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Ken Perrotte’s Outdoors Column: Whistlin’ while wettin’ a line
SUMMERTIME boating scenes, especially those where boaters congregate in coves or near beaches, always seem to feature a heavy dose of good times tunes.
Various versions of country singer Craig Morgan’s “Redneck Yacht Club” are routine features on lakes and rivers around Virginia.
Playing music from a boat radio or sound system while fishing, though, has fans and foes with divergent opinions. Online debates in fishing forums and websites are common.
PERROTTE’S TOP 10
10. “Yellow Submarine,” Beatles
9. “All Summer Long,” Kid Rock
8. “Cool Change,” Little River Band
7. “Black Water,“ Doobie Brothers
6. “Son of a Son of a Sailor,” Jimmy Buffett
5. “Just Fishin’,” Trace Adkins
4. “Talking Fishing Blue,” Woody Guthrie
3. “I’m Gonna Miss Her,” Brad Paisley (Great CMT Video!)
2. “Fisherman’s Blues,” The Waterboys
1. “Fishin’ Blue,” Taj Mahal (above)
“Hot Fun in the Summertime,” Sly & the Family Stone
“Watching the River Flow,” Bob Dylan
“Summer Breeze,” Seals and Crofts
“Southern Cross,” Crosby, Stills & Nash
“Dock of the Bay,” Otis Redding
“Sloop John B,” Beach Boys
“I’m Your Captain,” Grand Funk
“Knee Deep,” Zac Brown Band.
A fun honorable mention is “Cletus, Take the Reel” by Tim Hawkins—a parody of Carrie Underwood’s hit “Jesus, Take the Wheel.”
Sentiments range from the “Fish can hear any unnatural sound near the water,” to “as long as it isn’t blaring,” to “I’ve never caught a thing while a Rascal Flatts song was on,” to “Metallica has been known to spook smallmouths.”
I’ve been on boats where the skipper likes it quiet and businesslike, and on others where it’s nothing to listen to an afternoon race or a favorite radio station while trolling.
The summer lull got me pondering my own favorite fishing or water-related songs to hear while leisurely hunting finned critters. See the accompanying list.
Keep in mind the etiquette associated with playing music while fishing. For example, when anchored or drifting under a bridge along with several other boats, the echoes of voices, vehicle traffic above and more can be amplified. Blasting your favorite outlaw country, heavy metal, rap or hip–hop tunes could result in a torpedo (verbal or otherwise) coming your way.
Sound carries across the water. While singing your heart out when pitching a crankbait over some grass beds on a fairly secluded piece of water, your off-key rendition of LMFAO may be entertaining a family barbecue 400 yards away. But, hey, as long as everyone is having a good time.
DISSING OLYMPIC SHOOTERS
Within hours of the first medal being awarded in an Olympic shooting competition, some radio and print media personalities were dissing shooting as an Olympic sport.
When you listen to some pundits leveling these critiques, you have to wonder if they could hit a Cheerio-shaped target floating in a toddler’s potty, let alone a target the size of a period at the end of sentence 10 yards distant with an air rifle 50 times in a row.
One weekend radio diatribe from a D.C. station lambasted the competition and denigrated the training and skills it takes to develop into an Olympic-caliber shooter.
Other naysayers, such as a New York Daily News columnist, dismiss Olympics origins as being too grounded in athleticism and skills needed to prevail on ancient battlefields. There are too many sports in the games, he argued, and those individual sports with pedigrees tracing to military skills should go the way of the dodo bird. Only sports that relate to “faster, higher, stronger” belong in the games was another part of the argument.
To accept that premise, then pingpong, synchronized diving, gymnastics, and a host of other competitions should similarly be stricken. Only boxing, javelin throwing, weight lifting and track and field races would remain.
But wait, at one time those type skills were also desired military skills. I guess military skills only translate back to the days after the invention of gunpowder, according to that scribe’s reasoning.
The Winter Olympics have even more arduous biathlon events that combine skiing, fatigue and shooting. The Summer Olympic events are more static with precision air rifle and skeet among the venues. But the muscle control, breathing, technique, and coordination skills required to match human with machine to achieve incredible precision and success in shooting sports is something those who have never or rarely shouldered a firearm can understand or appreciated.
So let’s salute our Olympic shooting champions and take pride that our nation’s self-reliant heritage has generated the likes of Kim Rhode, who captured a gold medal in women’s skeet shooting Sunday. This 33-year-old Olympian is the only American ever to win individual medals in five straight Olympic Games.
These sports never get big television play. Beach volleyball is more visual than competitive shooting—that’s a given. But millions of recreational shooters, hunters, outdoorsmen and outdoorswomen salute her achievements.
Ken Perrotte can be reached at The Free Lance–Star, 616 Amelia Street, Fredericksburg, Va. 22401, by fax at 373-8455 or email