Join us at FishFest 2019!

It's almost time for our 8th annual FishFest at the beautiful South Bay Pavilion at Horsetooth Reservoir in Fort Collins, CO, June 23rd 8am-1pm. The event includes break-out seminars by each of the Fishful Thinker guides, target casting, raffles and of course fishing...

On-the-Water Sonar Class

Sonar, side imaging and GPS have become the norm in fishing boats. Still, many folks struggle to maximize their value in fishing because they don't fully understand how to set them up or what they're seeing on the screen. If you'd like to learn to get the most out of...

Spicy Fish Pasta recipe

Spicy Fish Pasta is a quick dish with a refined taste. It works great with any sort of white meat fish and begs for some improv both in the pasta style and sauce itself. Onions, capers, bell peppers and any sort of herb could be added to suit your tastes. The video...

The Case for Conventional

I love to fly fish. Been doing it since I was 12 years old, am decent at it, and I have about 15 fly rods in my collection. I’ve tied flies, own all the assorted fly gadgets, and have caught everything from redfish, to bass, to trout, all on feathers and fur. Geez, I...

Tasty Fish Patties or Sticks

Fish sticks are a great way to use any white meat fish fillets that may have on hand, even those they may have spent too much time in the freezer. In this case, we used white bass caught the previous summer and the finished product is still great. Video of this ...

Pan Fried Trout

This recipe is a very simple way to prepare trout, salmon and many other skin on fillets. It is best prepared in a cast iron skillet though and heavy bottom pan will do. Video of the preparation here. Heat a cast iron skillet large enough for your fillets over medium...

FishFest 2018

Late spring; it's the time of year when everybody that ever fancied themselves a great angler can actually be one for a month or so. The environment and fish are in prime time, firing on all cylinders and making us all look like we know what...

Fundamentals…Fish are Fish

Fish are fish. Profound, right? Not really; it’s far too simple to be profound. Or maybe not, if you consider my background mindset for the statement. I’m not referencing fish being fish in a physiological way, rather the fact that most of the common fish...

There’s somethin’ ’bout a truck…

You probably didn’t know it, but I’m a junkie. No, not a drug addict…a performance junkie. Though most of you know me as an angler, I’m an all around outdoorsman and I demand a very high level of performance from anything I drive, especially in...

Hunting Fish?

In my world, there are two kinds of people; fishermen that hunt, and hunters that fish. Anyone not fitting into one of those categories is an also-ran…as in, yea, we can be friends, but given that the outdoors is a lifestyle, not a hobby, don’t...

Why We Do It…

Since its inception in 2002, Fishful Thinker LLC has been a company focussed on angler education. While we try to produce entertaining TV shows, radio segments, seminars, written pieces, and especially guided trips, make no mistake…the goal is to educate and to do so...

Holiday, errr…Fishing Season

Conventional wisdom says that the Holiday season is to be spent with friends and family, spreading cheer, reminiscing on the years past, and planning for the coming ones. While I don’t disagree with this theory and do enjoy the Holiday season, it does sound a lot like...

You Can Never Go Wrong Fishing

A "bottom feeder” by most accounts, this flathead catfish bit a spinnerbait just under the surface. After 40+ years of participating, I’ve decided that fishing is a sport built on fallacies. Yep, the most written about pastime in the history...

Crankin’ Lucky

Crankbaits are great fish catchers and often perceived as easy to fish…but as with many great things in life, just because it appears or occasionally is easy, a little Mojo and some details go a long way towards avid anglers’ success. Here’s five ways to...

White Bass, Pike and Shrimp Etouffee

Fish and Shrimp étouffée, (video here) Prepared on the Camp Chef Pro90X stove and cast iron Dutch Oven. The fish and shrimp were pre-seared in a 10” cast iron skillet in this recipe but we recommend doing all of it in the Dutch oven. This is a...

Spicy Potato Fish Cakes

This recipe will work with just about any fish you have on hand, fresh or frozen. I find it a great way to utilize frozen fish past its prime. We cook on the Camp Chef Pro 90X stove which has three 30,000 btu burners, and Camp Chef cast iron skillets. www.campchef.com...

Holiday Season or…?

Conventional wisdom says that the Holiday season is to be spent with friends and family, spreading cheer, reminiscing on the years past, and planning for the coming ones. While I don’t disagree with this theory and do enjoy the Holiday season, it does sound a lot like...

Are anglers really athletes?

In a nutshell, yes...at least some are athletes. One of the beauties of fishing is that there are many ways to undertake the pursuit of fish. For some, relaxing lakeside while drowning worms and basking in the sun is what it's all about. For them to be called...

Welcome to Fishful Thinker dot com

“Fishful Thinker is a state of mind, pure and simple. Not a person or genre, rather a mindset that besets those who think fishy thoughts. Primal yet sophisticated, it’s knowledge skillfully applied in a wave of success and failure. It’s youthful exuberance and ageless...

Observations From The Left Seat

For about 12 years or so I was tournament bass fisherman. Some of the time I fished as an amateur or non-boater, meaning that I did not own or operate the boat from which I angled. For the uninitiated, these tests of man versus fish are typically draw events where the...

Practicing What I Preach…

The column written below first appeared in Sportsman’s News magazine in October 2016. I wrote it with the same intentions I have for any other piece I write; namely to empower others to succeed in the outdoors, whether it be through technical knowledge or drawing...

Inshore Revolution

These days, in-shore fishing is all the rage. Sunday morning TV is loaded with shows featuring anglers plying their skills against redfish, snook, seatrout, jacks and a bevy of other shallow water fish. It’s a happy coincidence that many of the same skills developed...

The water is falling!!

The water is falling! The water is falling! Yes, I’m paraphrasing Chicken Little and like the fable from which this famous outcry has passed into the English language as a common idiom indicating a mistaken belief that disaster is imminent, the moral to my story is to...

Hard Lessons…

“When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.” I just returned home from coaching the Costa Bassmaster High School Championship tournament. One hundred and thirty six teams, each consisting of two high school students and a coach, qualified for this derby and they made the...

It’s good for the soul…

Vacation in Mexico. I know what you’re thinking. All-inclusive resorts flooded with drunk and sunburned Americans, Jose Quervo by the shot, and street vendors vying for your dollars. But Mexico isn’t all like that. In fact, most of it is nothing like that. Take the...

Living on the Edge

I recently saw a T shirt that said something to the effect of “if you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up too much room”. Interesting thought, even though T shirts aren’t where I normally look for tidbits of wisdom. Why, you ask, is this simple thought of...

Cred Counts…

Being a professional in the fishing business is not exactly a career choice with an obvious ladder to climb. There are no promotions, no yearly evaluation meetings with your boss, and no real defined path to follow. While there are a few ways to make a living in...

New Mojo? Yes please.

BNG. It’s marketing lingo for “Bold New Graphics” which is what a company advertises a product now has when they have no actual improvements to hype. When I was in the motorcycle racing biz, it was a term we hated to see in press releases from manufacturers because we...

Best Rods on Earth means something…

As a professional angler, my tackle is my tool set. At the core of those tools are the rods…and there is a bunch of them. There are rods ranging from ultra-light to extra-heavy power, fly and conventional, for nearly any angling situation. They are different colors,...