SAM

By now I am guessing those of you who frequently read my blog have noticed some changes.  Our “IT” folks here at the Nebraska Game & Parks Commission are updating some things and trying to make everything more user-friendly and inviting to a wide range of folks.  Nebraska’s great outdoor resources can be enjoyed by everyone.

They are still working on RSS feeds for the “new” blogs, but I believe you will be able to sign up for the RSS feed to Bauer’s Barbs and Backlashes HERE.

I have been blogging since March of 2009.  Believe it or not, I have found something to ramble about for 715 some blog posts now.

And I ain’t done.

With the new format, I thought this would be a good time to revisit some of the ideas and philosophies I stated when I started blogging.  You can read my “bio” at the end of this blog post, but that is not the whole story.

I love to fish.  Most of my blog posts will be about fish and fishing in Nebraska.  I try to keep folks informed on what is happening on the fisheries management scene throughout the state, but I also try to share some of the fish and fishing knowledge I have accumulated over the years.  There is nothing I like to do more than talk fishing!

By training I am a fisheries biologist, but I would not be doing what I am doing now if I was not a lifelong Nebraska resident, hunter, fisher and trapper.  Nebraska’s outdoors literally runs in my blood.  You will often find my “pointy-headed” biologist side showing through in my blog posts and I hope I can help folks learn some biology, ecology, limnology, biochemistry, or something else “deep” through my blog posts.  I hope to make you think.  My buddy Bruce once said this, “Fishing is mostly about understanding fish.”

I am a Nebraska native, a Nebraska “homer” and fully believe that “There is NO place like Nebraska”.  I fully realize there is a lot of great fishing in other states and I have experienced that in the past and hope to experience more of that in the future.  When I do, I will likely share it with you by blogging about it.  However, if there is one thing that really “pushes my buttons”, it is to hear someone claim that we do not have any good fishing in Nebraska.  BALONEY!  You will often hear me say that we may not have as much water as some of our neighboring states, but one thing we have to offer in Nebraska is variety, diversity.  Nebraska truly is unique in that we are in the center of the continent and very much are a place where “east meets west” and “north meets south”.  Nebraska has a great diversity of geography and climate and that is reflected in our fish & wildlife resources.  Nebraska used to market itself as being “The Mixed Bag Capitol of the World” and we still are.  We offer a diversity of great fishing opportunities for a variety of species of fish–everything from brook trout to flathead catfish, a variety of sunfish species to the king of freshwater sport fish, the muskie.  I am on a crusade to personally demonstrate the great fishing we have in Nebraska, and when you read about it here, see the pictures, keep in mind that most of those fish will have been caught without a boat!  If I can do it, so can you, just “Shut Up and Fish”!

Not all of my ramblings will be about fishing.  I also love to hunt and trap and I will blog about those activities from time to time.  Sometimes I just have stories to tell, or feelings to share, and I hope that makes good reading as well.  You will also find I have a warped sense of humor, and I am never afraid to share my opinions on a variety of issues, especially those related to fishing and fisheries management.

Oh, one other thing, I also know that Nebraskans are some of the best people on earth.

When I started blogging I shared a story because it keeps coming to mind, it sums up what I hope to accomplish through blogging and the other communicating I do.  If you want to read some more, let me tell you about SAM. . . .

SAM was a Japanese gentleman that ended up doing some graduate work here at the University of Nebraska.  SAM was not his real name, but instead were his initials.  SAM realized that us Americans could remember “SAM’ a lot easier than we could his Japanese name.  As I recall his field of study was Chemistry; SAM was no “dummy”.  SAM had done some fishing in Japan and took to carp fishing here in the United States.  Through the internet SAM discovered there were a bunch of friendly folks here in Nebraska and we could help him learn more about fishing here.  SAM started out as a darned good carp fisherman, and learned how to catch several other species, BIG specimens of several other species, before he finished his studies and went home to Japan.  I loved running into SAM on the water, or conversing with him over the internet.  We talked fishing, sometimes had deep conversations.  He also had a warped sense of humor and I loved the conversations.  I learned a lot from SAM and it was not all about fishing.

SAM's Bathtub Carp
One of SAM’s carp catches at home in his bathtub (being inspected by his pet ferret, obviously this occurred BEFORE he was married.  HA!).

SAM never asked me where my hot-spots were or what baits I was using to catch fish.  No, SAM always went deeper than that, he wanted to know the “why” more so than “when”, “where” and “what on”?

SAM wiper

Sam Flathead

SAM has been home in Japan for several years now.  He has started a family of his own, survived the earthquake and tsunami a couple of years ago.  We do not talk often, but can keep tabs on each other through the internet.  SAM misses his days fishing here in Nebraska.

Yes, I just said that, SAM thinks there is some pretty darned good fishing in Nebraska, and wishes he could still experience that.

I spend a lot of time answering questions and trying to help folks enjoy their time in Nebraska’s outdoors, especially their time fishing.  I must confess that I get frustrated with those who think they have to know exactly “where, when and on what?” before they will get out there and give it a try.  Just GO FISH!  I hate outdoor reports because they are dated and because it really does no good to know exactly where fish were caught, when, and exactly what they were caught on (and almost no “outdoor reports” or fishing reports give you that detailed information anyhow).  Those reports, that information, were for that exact time and place; the next day, maybe even the next hour, it is likely that everything changed.  If you wait for those reports and then go fishing, it is likely that you will often discover that “you should have been here yesterday”.

I have spent years on the water to learn some things, and I believe that “intellectual property” has to be earned.  I am not giving it all away for free; there are guides that receive hundreds of dollars a day to share some of that information with paying clients.

Before he left, SAM said something to me, something that absolutely “nailed it”.  He put it this way, “. . . teaching problem-solving skill, not giving away answers.”  That’s it!  That is exactly what I try to do with much of what I write and talk about.  I likely will not give you all the details about exactly where, when, and how.  I will try tell you what you need to figure it out on your own, and when you do, I am betting your experience is different from mine and we can all learn from that.

Thanks SAM.

SAM and me

About daryl bauer

Daryl is a lifelong resident of Nebraska (except for a couple of years spent going to graduate school in South Dakota). He has been employed as a fisheries biologist for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission for 25 years, and his current tour of duty is as the fisheries outreach program manager. Daryl loves to share his educational knowledge and is an avid multi-species angler. He holds more than 120 Nebraska Master Angler Awards for 14 different species and holds more than 30 In-Fisherman Master Angler Awards for eight different species. He loves to talk fishing and answer questions about fishing in Nebraska, be sure to check out his blog at outdoornebraska.org.

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