Gary Finch Outdoors: Teaching a biker to fish, and helpful hints for other beginning anglers

Gary Finch Outdoors

BON SECOUR, Ala. (WKRG) — Our Gary Finch Outdoors segment usually details expert advice on hunting and fishing. But what if you are far from an expert? Gary’s also great at teaching inexperienced fishermen, like Biker Dad Blogger, Chris Best. That’s why Gary invited Chris along for this week’s story. But could he actually bag a fish?

Spending the day on a boat instead of bike, was like being a fish out of water for Chris. After three years living on the Gulf, and about a dozen fishing attempts off local piers, had yet to catch a single fish. So he had high hopes when setting out on the Bon Secour River with Gary Finch and his friend Captain Will Manci with Eastern Shore Outfitters.

“If you haven’t been fishing in a while get out in front of the boat and cast for a while,” said Finch, Captain Will echoing, “that’s right, practice makes perfect.” As part of Eastern Shore Outfitters, Captain Will works with kids and even adults who haven’t fished before.

Although Chris has fished before, he’s not had much luck fishing from shore on the Gulf. Gary and Captain Will were happy to give him some tips too and also share with you.

Gary shows his grip of the reel, his pinky finger hooked around it, “I never take my grip off the rod and reel, even when I take a fish off the hook. And when I get ready to make a cast it’s right there ready to go,” he said. He also suggests making sure your live bait is still, well live, “check every once in a while that your bait is good, make sure you have good live shrimp.

Captain Will’s advice is simple, “a lot of patience. it will pay off… you can’t really do anything wrong. Although he practices patience, he also says if the fish aren’t biting, move. “Sometimes the anchor rope doesn’t even get good and wet, you’ll pick up and go won’t you?” Gary quips to Captain Will.

Patience indeed did pay off. Just when the team thought the fish weren’t biting, Gary reeled in a large Bull Red. Then it was Chris’s turn to pull in a red, too small to keep though. That’s when the fishing trip really showed its teeth. That’s because they reeled in two big sheepsheads, “you don’t want to put your fingers in its mouth,” said Captain Will. “They’ve got teeth just like human beings or sheep,” Gary said.


1. Practice casting in the yard (if you don’t have a rod/reel see if your neighbor does) 

2. Be comfortable with your grip of the reel. Whether it’s  a bait caster or spinning combo, see which one is best suited for you 

3. When you go fishing. Take a few minutes to get familiarize yourself with the equipment. Don’t be in a rush. Patience while learning to cast, will reap big rewards 

“Most importantly,” Gary says, “enjoy yourself while you are in the great outdoors, mother nature is a wonderful place to be.” Captain Will concurs, “it’s all about having fun, whether you catch a fish or not.”


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