About Roger

cropped-image-1-e1455769063250-1.jpegHi everyone! My name is Roger, and I’m a confirmed “BassHole.” Yup, I belonged to a fishing club in San Francisco (years ago!) called the BassHoles! In 1999 I moved back to Vermont, and then later moved to New Hampshire with Brenda, My Internet Bride.

I’ve been fishing since I built my own rod (out of a discarded bamboo rod and cup holder hooks for guides), equipped with a reel my brother had thrown in the trash. I was about 10 years old.

For the next five decades, I fished sometimes and didn’t other times, but now I fish every opportunity I have. Though I don’t exclusively fish for bass, or even fish with spinning gear (I’m also a fly fisherman, and worked for Orvis in San Francisco “in my spare time”), the vast majority of my fishing IS for bass on spinning gear.

DSC02857I don’t have a boat (maybe someday?), but use a great floatation device called a Hobie Float Cat (unhappily no longer made). I am looking to upgrade to a Hobie Mirage one day, or even a BassPro Tracker boat, but for now, I’m just a floater.

In June of 2015, I slipped on a river bank and tore my patella tendon. I crawled for an hour on my hands and knee (the left one wouldn’t move!) across sharp rocks to get near my car, and was finally helped by a young man who backed my car down the rest of the way, helped orient me to the door, and I hauled myself in. I drove myself to the emergency room, and within a couple of weeks had reconstructive surgery.IMG_0160

That ended my fishing adventures for 2015!

Unable to fish, I joined some fishing organizations, started reading magazines, searched Google for fishing tips, watched bass tournaments on TV, and generally started deepening my education on bass fishing.

I learned so much that I decided I would share it with the world, and that’s what brought you here!

I love to fish, and I love to have fun! So I’ve decided to share how to have fun even when you’re not catching all the fish you think you should.

I’ll try to write 1 blog a week — sometimes more, sometimes less.

Please subscribe to my blog so you won’t miss anything, and we can stay in touch!

I’d love to hear your fishing stories, tips, advice, pros, cons, and so forth.

Enjoy the site and share your wisdom!

Tight lines!

Roger, The Smiling BassHole

Founder of Catch-Big-Bass.com

29 thoughts on “About Roger

  1. Vicky

    I hope 2016 is a lot better than 2015 ended, sorry to hear about your injury. You crawled back to the car what a story… how’s your leg doing now?

    It’s funny how when we have a passion we find a way to still keep at it… All though you were not able to go out on your floating device with your rods you took fishing into your home. That we are all very grateful for since you are now sharing it all with us.

    Your own experience + the fishing education, shared here = a big thank you!

    Vicky

    Reply
    1. Roger Ford Post author

      Vicky,

      Thanks! Yes, I certainly hope to avoid major injury and surgery this year! It was my first major surgery, so I did learn a lot. For example, AFTER surgery, you are exhausted and sleep most of the day! But after a week, I was simply laid up. No work for 3 months, which didn’t mind at all, but not being able to fish did make me sad)

      But I’m thankful surgery was possible! And it’s not that little incision type surgery. My surgeon told me that if I ever need that knee replaced, they will use the same incision. The scar looks exactly like knee replacement. Interestingly, knee replacement recover is a LOT faster. It’s been almost 9 months since the surgery: my knee is still stiff and I’m still walking gingerly, but I get better every day! I’m hoping I can get back in the water once the ice completely melts in my local lake.

      It did inspire me to really do some deep study of fishing. I’d always had that goal in the back of my mind, but this gave me the time and inspiration to actually do it. Couldn’t fish, but COULD read, watch, and learn about how to become a better fisherman.

      Which, in turn, inspired me to share my new found knowledge with others!

      Thanks for the comment!

      Tight lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

      Reply
  2. Clue

    Hi there Roger

    I am very sorry to hear that 2015 did not end to well for you. It’s not all bad though. If it didn’t happen maybe you would have never started this website to give us some tips. I am from South Africa and live on the coastline. I enjoy fishing mostly from the rocks but the surf is okay as well. We don’t do fly fishing around here so that is something very new to me. My favorite fish is shad. I don’t know if you have it in your area but I love it.

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge on this very informative website. I hope you get well very soon so that you can get back to the water.

    Clue

    Reply
    1. Roger Ford Post author

      Clue,

      Thank you! 2015 had one traumatic incident for me, but luckily it did not totally stop me. My wife and I still visited Walt Disney World, twice! She had to wheel me around in a wheelchair (she said I was too slow propelling myself), but we had a lot of fun!

      Sounds like you have some awesome fishing where you are! I have fished for shad, but in the American River running through Sacramento, California. They were coming from the ocean to spawn. They were a heck of a lot of fun. I caught 19 one day (my best!), all on shad flies I tied myself.

      I now live in New Hampshire, and there’s no place like that to fish for shad, but I still have fun catching bass, then letting them go.

      Tight lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

      Reply
  3. Semen

    Hi Roger,

    I’m sure that 2016 will be much more lucky year for you!!

    Thanks for your website and your passion. When you people really love their hobbies and lifestyle – you are getting inspired as well!

    Will suggest your site for the friends-fishing lovers!

    Take care!

    Sam.

    Reply
    1. Roger Ford Post author

      Thanks, Sam!

      I surely do love fishing! And am looking to get out there in the VERY near future. Still limping a bit, but getting better, and my physical therapist says my fishing from my pontoon float (where I need to “pedal” myself around with my swim fins) is great therapy!

      Thanks for inviting your fishing friends. They are welcome to become honorary BassHoles!

      Tight lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

      Reply
  4. Aasiyahb

    Roger,

    What a story! I can’t believe you had to drag yourself for 1 hour, sounds like a scary movie 🙁 But on the bright side, I am happy you are now blogging sharing your knowledge. I hope you are much better now and hopefully can go fishing again soon.

    I’m not a ‘fisher’ but I do enjoy fishing. I could only imagine how much you miss it. Remember everything happens for a reason!

    I’m looking forward to more delightful posts!

    Take care,
    Aasiyah B

    Reply
    1. Roger Ford Post author

      Thanks, Assiyah!

      I just got back from today’s fishing trip! No fish, but still fun.

      Yes, crawling up from my fall toward my car was definitely an ordeal. But I survived! I had tied my handkerchief to the end of my fishing rod, and waved it like a white flag at passing cars, but they couldn’t really see me. That was the part my brother and sisters thought was the most amusing about my experience.

      My knee is still stiff, but I can get around!

      Thanks for the kind words.

      Tight lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

      Reply
  5. Dawn

    Hi Roger your story is amazing you are a very passionate man when it comes to your fishing. I’ve never really been into fishing. I think when I was visiting family as a child in South Carolina my uncle showed me how to fish but I wasn’t that good at it so that was my last time experiencing fishing. From what I’ve read it can be very relaxing. You are a very strong soul to have crawled on sharp rocks with just one knee to your car and then drive yourself to emergency that is amazing.

    This site is very helpful to those who are fishermen and to those who are interested in getting started in this wonderful sport. Much success to you! 🙂

    Reply
    1. Roger Ford Post author

      Thanks, Dawn!

      Crawling towards my car was certainly an experience I won’t forget soon! But I was lucky that a young man (who happened to work for a friend of mine) dropped by the river and helped me get into my car. Just the other day someone asked me if I was a bit in shock after the event, but actually, I don’t think I was. I sure knew something was wrong, but I my mind was clear and I was determined to do whatever I needed to to get the help I knew I needed.

      Thanks for your kind words.

      Tight lines!

      Roger, the Smiling BassHole

      Reply
  6. Evie

    Hi Roger
    Well I hope that 2016 is shaping up to be a much better year for you than 2015 and that you will soon be actively out on the river again. Though it’s great that you managed to continue your passion and learn even more about it. You have some very interesting and well researched posts on your site (and I must admit your moniker did give me a bit of a chuckle – you are definitely someone with a sense of humour). Good luck to you with 2016 – hope you keep your lures luring.

    Reply
    1. Roger Ford Post author

      Thanks, Evie!

      Yes, I have been out on Webster Lake (5 minutes from my home) twice. So far, no fish. But tomorrow I will try again! And at least now there won’t be any ice buildup in my guides, as there was on my first outing. That was nearly 3 weeks ago, so I’m hoping the water is nearing “pre-spawn” temperature: the magic 59 degrees.

      Glad you got a chuckle! I do love to make people smile.

      Tight lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

      Reply
  7. Larry

    Hello Roger.
    It’s a pleasure to see another NH boy taking the time to write about what he loves, fishing. Sorry to hear about your 2015 season, but hoping your 2016 will be filled with great fishing memories and I am looking forward to reading all about them. I have put a link to your site on the “Blogs I Read” page of my blog because I think others would like to read your blog as well. Thanks for sharing.
    the Amateur Angler

    Reply
    1. Roger Ford Post author

      Thanks Larry!

      Yes, we NH boys need to stick together! Though I should warn you, I’m originally from Vermont, and have lived in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Texas, Ohio, Illinois, and California.

      Thanks for adding me to your “Blogs I Read” page — I will create a similar page myself and include your there as well!

      Tight lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

      Reply
  8. GiuliaB

    Ouch Roger, that pic of you –post surgery, I guess. I hope you are fully recovered, albeit it not able to do much more fishing. Which must have been devastating for you.

    I started thinking lately, after a few minor complaints with my eyes and legs, how horrible it would be for me if I could no longer take my dog for walks – that is my niche, my passion, as much as fishing is for you, so I can understand that you had to give up a lot.

    I think your idea of learning more about it as a result of your injury was a brilliant one.

    I must confess, I have never gone fishing before, but then again I blame the UK weather against the sunny Californian days where you developed your passion. Just a question: why bass, of all fish you may have caught in your fishing careers? And also, do you keep caught fish, or do you release it back in water? I’m not vegetarian, don’t get me wrong, so in a way rather hypocritical of me to ask, but just curious.

    Thank you.

    Reply
    1. Roger Ford Post author

      Thanks Giulia!

      The post-surgery photo was, thankfully, after a few weeks. The first week after surgery was the hardest. I was very tired, slept about 18 to 20 hours a day! But there was no pain. My knee was VERY tight (and is still tight after 11 months!), so I couldn’t bend it to sit in certain places, but other than that, painless!

      It was a bummer not being able to fish, but I did manage to salvage things by reading about fishing and watching tons of fishing videos.

      I do understand your concern about health issues and walking the dog! Certainly Indy would also be sad! But I’m sure Indy would smother you with love and affection while you were struggling to overcome your issues!

      Why bass? For many years, I was a trout fisherman, and do sometimes fish for trout. But I like bass because they are very aggressive, good fighters, and just tons of fun to catch. Plus they are abundant in lakes near where I live, though there are lots of trout fisheries here too.

      I am a catch and release fisherman, so I spend all this time and effort and money to catch them, then let them go! I’m not a vegetarian either, but I really almost never eat fish! I just like to catch them! I’ve always loved fishing, since I was a little boy. And it hasn’t changed!

      Thanks for the comment!

      Tight lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

      Reply
  9. FishHunter

    Hi Roger,

    FishHunter Sonars here!

    We saw that you are interested in using our FishHunter products and we would love to make that happen for you! Send us an email at review@fishhunter.com and we will set it up.

    Thanks,

    Consumer Experience Team
    FishHunter

    Reply
    1. Roger Ford Post author

      FishHunter,

      Awesome! I will certainly send an email! I’d love to be able to share my experience with my readers!

      Thank you so much!

      Tight Lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

      Reply
  10. Matt

    Wow your surgery is an unbelievable story. I love how even though you slipped and tore your knee and couldn’t fish you STILL found a way to continue your passion. You didn’t let that event cripple you and instead you actually got much more out of it than you may have expected! I think that’s a very inspirational story Roger!

    -Matt

    Reply
    1. Roger Ford Post author

      Thanks Matt!

      Yes, I was able to get some positive action from a negative situation. Of course I was also recovering! I’m all healed but still building strength and flexibility in that knee.

      I will say I HAVE learned a lot, but haven’t always been able to put it into practice. But there’s lots more fishing days left!

      Thanks for the comment.

      Tight Lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

      Reply
  11. Subra

    Hi Roger! I’ve never taken to fishing. But many good friends are avid anglers. Some disappear for the day or the whole night to catch something (local rivers, ponds, disused mining pools, sometimes at sea).

    I like the information on this site. Easy navigation, interesting posts.

    I did not find any content about how to be “safe” while out fishing. Your experience, and some research, should perhaps be translated into a post such as “Safety Tips” for anglers. That should include batteries for mobile devices. Regards

    Good to know you are recovering from your fall.

    Reply
  12. Ashlee Wallace

    Love your story Roger! Especially how you met Brenda (lol)! I couldn’t imagine going through an accident like that though. I pray you have a speedy recovery and most definitely, continue to share your story. Good luck with posting once a week! 🙂

    Reply
    1. Roger Ford Post author

      Thanks Ashlee!

      I love telling the story of how I met Brenda, My Internet Bride. When I started working at Brooks Brothers 10 years ago, I told that story to every customer I rang out!

      That accident was certainly my greatest injury to date. I was glad I didn’t fall into the river! But I was able to crawl about halfway to the car, and then a young man saw me and backed my car down the rest of the way. The knee has healed, but I’m still working at regaining full strength.

      Thanks for the good luck wishes! Now to get to work with a post!

      Tight lines and remember to have fun out there!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

      Reply
  13. Calvin

    Hello roger,

    Wow! I hope you knee is doing better and you are able to get back up and go fishing. I just got back from spending a year in California near San Francisco. I found it interesting that the waters there were so polluted they usually had signs posted on how many fish you could eat a week out of them. Do you think this is a problem everywhere now?

    Reply
    1. Roger Ford Post author

      Calvin,

      My knee is healed and getting stronger every day! I got back to fishing in April, but it was a bit of a struggle! I was still so stiff. But I made it work! After all, I’d missed an entire season last year, so I wasn’t going to miss another!

      Now my flexibility has increased dramatically, and putting my flippers on and taking them off is no longer a 20 minute job!

      Fish all over the US are contaminated with mercury. The source of mercury is coal-fired plants and electricity generators, as well as waste incineration. The mercury moves from the air into the water, and then is concentrated via “bioaccumulation.” That means big fish eat small fish, and so accumulate the mercury from the prey they eat.

      Steps are being taken to try to reduce the mercury emissions, hopefully that will get results in the future!

      Thanks for the comment!

      Tight lines and remember to have fun out there!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

      Reply
  14. Chuka

    Persistent or what! So wonderful that you’re recovering well Roger and hope you continue to fly high. The amazing thing is your spirit; the way you described your misfortune and how you came out of it shows the kind of mindset you have.

    Personally I wouldn’t know how to hold the fishing rod but do enjoy consuming it though 🙂 I have, however enjoyed the passion you exude while pursing your interest.

    I wish you safety in the future and a full recovery.

    Reply
    1. Roger Ford Post author

      Thanks, Chuka!

      My knee has healed, but I’m still building up strength. I do my daily physical therapy exercises, and when I’m fishing, I have flippers on my feet and propel myself with my legs, so that also strengthens it. It gets stronger every day!

      I don’t actually EAT any of the fish I catch — I let them all go! And then hope to catch them again.

      Mostly I like shell fish: shrimp, mussels, clams, and scallops. But I don’t fish for those!

      Glad you enjoyed the posts!

      Tight lines and remember to have fun out there!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

      Reply
      1. Martha

        Great blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere? A design like yours with a few simple adumjtesents would really make my blog stand out. Please let me know where you got your theme. Bless you

        Reply

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