Editor: You will find the author, West Marine associate David Phillips at our Newport, Rhode Island flagship store. Dave thoroughly enjoys sharing his passion for fishing and enjoys sparking that same passion in young customers who shop the store. As Dave says, “One of my greatest thrills is to see the amazement on a young person’s face when the fish they were pursuing slams that lure. When that happens, they as well are hooked for life.”

Making my Passion for Fishing Contagious

Boy holding up seabass

Memories like these stay with us for life!

By West Marine associate Dave Phillips, Last updated: 6/19/2018

Every year we lose more folks from the World War II generation— which is the time frame in which my grandparents grew-up. Boy how they loved to share stories about their lives along with their passions and hobbies with me!

My grandfather, who loved fishing, instilled in me the qualities that have made me the person I am today. He taught me patience, drive and determination—and that when times get rough you don’t give up. He also taught me a lot about fishing. For example, he taught me the best time of day to head out on the water, why the temperature of the water is important; and the importance of structure, such as fallen trees or breakwaters, depending on whether you are fishing salt- or freshwater. He also taught me which baits to use and how different lures work better at certain times of year. And along with this, he taught me to think outside the box and that when it comes to fishing, you shouldn’t be afraid to try something new to get an advantage on the fish—which is the best advice I can offer you.

I have fished from Jackman, Maine all the way down to the Florida Keys but, where I really love to fish is the southern New England coast. This season has been a little slower than usual due to the colder weather. But this does not deter New Englanders who are out in force pursuing stripers and other saltwater species.

Boy holding up fluke with brother behind him

A young New England angler shows his freshly caught fluke.

In today’s world of virtual realities and social media, I now see how important it is to engage with younger generations and share my knowledge, lest they miss out on the great experiences and memories that fishing and other outdoor activities have to offer.

That is one of the things that I really enjoy about my job, sharing my knowledge with others. I have spent years doing this with fishing “newbies”—customers both young and old who often don’t really know what to do once they purchase a rod and reel. I enjoy showing youngsters different techniques and styles and helping them improve their technique through positive reinforcement, which in turn builds confidence. Along with encouraging young anglers to stay informed of the latest fishing products and techniques, I also from time to time demonstrate the old-school way of doing things.

One of my greatest thrills is to see the amazement on a young person’s face when the fish they were pursuing slams that lure. When that happens, they as well are hooked for life.

Man holding up two large stripped bass

My brother Matthew with two nice striped bass he caught on a double hook-up using an M & M trolling rig. Yes, he caught them at the same time!

Here is my personal “Top 10 Hit Parade” of lures to use along the New England Coast.

1. Yo-zuri Hydro Minnow (Bone)
2. Daiwa SP Minnow (Bone, Green Mackerel)
3. Lunker City 6” and 9” Slug-Go Baits (Pearl White)
4. Cocahoe Minnows
5. Yo-zuri Hydro Pencil (Bone)
6. Storm GT 360 4.5” and 5.5” (Gaga and Pearl Ice)
7. M & M Lure Trolling Rigs (Squid, Tubes and Shad)
8. Rebel Jumpin’ Minnow
9. T-man Tubes (Bubble gum and Scarlet)
10. Tsunami Swim Shads