B-Side Fishing Doubles Down On Weird

B-Side Fishing Doubles Down On Weird

Did you know that if it wasn’t for the American shad, you might be flying a British flag on your lawn? Or that there might be no Super Bowl or Superman or super-sized Big Mac value meal?

It’s not a stretch to say that you’re an American partially because of a lowly fish that miraculously ran up the Delaware River earlier than normal in the winter of 1778. That’s when General George Washington and his troops were dying of starvation in camp at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. Washington had no idea how they’d be able to press on and fight the British. The migratory shad arrived just in time to not only feed the troops, but provide thousands of pounds of salted fish that would fuel the army as the war pressed on. The question is, are American shad worth eating when you’re not on the cusp of death and defeat?

I’m going to answer that in Season 2 of my show B-Side, brought to you by 13 Fishing. I’m also going to explore why native suckers get no love in this country, why we’re so afraid of snakeheads, and how playing in the part of a river where salty water meets sweet can buck your perception of catfishing.

In Season 1 of B-Side, I showcased the overlooked and unexpected fisheries in my home state of New Jersey. There’s a hint of Jersey in Season 2, but this time I hit the road to meet up with the people who chase the underdogs as far west as Minnesota and south into the backwaters of Virginia. Maybe it’s the old punk rocker in me, but I’ve always been attracted to the folks who aren’t doing what everyone else is doing. In my opinion, what makes a fish species worthy of chasing is simply your excitement to chase it. And if you’re willing to be a bit socially unacceptable from time to time, you discover that many of the less glamorous fish that swim in this country offer unique angling challenges and learning opportunities that only make you a more well-rounded angler.

I learned a bunch from B-Side Season 2 and I hope you do, too. The ultimate goal is to inspire you to make decisions about what is or is not an acceptable fish to target—or put on your plate—based on personal experience instead of what your buddies, or social media, or television hype dictate. So tune your drags (yes, fighting suckers requires that), sharpen your fillet knife (because American shad have seven layers of bones), and grab some Aspirin (because a snakehead hit might stop your heart). Things are about to get weird.

Go watch it now right here.

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