the truth, I thought they were a little gimmicky, but I wanted to test them out to see how well they worked. To my surprise, my hook-up ratio soared and I landed nearly all of the fish that blew up on the turtle. The Doomsday Turtle is mostly flat so it rides over the pads easily and if I want to drop it into open water areas, between the pads, it sinks just slow enough to trigger the less-aggressive fish. So far, I am thoroughly impressed with the turtles. Another great tool added to my "Gotta catch ‘em all" quest!

Doomsday Turtle I choose you!

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