May 252011

A Jessamine pastoral

By Northrupp Center

In April while dining on my hillside apartment balcony over-looking the Duque de Caxias and, below that shimmering in the sun, the Baja de Guanabara, I read about the new group Creatives for Common Sense Solutions, formed by NoC editor Danny Mayer after a visit to Nicholasville’s 24-hole Riney B disc golf course. Intrigued by the story, I immediately handed grading duties for a graduate-level journalism ethics class over to my graduate assistants and made immediate plans to catch the first direct flight to Lexington, Kentucky, destined for a round of disc golf. Was the course all Mayer made it out to be? Was Lexington losing out to its ugly cousin to the south? This had the makings of a story. Continue reading »

Mar 302011

Shootin’ n snaggin’ with the Frugal Fisherman

Have you ever been walking to your mailbox and seen your neighbor making a beeline out their front door and straight towards what appears to be you? Probably not. And if you have you probably wouldn’t think twice about a passing conversation with someone of such close proximity. I mean they’re your neighbor, right?

I wish my neighborly relationships were as solid as most. But alas I’m the evil stepchild of the southwest end of Monticello. El Diablo himself. The dude who plays his music too loud, walks around in cut off jean shorts with no shirt and a High Life can in his hand and appears to be in a constant state of inebriation. And in all truthfulness that’s me to a T. Continue reading »

Mar 272011

Shootin’ n Snaggin’ with the Frugal Fisherman

If there’s a single question that enters every fisherman’s mind at one time or another, it’s when to fish. Should it be early in the morning, just before dusk or somewhere in between? The reality is there’s no easy answer, no wondrous instant when all fish gather to feed.

In fact hundreds of variables affect fish feeding patterns from moment to moment. Everything from weather, to water temperature and clarity, to the season, to fish cover. Even the amount of shade and food available influences when and how fish decide to dine. Continue reading »

Mar 022011

Shootin’ n Snaggin’ with the Frugal Fisherman

When I was kid I used to go fishing regularly at a small, local pond with my babysitter Miss Grubbs. I could hardly contain the excitement each afternoon as she would hand me the hoe and an old coffee can and say “go dig us up some worms.”

I learned a ton about fishing and life from those outings with Miss Grubbs. Continue reading »

Feb 022011

Shootin’ n snaggin’ with the Frugal Fisherman

If you are anything like me, you wake up one morning, you catch the weather, and somewhere between your first and fourth cups of coffee, you decide today would be a great day to go fishing. You grab your tackle box, a couple rods n reels and some water. You fling the kayak on top the car and you are off.

At least that is how many a fishing outing begins at my house, which isn’t to say I have always had success with such spontaneity. In fact, I’ve had many a D’oh moment that could have easily been prevented with the slightest bit of planning and attention to detail.

One such quick and easy facet in making sure your first and subsequent fishing experiences go off without a hitch is to check your equipment. I am not just talking about organizing your tackle box; I’m referring to going over your rod n reel from tip to butt.

Beyond the actual fishing lure and knot, no two factors are more integral in actually hooking and retrieving a fish then your rod n reel. (Well, you do have to locate and target a fish, but that is a story for another day.)

Today let’s talk about your rod specifically. The modern fishing rod comes in all kinds of lengths, styles and variations. Besides the cane pole, though, all rods share the same construction characteristics: a handle, reel seat, guides and the actual rod itself.

To ensure your rod is working properly, follow these six quick and easy steps:

Clean your fishing rod. Many freshwater fishermen fail to realize that algae and silt from ponds, lakes and rivers can harm the rod’s guides and handle. Dampen a cloth with tap water and wipe the rod over completely from top to bottom. Make sure to clean each guide thoroughly.

Check your cork. If your rod has a cork handle make sure the cork isn’t cracked, dry rotted or damaged. Wipe the cork thoroughly with water and apply a simple conditioner like U-40. For synthetic handles simply clean with a damp cloth and dry.

Check guides for cracks or irregularities. Make sure each guide feels smooth inside each circle. Look at the base of each guide to make sure that each is tightly fitted to the pole and there are no cracks in the fiberglass coating or epoxy attaching the guide to the rod. If a guide is broken, irregular or isn’t smooth you can replace it. The tip is easier to replace than the line guides. But neither is very tough or time consuming.

Replacement guides can be purchased at most any tackle or fishing purveyor. Each replacement guide usually comes with everything you need to finish the job, such as windings and epoxy. If the guide cannot be replaced or the guide has damaged the rod as well, you will need to buy a new rod altogether or have a specialist fix the problem.

Clean the reel seat. When it comes to the reel seat, detach the reel from the pole and inspect the pole underneath as well as the mechanics used to attach the reel itself. Wipe the reel seat clean with tap water and a damp cloth and make sure there are no easily discerned cracks or loose parts.

Reattach the reel and make sure it feels snug and secure to the handle. If for any reason it doesn’t, make sure you have tightened the handle properly. If in fact it is tight and the reel still seems loose, this could be a clear sign the pole has been damaged. Consult a specialist if the pole is of value, or else simply buy a new rod.

The pole itself. Now that the handle, reel seat and guides have been inspected it’s time to go over every inch of the pole itself. Look at connection areas such as between the handle and pole’s butt. Make sure nothing feels loose or irregular. Look for any damage such as cracks or stress fractures along the poles length.

And give the rod a good bend or two. Be sure to listen for any cracking or popping sounds. If you hear anything at all it probably means the rod is shot. Once again if the pole is of value consult a specialist; otherwise it’s time to grab the wallet and make a purchase.

Storage is key. At this point the rod should be ready for another season of fishing. But in addition to maintenance here are some suggestions for storing your poles. Try not to carry your rods in bundles. This can cause wear and excessive rubbing, which weakens the rod’s construction. Remove hooks or lures after each fishing outing. Hooks are prone to damaging and scratching guides.

Avoid permanent bows or bends in your rods. A bowed pole that sits over winter can start to lose its elasticity, thereby affecting the rod’s action. Lastly, avoid storing your poles in direct sunlight or in extremely hot temperatures. Heat and sunlight causes everything from dried out handles to fading and dry rotting.

I’ll be the first to say I don’t always maintain my poles as I should. But at the very least give your poles a good cleaning and inspection at the beginning of each season. It just might save yourself some pain and suffering when you hook into that big one.

Stay tuned for part 2 of this series where I’ll go over reel maintenance. If you have any questions, concerns or advice please contact me at

Jan 192011

Shootin’ n Snaggin’ with the Frugal Fisherman

I’d be lying if I said I have been fishing here in the last few months. Much like everyone else I have been hunkering down, layering up and lying low, all in an attempt to beat what seems to be a permanent state of frigidity throughout the Bluegrass. For more than eight weeks now I have spent all but an hour or two a week inside. The lack of nature in my life has started to take its toll. Continue reading »

Dec 082010

Shootin’ n snaggin’ with the Frugal Fisherman

One more year has come and gone. A fact I’m keenly aware of now that the days have become shorter. For many this change in seasons, this early arrival of night (or dawn, depending on one’s schedule) awakens ancient biorhythms, signaling the soul to rest, take it easy, and enjoy the silence. And though I do tend to slow down this time of year, daylight savings is anything but welcomed in my home.

For one, the shorter days seem to leave me in a funk. I’m lifeless. I sleep sporadically. I eat sporadically. I can never tell what time of day it is. I’m seemingly lost in the lost and found. Continue reading »

Sep 292010

Terrible showing by Redskins provokes NoC icon

NoC News

Due to an incomprehensible, unfathomable and outright unspeakable rift in the sporting cosmos, the Frugal Fisherman has reportedly gone missing. He was last seen stumbling out of Winchell’s on Southland around 7 PM this past Sunday, moments after the Washington Redskins laid an egg against the lowly Saint Louis Rams. Eyewitness accounts report he was extremely inebriated, displaying fits of anger and screaming wildly, Who lets Rams ass fuck them?…The Skins are toasted dog shit!…Fuck football! Fuck America!!” Continue reading »

Sep 162010

Shootin’ and Snaggin’ with the Frugal Fisherman

I’m a sporadic disc golfer. My introduction to the sport came over a three year period in the late 90s when I threw an infrequent series of really stoned-out rounds at parks across the greater southeastern United States with a close friend from high school. We played suburban parks in Raleigh, state parks in rural middle Georgia, and even a municipal park located near the Charleston, SC coast. My friend worked a sales job with a corporate client—selling lawn mowers, I thought, until informed years later that it was actually ATM receipts and other printables. Officially, he was “out on a sales call” for all 288 holes we played.

More recently, I have been playing at a nearby place in Keene, KY, on property I’ve helped rent with some friends for the past three years. The course is an excellent compliment to the firepits, berry patches, gardens, canoes, kayaks and hops decks with which we’ve littered the property. Continue reading »

Aug 112010

Shootin’ n snaggin’ with the Frugal Fisherman

Over the last few months I’ve written about everything from worm beds and pond fishing to various bait and tackle. During this time my approach to fishing has changed. Where I used to understand fishing as a mere sport, I’ve grown to value it more of a means of subsistence.

An avid gardener in search of increasingly sustainable means of food production, somewhere in the past year I decided I’d turn my hobby into a way of utilizing fish as an excellent source of protein. My plan was, and is, to stock my freezer with as much fish as I can catch, clean and freeze over the next few months, thereby increasingly removing myself from the industrial food grid, all while eating better food and saving a few pennies along the way. Continue reading »