Welcome to the third installment of the member Spotlight Interview. This is the place where each month readers can come and learn a little something about our members, who they are, what they do, what they think about topics of interest, and the like.
From our most sponsored angler, to our sponsors, right on to our weekend anglers, everyone has a story. This month we get to know FisherMOM (Susan Brownell).
Dave: Where are you from originally?
Fishermom: I was born in Warner Robbins, Georgia, but my parents moved to Rochester, NY when I was 6 weeks old.. maybe 6 months.. either way, I was just a little thing. When I was 5, they moved to Bergen, NY, and that is where I went to school and did the most of my growing up!
Dave: What one most influential person would you like to meet and fish with?
Fishermom: I really don’t know how to answer this. As far as pros go.. I don’t follow that too much. Too many names come to mind. I’d love to fish at an NAFC (North American Fisherman’s Club) meet sometime…or a CAG (Carp Anglers Group) meet sometime. I’d also LOVE to fish with the guys from Ohio, from OHFishing or the Illinois Boyz! (Lipripper, Joda and Kinger) For that matter.. I’d love to come and fish with the Ultimate Bass Gang as well! I’ve also made friends from Alaska… As well as my Salty Friends in the Dark Kings of the Abyss club in Southern California. So can’t you see my dilema?
Dave: When did you start fishing and why?
Fishermom: I fished a few times as a kid. But I REALLY began fishing in 2001 when we went camping and there was not much else to do. 2001 was the start, but in 2002, we became seasonal campers, and I met my first fly fisherman. The grace and beauty of flyfishing hooked me deep!
Dave: What is your greatest weakness and how do you plan on improving it?
Fishermom: My greatest weakness is FISHING… oh, you mean my greatest weakness in fishing.:)Fishing a Zara Spook… I cannot, no way, do that! I cannot walk the dog. I figure, someday I may get to try it from a dock or boat… it seems impossible from the bank. Maybe if I can get the hang of it from a higher angle off the water, then I can do it from the bank as well.
Dave: What is your favorite fishing technique, i.e.: flipping, pitching, bait of choice equipment, time of year, depth, etc….
Fishermom: My favorite fishing techniques is anything that involves constant movement. Any lure that keeps me reeling AND catches fish is my favorite.. ie. Spinnerbaits and buzzbaits. But see, after a while, I want something different, something more.. this is when I try other things. If it’s summer, and dusk, I LOVE a popper.. ain’t nothing like that top water slam of a hungry Largemouth bass! Last year I took up a likin’ for Power Pro line and my Gander Mountain baitcaster. The ponds I fish become engulfed in line breaking weeds once summer is in full swing. You need the strength of Braided Line just to bring your catches to shore. This past year I have aquired so many rods and reels… I am not sure which is my favorite. As far as depth goes, I love being a sight fisher. So shallow is good. 5 Feet, but I guess it doesnt matter how deep they are, I still try for the deeper areas as well. I’ll beat a pond to a froth when I’m there, time permitting.. at least I try!
Dave: Tell us about your family life.
Fishermom: Well, I’m married to a great guy who tries to understand my need to fish.. but at times, just can’t. David and I have been married for almost 16 years now. He is FINALLY getting into this fishing thing this year. He has caught a mess of trout already and is targeting carp every weekend. I bought him his first pair of polarized sunglasses a few weeks ago and he loves them! We have 2 girls, Shauna 15 and Celeste 6. Shauna is more into boys, the telephone, and friends. Fishing.. well, she will do it sometimes. But Celeste, she is my future Fisherwoman! She just loves catching those carp and trout.. and anticipates her first nice largemouth bass on a Panther Martin lure. (that is the lure she wants to try) You know that your child is really into fishing, when after a while, catching sunfish means nothing to them. She will catch them, but she wants the bigger fish now. I may have to steer her away from the Panther Martin idea as the pond is becoming weed infested already. I think I will start her out with a Texas Rigged Senko… or maybe a spinnerbait.
Dave: Tell us about your job, duties, titles, years exp. and future goals..
Fishermom: I’m a part time Librarian.. part time as in maybe 6 hours a week, and one Saturday a month. And I only just started this job September of 2004. Before that, I had been stricktly a stay at home MOM since April 1998. And before that, I had worked at Pizza Hut for 13 years. At Pizza Hut, I started as a waitress in 1985, then cooked, then got into management, then decided to waitress again after becoming pregnant. Food service is a hard business to be in. As far as work goes… I have no goals… I am content where I am now, and sometimes, just that little bit of work gets in the way of being a MOM and WIFE.(and fishing)
Dave: What is the one ideal job you would like to have other than the one you have now?
Fishermom: The most IDEAL job would be to be a cafeteria worker at the school that Celeste goes to. I’d prefer to work in the kitchen, behind the scenes. The hours would be perfect and summers and vacations off with my kids!
Dave: Who has helped you succeed in your endeavors so far the most?
Fishermom: Tell me….What do you mean by endeavors? Me and big words.. NOT! lol!
Dave: Well then who has supported and encouraged you the most?
Fishermom: Well, I do get a lot of encouragement from My Dad’s sister, My Aunt Billie. My Dad also seems quite proud of my accomplisments so far as well. But the one who sticks by me the most and has the most influence, would have to be my 6 year old daughter, Celeste. She is the one that tolerates hearing me talk about fishing the most, when all others in the house have turned a deaf ear to me, and she is usually up to fishing at the drop of a hat.
Dave: How do you like the UltimateBass web-site?
Fishermom: I really like the Ultimate Bass website. It’s loaded with constantly changing info and great people in the forums. And you can’t beat the husband and wife team that run the show. Mike and Laurie are great people. They care about the people that come and visit the site and make you feel at home. I have never personally met them, and if I ever did… I’d have to hug them. That’s how comfortable I feel here!
Dave: What have you gained from membership so far?
Fishermom: That’s a tough one to answer. But I am SURE that I have picked up a few tips from this site and definately I feel that I have made some friends!
Dave: What one way would you improve the web-site or change it personally?
Fishermom: There is one thing that I don’t like. After I reply to a thread, it does not take me back to that thread. Sometimes I like to see what I have typed. Sometimes I forget to preview it first.. but honestly, that isn’t enough to keep me from ever coming back!
Dave: What is your favorite local body of water and why do you like it?
Fishermom: My favorite local body of water is called Trestle Pond. One look at it and I think it’s self explanitory why I love it. First of all, you can walk completely around the pond and can fish from almost everywhere, The weeds haven’t taken it over, so it’s easy for my kids to fish. It’s deep in the middle and various spots and holds a variety of fish. It holds Largemouth Bass, Carp, Northern Pike, Crappies, Bluegills, Pumpkinseeds, and Catfish. There are pictures of it on my website.
Dave: What challenges have you faced being a female angler?
Fishermom: For one thing… when I go to the doctor’s office, they do NOT carry Field and Stream or In-Fisherman… Also, I am intimidated when I go to fish somewhere, and there are men there already fishing. I like to fish alone, but tend to get nervous sometimes when doing so. And when I’m not nervous, David is. This also makes me more timid about trying new places to fish. And as far as a fishing partner goes… it’s not like I can hook up with a guy from online and just go fish… ya know?
Dave: On the “flip side” what are some of the “advantages” of being a female angler?
Fishermom: Well, when men realize that I love to fish and that I don’t just fish with a worm, a hook and a bobber, conversations just FLOW. Sometimes, I think they get me talking to see just WHAT I DO know. And it’s easy to get help in the Sporting Goods sections too. 🙂
Dave: How did it feel to be published for the first time?
Fishermom: It felt GREAT! It was like a dream, I just stared at the magazine. I am supposed to be published again soon in the CAG magazine. It’s a combination of two of my carp articles rolled into one. Not sure when that will be out.. soon I believe. I have even been tossing around the idea about writing a children’s book. I need to research that first though before jumping in. I sure as heck can’t draw good enough for that!
Dave: Do you have a ritual you go through the mornings that you fish.
Fishermom: Well, IF I am at camp, I sneak out of bed to the bathroom with my clothes for the day and quietly slip them on. Usually I have all of my gear outside. I grab my camera and slip as quietly as I can out of the camper door without waking anyone. Depending on my quarry for the day.. I do things differently. And NO, there really is no ritual other than the “being sneaky” part. But usually, David knows when I am leaving. Now… IF I am going fishing on a school day. While Celeste is eating her breakfast, I go outside and make sure that my tackleboxes are in the truck and that my rods and reels are ready. I have on my fishing vest and my hat and when the bus gets here… I give it a few minutes to be gone… so I don’t have to wait at the stops, and I head to the nearest pond!!
Dave: What do you feel is the number one environmental threat that will directly affect our fisheries.
Fishermom: This is an area that I don’t know much about. If I just blurted something out I’d say dumb things like “Water Pollution”, “people releasing non native species such as SNAKEHEADS into our waterways”, “Zebra Mussels”, “Asian Carp”, “Poachers”.. you know, all the basics. It’s all bad.. and needs to be controlled, but it’s just so hard to regulate it all.
Dave: My wife fishes with me as my partner in the Twin Cities Team Club (Nitro Girl on the web-site). She has encountered problems with the fit and feel of fishing equipment and outerwear. Have you expierenced this as well, and how do you overcome it…..
Fishermom: Yes and no… my fishing vest is A-ok! My Hodgeman wading shoes fit big, but maybe there are women’s wading shoes out there, I didn’t look! I am 5’9″ tall, so actually, I haven’t had too many issues with my waders. And I haven’t bought much else.
Dave: Over in Alabama, a former Seceretary of Wildlife and Fisheries started carp fishing at his home lake. He stated that after baiting his dock with out of date vegetables in a burlap sack he was able to catch carp readily and with ease. Do you find carp easy to catch as he does or does it take some skill and expertise?
Fishermom: I do not believe that carp fishing is all that easy…. maybe it’s because I don’t fish heavily carp populated areas. Chumming them in definately helps, but it doesn’t always mean you will catch a fish. I can waste a whole day at the shore, and not catch one carp! It just depends on where you are fishing… the same holds true for all fish!
Dave: As we finish this up, is there anything that you would like to say to people reading this, in particular, lady anglers.
Fishermom: Advice from me, a wife and Mom.. when life gets too busy to fish, always keep fishing in the back of your mind. I know so many people that used to fish, and just “got away from it”. And in today’s busy world, it’s easy to do. There are many times, that I would LOVE to fish, and can’t find the time. Some days, I think that I will just pack it in and forget about fishing for always because it can be too stressful to find the time and not make other people upset with me because it’s something that I want to do and it can be time consuming. Fishing, for me, only happens 6 – 7 months a year.. IF I AM LUCKY! I try to squeeze in as much as I can during those months. Fishing gets me out of doors and in the fresh air and sunlight. It takes me back to a time when I had no responsibilities..even if only for an hour or two. Once I am fishing…. I can relax.
I would like to thank Fishermom (Susan) for the time and opportunity to have a discussion with her. I hope this may help out some of the other Lady Anglers out there. This was a joy to do for me and I hope everyone enjoys reading it….Again thanks Fishermom…..And tell Lipripper I said hello…..
Dave the Dope Man