An Internet service, anglersurvey.com, polled 11,544 anglers in 2006 to learn what species of fish they pursue most and what brands of tackle they use. Here are the results and where this fisherman fits in with mainstream fishing America.
Top freshwater species: bass, pursued by 60.4 percent of all freshwater anglers. Yes, I fish for bass, but not until the walleye bite tapers off in mid-summer.
Top saltwater species: tie between striped bass and redfish/red drum, pursued by 30 percent of all saltwater anglers. I've never fished for either species, though I tried to arrange a striped bass trip with my nephew in Massachusetts a couple summers ago. I was vacationing there in June, just as the major migration of stripers was beginning to show off the Massachusetts coast. Unfortunately my nephew and I couldn't coordinate our schedules and I've yet to feel the mighty tug of a striper on my line.
Top rod brand: Shakespeare Ugly Stik, with 19.9 percent of all purchases. I used an Ugly Stik for many years back in my teens and early 20s. It eventually was retired and I haven't owned one since.
Top reel brand: Shimano, with 21.9 percent of all purchases. Yep, two Shimano Sedonas remain my main spinning reels after almost 10 years of service. But I've developed a preference for ABU/Garcia in recent years and my Shimanos are being phased out.
Top fly rod brand: Orvis, with 19.5 percent of all purchases. I have yet to get into fly fishing.
Top fishing line brand: Berkley Trilene, Fireline, Big Game and Vanish, with 45 percent of all purchases. That sums up what's on my fishing reels right now. But I experiment with different lines all the time. I must have at least 15 different brands in my line bag. Stren makes a 5-pound test I like for ice fishing, and Maxima monofilament and Power Pro braid that both perform very well. But a spool of Trilene will always have a place in my tackle box.
Top hard bait brand: Rapala, with 24 percent of all purchases. So who doesn't own at least a dozen Rapalas? I must have 20 of all different shapes, sizes and dive depths, and my collection is modest by many fisherman's standards. Yet my single greatest crankbait of all time was a 3-inch Bagley Bang-O-Lure that I used to catch many, many walleyes before it regrettably was lost during a sloppy landing procedure a few years back. I went home that night in distress, couldn't sleep, and spent the next day checking every tackle store in Brainerd for another. But alas, the 3-inch Bagley minnow is no longer being manufactured.
Top soft bait brand: Zoom, with 15.4 percent of all purchases. I confess total ignorance of this brand of soft plastics.
Top spinner bait brand: Strike King, with 21.5 percent of all purchases. I tie my own spinner rigs and like to experiment with different blades and bead colors. When I buy one pre-tied, I pay little attention to brand.
Top electronics: Lowrance, with more than 34 percent of all radio, GPS and fish finder purchases. My first fish finder was a Humminbird Super 60, which finally gave up the ghost a few years ago. I now have a Lowrance in the boat and Vexilar and Marcum flashers for ice fishing.
Top tackle box brand: Plano, with 43 percent of all purchases. Yep, the Plano 3-tray is my main tackle box.
Top fishing knife brand: Rapala, with 35.9 percent of all purchases. Ditto for the 9-inch Rapala knife, which feels good in the hand and maintains a good, sharp edge with minimum maintenance.
VINCE MEYER, outdoors editor, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5862.
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