Blog The National Angler

Introducing The National Angler “Projects”

A few years ago, I bought my first swimbait and later on, my first 12 in worm for fishing. However, I didn’t have the correct gear to throw such big baits. This year I’ve gotten back into throwing big baits to include swimbaits, glidebaits, big worms, big jigs, well you get the point. I use social media to gain a lot of information when I starting something new. However, the sources of information are lacking and some social media groups are not for beginners. I’ve decided to start a few “Projects” to document how I start something new. 

So what is the “Project”?  It’s just that a project on how I’m starting something new and documenting how I’m getting started. You can learn along the way with me or go back and see how I got started. I’m also going to build a Facebook group specifically for talking about getting started in something new. This Facebook group will cater to those people getting started and I will keep it from getting extremely negative like some groups. 

My first two “Projects” are kind of related. So I will be launching “Project” Swimbait Mayhem and “Project” Big Bait Mayhem. So why two different ones, swimbaits are in their own world while you use the same gear to throw other big baits as well. To me, I think they are different so I will keep them separated. I will only have one Facebook Group and two separate blog section for each. 

Check back soon as I launch both projects. 

Semper Fish,

Joe, The National Angler

Blog The National Angler



Fishing Pro Staff

Today, with social media and the internet the average angler can play a huge role in promoting companies without being a tournament angler, having a website, or a tv show. The “Average Joe Fisherman” can now serve a role in a fishing company’s publicity! When it comes to promoting a fishing company there are two types “Sponsored” and “Pro Staff” and they both mean different things.
Actions are also associated with each and help you identify which one you most affiliate with.

SPONSORED usually means that a company is reaching out to you. You have something they want and they are giving you either financial, product or both in return for using and promoting the company. These anglers are well-known tournament anglers or have a unique niche with a huge following.

PRO STAFF means the angler reaches out the company. You want something they have either through being a fan of their product or maybe it’s something new you want to try.

Focusing on the benefits of being a Pro Staff member for a particular company and how it can help you get started working for, supporting, and promoting a company. If you haven’t developed a following or made it big yet on a tournament trail this can be important. Maybe you are just a weekend fisherman and you have a great social media following. Being a Pro Staff can help you out.

Benefits of being a Pro Staff:

  1. Discount on merchandise, I’ve seen on average a company will give you between 30-50% off retail prices for being a Pro Staff. Let’s be honest, if you need help getting started, having this discount can be huge.
  2. Occasionally a company will give you an initial load-out of gear. They might give you a few pieces of merchandise to get you started as a good gesture. Don’t always count on this, though. It also doesn’t hurt to ask either for this if not offered.
  3. Access to the companies social media feeds and followers. Most people starting out may at most have several thousand “likes” or “followers” on any particular social media platform. By using a company and tagging them in the post you access their following for even greater exposure. If you make a great post, picture, or video they may even feature it.

Responsibilities of being a Pro Staff:

  1. Use the products frequently and maximize exposure on your social media. Take great pictures/videos and be honest! Incorporate the logo on the merchandise to make things less tacky.
  2. Learn how to tag the company in any given social media platform, it helps the company and yourself!
  3. Don’t just get something and run, I promise this is a small world and word will get around.

Exclusivity and Pro Staff:
I’m torn when it comes to exclusivity clauses with Pro Staff opportunities. I’m grateful for the opportunity to support a company and receive a discount and potentially some gear to boot. But, the only way I would exclusively promote a company is if a contract was signed and I was paid by the company. If you are ok with exclusively promoting say just one reel company then go for it.
There are some things you can do as a Pro Staff member to help you out when asking for discounts, merchandise or monetary compensation in the future.
Keep track of the following information and build a strong social media presence. 

  1. If you don’t have a website, at least start a Facebook Page to keep track of your post. This also allows you to write short blog posts.
  2. If you are into video getting a cheap action camera and promoting on YouTube and Vimeo is a great idea, plus you can earn a little money on the side as well.
  3. Don’t forget Twitter, Instagram, Fishidy, and Fishbrain as well.
  4. Keep a log of the following information; Posts, Views, Shares, Impressions, and Clicks. This is great info to show a company what you have done for them and the exposure you have created in exchange for your gear or discount. This helps when going back to the table to ask for more.

In the end, being a Pro Staff for a company is a great way of getting started in the fishing industry, I’m currently a Pro Staff for Ardent Outdoors and Rayjus Outdoors.

Ardent Reels

ARDENT is actively seeking Pro Staff! Email me at for more information!

Let me know what you think and if you have questions, please feel free to ask below! Always willing to help out!
Semper Fish!
Joe, The National Angler

Blog The National Angler


Social media has taken over this world and opened communications that good and bad and also extended communication to those you wouldn’t normally talk with. Most would associate social media with a younger generation. However, all generation are jumping on social media to share and brag about fishing adventures. Instantaneously a person can reach out to hundred, even thousands of people to share information about their latest catch. Today with social media you don’t have to wait a week, month or seasons just to get a report about the latest fishing. In the past, a person would go fishing with a plan in mind and ultimately get to the fishing location and have no luck. Now, that same person can reach back out to those same hundred or thousand people and get instant advice on how to fish that exact location or how to change things up. Social media has definitely made an impact on the fishing world, whether perceived by some as good or bad. Social media is forever part of the fishing world.

In the coming weeks, I’ll continue my posts about finding fishing information. Check back in to gain the amazing insight to becoming more productive at locating fishing locations. 

Semper Fish!

Joe, The National Angler

Fishing Tips & Tricks The National Angler

ONE ROD & REEL – Picking Just One Fishing Rod

Have you ever thought about the one rod and reel that you use the most and couldn’t live without? 

So in my quest to become more productive while on the water and make the most of my precious time, I like to keep things simple. I’ve made more of an effort to fish smaller bodies of water and try to explore when time just doesn’t allow me to get the boat out, or I want to take my girls fishing. I always find myself dragging multiple rods for myself along with the important Barbie Rod and toys! Even trekking through the woods to get to a small body of water can be precarious with a couple of rods. I also through my Deeper Smart Portable Fish Finder and Water Wolf HD Underwater Camera while fishing, so I have to make sure the rods I bring can handle chucking those things into the water. A rod that can handle a heavy lure or camera to a small beetle spin.

So, I’m not a professional fisherman and being a professional is not in my sights currently. My goal is to show you what I used and why I picked a certain product. I’m not specifically endorsing and I’m also not working for any of the companies mentioned in the article. The target setup is a rod, reel, and line choice that compliments all my requirements, but it may not be 100% ideal and that is okay by me. 

The Rod:

The rod is a Tsunami AirWave 7.5ft Surf Rod that I picked up from Bass Pro about a year ago, and boy to I love this thing! It is the one rod that is always with me when fishing.  The other specs to the rod include a slim rubber grip that helps support the 10-20lb line class that is rated for 1.5-2oz. lures. When I was picking out the rod I need something that could handle flipping, pitching, catfishing, surf fishing, light saltwater. Heck, I’ve used this for crappie and bluegill when I fishing with my daughter. It has also become the workhorse of “The National Angler”. It is the rod I use for testing all my lures and my Water Wolf HD camera, and can’t forget the Deeper Smart Fish Finder. 

The Reel:

Luckily for me, I already had a reel in my stash that fit my needs for this solo fishing rod application. What I’m using is the Okuma Trios High-Speed Spinning Reel. The number one choice for this reel for this application and buying was for the speed. The reel is 6.2:1 that picks up 34 inches of line per turn. My personal thinking is; I can always slow down but speeding up can be hard. Pitching, flipping, and top water are my number one choices for the high speed.  The reel also comes in at a moderate 10oz. and a great drag set up. The one thing that had me sold on this reel was the high speed and man can this thing pick up fishing line in a hurry. 

The Line:

Well, I’m not actually using just one type of line for this reel. The main line I’m using is 50lb test Tuf-line XP in green. Wait, I did say I was using more than one type of line. Some applications like my Deeper, Water Work, and Flipping I’ll tie braid directly. When the conditions require, say monofilament for topwater or fluorocarbon for clear water, I can easily tie a certain amount of leader directly to the braid.

I’m curious, after reading this what would you select as your choice for just one rod and reel to do it all?

Semper Fish!

Joe, The National Angler

Fishing Memes

I bet this happens way to often!

Fishing Tips & Tricks Florida Keys Fishing

Shore Fishing the Florida Keys

I was lucky enough to be able to travel to Key West for a work trip and a last minute one at that. So with Key West travel and booking things late, all meant I had to drive from Miami to Key West. It is a 3 plus hour drive depending on traffic, so why not take advantage of the trip to check out the shore fishing on the way down and opportunities to fish from the shore. Now, I’m not going after any trophy fish or highly targeted species, just looking for something to catch after work for some entertainment. Some people might get caught up in the Key West nightlife and the happenings on Duval St. However, I chose to spend my extra time scouting the local fishing scene.

So I should frame this post as what not to do because obviously you will find out I didn’t take the advice of multiple people I talked to. I least I can say I tried something different. Shore fishing the Florida Keys is really simple and try to listen to the advice, that I chose to ignore and you will find success fishing the Keys!
I started the drive down with at stop at the Islamorada World Wide Sportsman or more fondly know as Bass Pro. I was lacking a heavy duty travel rod and the local Bass Pro in Baltimore did not have what I wanted. There I picked up a new Tsunami travel boat rod, and what I great investment that was (review to come!) While there I also took the time to check out the area. This is a great stop to find motivation to fish the shallows of the Keys. The docks surrounding the Bass Pro are covered in HUGE 5-6ft Tarpon, which is lazily cruising around knowing that they are being left alone! That site alone had me all amped up to go fishing.

As I got back to the drive to Key West I made a few stops at various bridges and keys to check things out and see what the locals were catching. It seemed most people were having luck with various grouper, snapper, and barracuda near all the bridges. On the drive down the most notable bridges that seemed to be producing and popular with the locals; Indian Key @ Indian Key Channel, Lower Matecumbe Key @ Channel Two, the bridge between Long Key and Duck Key. If you want to throw a fly a decent place I scoped out was at Bahia Honda State Park. The front side of the island around the beaches and near the bridge, with the right wind, looked so promising for a fly rod. However, the wind was not cooperating with me that day so I moved on. The ranger at the park did tell me when the wind is right, so is the fishing! This is where I ended my day and headed to the hotel as the sun was setting. 
Recommendations for shore fishing the Keys.

Honestly, if you can find a bridge or a spot on the side of the road to fish, you are going to catch “something”! The reoccurring fishing theme for the various bridges was fresh bait, shrimp or squid. I high recommend two rods. One set up with a small jig head and bait it with squid to catch smaller fish. Then throw out the smaller fish on circle hooks to catch something bigger!!!  The best bait to use to avoid the bait stealer is squid and Berkley Gulp. Any shiny baits or lures for barracuda! Small jigs with bait to catch more bait. Then send the smaller bait or the bait you bought farther out to deep water to catch something else. I’m very confident that this info will bring you luck in the Keys, that I on my next trip I promise to follow my own advice and use this info and let everyone know how it works.

While this is a not a complete list of places, it is a start to discover shore fishing the Florida Keys!
Semper Fish!
Joe, The National Angler


Carp Addiction

Today started out at a brisk 28 degrees in Maryland. My friend launched his new boat on the Patapsco River near Baltimore Maryland, to begin the break-in process. After some scouting on the fish finder and seeing some activity, we began throwing rattle traps in the hopes for large Maryland striped bass.  

Working areas of with current and eddies did not show any results. We worked around a few bridges in the hope for a crappie bite also, but no success. Marks on the fish finder remained constant and so did our intent on figuring out what lurked below the boat. Finally, something jumped just yards from the boat. “Wait was that a striped bass”, no clue. A few casts later my friend hooked up with something very large and lethargic in the 45-degree water. After a minute of fighting the fish with his medium light rod, buckling over, the hook came free. 

Moments later, I hooked into a fish and quickly lost whatever was on the end. A few cast later, I hooked into something large and the drag began to scream. Every time I got the fish near the surface it would bolt away, stripping line from my reel. It made a few attempts under the boat and I was able to fight it back every time. The arc in my medium light rod was insane, as I held onto the main part of the rod with my hand to horse this beast of something from the river. This fish was not coming to the boat, without a fight. 

15min went by and my hopes of large Maryland striped bass fell apart. However, I was excited to see my personal best carp on the end of the line. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t have a tape measure or scale to measure or weigh the fish.  The fish was returned to the water to fight another day!

I never understood the allure of fishing for carp. Well, until you catch a carp like this one, you wouldn’t have a clue. I think this just opened me up, to finding trophy carp in the future!

Semper Fish!

Joe, The National Angler


Fishing Memes


Fishing Memes


Fishing Memes

Only For A Dad