Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Meet My Mermaid.

Have you ever looked closely at a stick of dynamite?  It's fairly small, thin, explosive.  But if you look even closer, sometimes you'll see things that make it unique from all the rest.  Christine Pulliam is that stick of dynamite.

(JR) You're shorter in person.

(CP) Laughing Thanks.

(JR) How long have you been hunting and fishing?

(CP) Since I can remember.  My Dad raised me to be an outdoor girl and I spent most of my time with him on the water or in a stand.  I killed my first deer when I was 9.

(JR) So most babies had rattles, you had poles and shotguns.

(CP) HAHA! I spent so much time outdoors that I literally can't be in the house now.  I'll get real anxious and freak out.  Mermaids can't be kept captive like that!

(JR) Agreed.  Are your siblings as into these kind of things as you are?

(CP) My sister is my best friend, but she's not into fishing, hunting, and getting dirty.  She was a cheerleader, and even though she learned how to do it, it wasn't her thing, and she didn't have the same desire to do it that I had.

(JR) You mentioned that she's more into being a mom right now than you are, but you're kind of a mom too in your own way, no?

(CP) I am, I LOVE my dog.  We are never apart.  We get up together, work out together, hunt and fish together, she sleeps right next to me at night and I cuddle her.  From the moment I got her we've been inseparable.  I originally got her just to hunt, but she never leaves my side.

(JR) So you hunt waterfowl then I take it.  What else?

(CP) Hogs, deer, turkeys, whatever really.  I'm going to be guiding in Texas now.

(JR) Do you still get out with your Dad often?

(CP) Actually, my Dad passed away not too long ago.  I haven't said anything about it.  I'm still processing the whole thing.  I miss him; it actually makes me want to be on the water that much more because I KNOW he's there with me.

Be sure to like my Facebook page for chances to win free gear!

(JR) It's nice to know that you shared that passion and that you can still enjoy it.  Some people never get to experience that, or stop doing it all together after losing their mentor.

(CP) I'll never stop.  I'm training right now to go on an Elk hunt this fall.  My plan is to stalk an Elk with my bow until I get it.  It's probably going to take me about two weeks total.

(JR) Have you been bow hunting long?

(CP) Not really.  But I am completely addicted.  I swear it's the most beautiful sport there is.

(JR) I know exactly what you mean.  How's the training going?

(CP) Great.  My girl and I get up early.  I work with her for about an hour on retrieving and swimming.  We have breakfast.  Then we do our Yoga before heading to the gym.  After that we run at the beach or head out on the water for some red fish fishing.

(JR) What is your favorite place/species?

(CP)  Red Fish.  For sure.  In Florida I spend most of my time fishing in either Mosquito Lagoon or Cape Canaveral, but I really like fishing the St. John's River too.

(JR) So what's your plan for this year?  Are you going to be fishing any tournaments or doing any specific hunting?

(CP) I'm actually going to start guiding in Texas at Elite Outdoorsman so when I'm not on the water here in Florida that's most likely where I'll be.  It's a huge ranch with incredible people and our rates are really great.  If you're looking to book a hunt you should come down and go with me!

Monday, February 2, 2015

A Bass Plundering Viking!

Millions of fans cheer Brian Robison for terrifying opposing quarterbacks, and at 6-3, 259, there's plenty of cause for that.  But pay attention to his hooksetting sack dance and you'll see that under the purple and gold jersey, number 96 is fisherman just like you and me.

(Root) How long have you been playing football?

(Robison) I've been playing football almost 30 years.

(Root) How has that commitment to the team atmosphere impacted your time on the water?  Do you find yourself off balance when you're competing by yourself against the rest of the field and more at ease when you're competing with a partner?

(Robison) They each have their advantages.  When I fish in team events it's always me and my dad and I love having that connection with him and that time with him on the water.  At the same time, when I fish in tournaments where I'm competing as an individual with a random co-angler I am free to go and do whatever I want, wherever I want.  I do all the preparation, studying, and pregaming.

Pictured:  Brian's dad, Jimmy Robison

(Root) You mention preparation.  Does your experience as an elite defensive end in the National Football League studying tape, game plans, and opponents give you an advantage because you're accustomed to putting in that level of work that maybe other guys aren't or don't have the mindset for?

(Robison) Well for sure I'm no stranger to it.  I can't speak for other guys and how much time they spend studying maps or lake reports or weather forecasts and things like that, but I would say that I am absolutely programmed to be conditioned to that level of preparation where someone else might not be and have to struggle to do it to that level.

(Root) How massive is your wingspan?

(Robison Laughing) I'm not exactly sure...

(Root) Because I gotta tell you man, if I'm standing on the back of your boat, and you're really trying to get some distance on a jerkbait, I might be paying a little bit more attention and hoping I'm not feeling a breeze go by.

(Robison) I have had some close calls, but thankfully I haven't stuck anybody yet!

(Root) Does that encourage your dad to fish off the front with you?

(Robison) Man I actually wish he'd spend more time up front, but he's usually pretty content to sit back and work his Texas Rig off the back.  We complement each other very well.  I have tremendous ADD when I'm fishing.  I want to work fast.

(Root) You're a power-fishermen?

(Robison) I'm working on becoming more versatile, but yeah you could say I feel most confident when I'm power fishing.  Where as my dad, he can sit and pick apart a patch of grass for hours.  I can't.  I gotta go.  I think that dichotomy helps to balance us out and make us a better team.

(Root) Your dad is one of the nicest guys.  When we met a year ago I could not get over how grounded you are, how approachable you are to your fans.  Clearly a lot of credit for that has to go to your parents, was there any additional influence on you that helped instill that in you?

(Robison) My parents are absolutely amazing, no doubt.  My entire family has been tremendous.  My beautiful wife, our kids, her family.  I also had great leaders in the Minnesota organization that stepped up and really showed me how to be an athlete of character in this league, and that's helped me an incredible amount.

(Root) Tell me about the Sack Dance.  A couple guys have tried to duplicate it, but you do it better than anyone.

(Robison) That's my hookset!  Leanin into them big fish.

(Root) What would you say is your favorite sack of all time?

(Robison) My rookie season I sacked Brett Favre when we were playing Green Bay.  I actually get to say that I am the last Minnesota Viking to sack Brett.

(Root) Then a couple seasons later you're playing with him.  What was that like?

(Robison) Brett is amazing.  To this day I would follow him into battle anywhere.  Matt Cassel is another one who has that leader quality, as does Teddy Bridgewater.  I think Teddy's going to be a prolific quarterback in this league.  But no doubt, playing with Brett and seeing what he was able to do on the field was an incredible experience.

(Root) What do you consider to be your home lake?  You live in Minnesota during the season, but then you head back to your home state of Texas.  

(Robison) My home lake would be Lake Conroe.  It's about 21,000 acres of prime Largemouth fishing in Texas.  

(Root) Is there good smallmouth fishing in Texas or is that the sort of thing you have to get your fill of when you're in Minnesota or travelling?

(Robison) Personally I haven't done any smallmouth fishing in Texas.  I've heard there are a couple of good places.  The problem with fishing in Minnesota is that there's really not much of any time for that.  Between practice, the gym, watching film, studying, there's not much time left to get out on the water.  When I do get a chance, the fishing is spectacular!

(Root) We all get help, whether it's a new body of water or even one we're familiar with but for whatever reason it's like we just can't seem to figure out what the fish are doing.  Who has helped you, and does that same willingness to help translate to your career in football where guys either on your team or that you know from across the league give you tips on a particular QB or offensive lineman?

(Robison) There are absolutely guys like that who I've reached out to for help on the lake.  Cliff Crochet is one of those guys that I can call.  Believe it or not KVD was a huge help to me at a tournament I was fishing in and was just really stumped.  He told me what he was looking for in terms of a particular area of depth and structure that helped me unlock the key to what the fish were doing.  In football it's totally different because you got lots of guys looking over their shoulder, and not wanting to share info that could lead to that guy taking their job.  Our team, our defense, and Vikings lockerroom is 100% committed to the team and guys are always trying to help each other because they understand that the better we do as individuals, the better we do as a team.  But it's funny, you think guys are stingy with their fishing spots, football is whole new level of secrecy!  

(Root) Speaking of guys helping out and being a part of the team, in looking ahead to Hartwell, I'm just gonna go on the record right now and say that Mercer needs to step up, take one for the team, throw on the pads, and get sacked one time.  I know there was a little talk about that last year and it got shut down.  I know you're down.

(Robison Laughing) I'm definitely down, but I don't know if Dave is.  We'll see.  I've been away from the field for a little while now after not making the playoffs and I'm itchin to put a hit on somebody too!

(Root) What's in store for you in 2015?

(Robison) Man I'm gonna be working with some great companies on the water and I've already started to dish the info on that on my twitter account, @Brian_Robison, but basically I'm still drivin my Ranger, pushing my E Happy to announce that I'll be working with@trokarhooks by @eagleclawfish in 2015. The sharpest, strongest hooks allow for more penetration (no pun intended). You'll have to keep up with me on Twitter to hear the rest! #rulethewater #trokar
vinrude, throwin a Dobyns, and runnin Rigid.  I'm wearing STORMR gear now. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Why Toho could define 2015 and beyond

Big Ish-ues for B.A.S.S., Poche and Monroe to come.

By now I'm sure that most of you have heard about the incident between Keith Poche and Ish Monroe that transpired at the first Bassmaster Southern Open, the opening event for B.A.S.S. in 2015.  Both anglers have recently issued statements (Keith's is here, Ish's is here) and to say that they each offer varying opinions on what transpired there in the lock would be an understatement.  Here's what you can gather from each statement:

  • Keith's boat hit Ish's boat while in a lock, Keith was driving the boat under power of his trolling motor.
  • A verbal argument ensued.
  • Ish left his boat, and entered Keith's boat.
  • Ish admitted that while he didn't strike Keith, he went over the line with an "unwanted touch".
  • Both anglers ended up in the water.

In the wake of these statements, many fans and anglers have began offering opinions on each angler, and what they would do if in they had been in that situation.  Some of those responses have been incredibly disturbing, threatening physical violence and promising to hurt anyone who ever hit them, or entered their boat.  Here are some quotes from the internet:

"Way to go just went up a couple places in my book."
"In a way you can't blame ish for jumping in Keith's boat Bc I would have to the same thing."
"Someone hits my boat they're meeting my fists.  Simple."
"DQ me, fine.  You hit my boat, I will F&%$ you up.  Period."


This is fishing, not football, not Ultimate Fighting.  There's no room for physical violence of any kind in our sport.  Kids of all ages are watching us all the time, reading about this, reading the responses of adults (some they know, some they don't) and being influenced by what they are seeing and reading.  It is crucial that this remain an isolated incident, and that each angler involved be held accountable for actions deemed inappropriate.  

To that end, I believe that B.A.S.S. needs to show all of us as anglers, and all of you as fans, that this kind of behavior will not be tolerated.  If you leave your boat and/or enter someone else's during tournament hours with the intent to threaten harm or to inflict harm, either verbally or physically, on another person, fan or competitor, you should be forced to sit out a full 12 months of all B.A.S.S. sanctioned events.  If you are found to have done it a second time, you should be banned for life.  People are going to argue that punishments of that level are too severe, but what does it say by not making it severe enough?  I am aware that this is how many people make their living.  I am more concerned with the precedent that is going to set henceforth.  Violent behavior is often not treated with the respect that it deserves, and while this now looks like a situation that is leaving people to debate which of these two possesses a greater level of fault, we are fortunate that neither of them bumped their head or had some other fluke injury that caused serious injury or death.  That would be an outcome that I hope to never witness or read about.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Collaboration with WeatherSTEM

I recently got together with the creative team at WeatherSTEM to create "Fishing and Weather", the first of many educational lessons that integrate the science of weather and bass fishing to make learning more fun!  This was a tremendous experience, and I think that teachers, parents, and school administrators who are all struggling with the common core are going to be really excited about this project!  Check it out for yourself by clicking here or by going to this link: