Catch more fish - surf the Web

My Favorite Web Sites - Winchester Star - 8/01/02
 by Martin Zombeck

This is a bi-weekly column providing an annotated list of Web sites that may be of interest to the community. Each column will list sites that belong to a particular category: search engines, art, online newspapers and magazines, health and medicine, history, business and economics, etc. or sites relevant to a particular season, for example, skiing or gardening. Most sites will be non-commercial. To make it easier to access the sites, each bi-weekly column will be posted on the Town of Winchester's Web site so that the sites can be accessed and bookmarked without having to be typed. Previous columns will be archived at the Winchester site, also.

"Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to fish and he'll eat forever."
- Chinese proverb

"Give a man a fish and he has food for a day. Teach him how to fish and you can get rid of him for the entire weekend."
- Zenna Schaffer

If Izaak Walton (1593-1683), the author of The Compleat Angler were alive today, I'm sure he'd have a Web site to spread his wisdom. The Compleat Angler, a guide to the methods and pleasures of fishing ("God never did make a more calm, quiet, innocent recreation than angling"), became one of the most reprinted books in the history of English letters. As you will see below, the Web will offer you a multitude of resources to allow you to, in Izaak's words, "lay aside business, and go afishing". I have selected a number of Web sites for both the novice and advanced angler. As I have stated in previous columns, use a search engine (, for example) to extend this list and search for a particular topic that interests you. I have included sites for tide and weather predictions - necessary information before you set out. Happy fishing!

The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration's Web site. This site will provide the big picture - general information on weather, climate, fisheries, state of the coasts, and more.

A great site for all kinds of outdoor activities - hiking, biking, birding, hunting, camping, .. Provides regional fishing guides, advice on fishing gear, fishing forum, and much more.

Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife Web site - hunting & fishing season dates, bag & creel limits and all other pertinent regulations for the year 2002, licensing vendors, water bodies with boat ramps and fish species found in those waters, ice strength table, list of Massachusetts trout stocked waters sorted by town, list of some of the best waters to catch a bass, and more.

New Hampshire Fish and Game Department
Fishing in New Hampshire - latest on fishing conditions, big catches, where the action is, stocking preparations, fishing destinations, regional forecasts, list of fishing guides (human type), online Freshwater Fishing Digest, Saltwater Fishing Digest, and N.H. Freshwater Fishing Guide, N.H. fish profiles, and much more.

Discover the Outdoors
Saltwater species locator and profiler; tips on various fishing methods (pier fishing, surf casting, etc.) and techniques (lures, bait, etc.). Want to know when the Common Snook feeds? This is the place.

Discover the Outdoors
Freshwater species locator and profiler; tips on various fishing methods (archery, fly fishing, noodling, etc.) and techniques (bait, jigging, etc.). Want to know where and when the largest Micropterus salmoides (Largemouth Bass) was caught? Look no further.

Can't afford bait or tackle? Try noodling, aka hogging, grabbling, tickling, dogging, stumping. This fishing method is guaranteed to put plenty of meat on the table and provide a lot of excitement.

A global information system on fishes. FishBase on the web contains practically all fish species known to science.

Tides and Weather

Maine Harbors
Tide charts from Downeast Maine to Connecticut, coastal marine conditions and forecasts from the Canadian Maritimes to Sandy Hook, NJ plus offshore and high seas forecasts, Cape Cod Canal, Buzzards Bay-Vineyard Sound currents, New England nautical links, and Moon phase.

National Weather Service
Marine and coastal weather services.

Online Magazines

Online freshwater fishing journal provides fishing tips, guide to publications, fish identifications, video clips, and more.

Contents of the current issue, gear and electronics, best fishing destinations for the current month, charters, news and events, weather and tides, public forums, and hundreds of links (mostly commercial).

On the Water
The angler's guide to New England. If you can't get away to the Florida Keys or the Great Barrier Reef to fish, try our own backyard. This Web site will provide you with up-to-date fishing reports ("In Rhode Island, stripers are being caught off Block Island .."), photo gallery, marine weather and tides, FAQs ("Ask Pops"), summaries of the hard-copy articles, and many links.

Fishing section of the online version of Field & Stream. This site features the Fish Finder with over 90 game fish. For each fish you will find techniques on how to catch the fish, gear tips and other information.

Online Suppliers

The Web site for Fisherman's Outfitter, a supplier of saltwater rods, reels, rigs and other tackle to help you hook that big one. There are stores in Gloucester, Marshfield, and West Dennis.

Saco Bay Tackle
The store is a bit far but the Web site is packed with information - tide charts, fishing reports, current marine conditions, and lots of useful links.

A colleague and avid angler, Almus Kenter, recommended many of the sites above.

When he is not updating the Town of Winchester Web site (, Martin Zombeck can be found at either the Packer tennis courts or at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, where he is a physicist.