What's it called when you get a snook, a tarpon, and a permit all in one day? Here's a hint: We're not talking about the kind of permit you need to go fishing. Those are fish! And since they usually show up in different seasons, when Chad Miles caught them in one day, he got what expert fishers call a grand slam!
Chad is a 10-year-old fishing master from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He caught his first fish at age three and became one of the first International Game Fish Association Junior Angler Representatives when he was nine. As a Junior Angler Rep, he gets to do stuff like fish with the pros, lead tours of a fishing museum, write for a fishing newsletter that gets sent all around the world, and star in a TV show about fishing!
Catching the Big One
A freshwater canal runs through Chad's backyard. On a typical afternoon, you can find him paddling his canoe
around to look for fish like spotted tilapia, large mouth bass, oscar, and mullet. (An alligator sneaked into the canal once too, but Chad didn't want to catch him!) Fishing is Chad's passion. He says, "I like fishing because it's nice to be outdoors, on the water, and to connect with the fish in their natural habitat. I like the thrill of the thought of landing the big one and that each day I don't know what's going to happen-if I won't catch anything or if I'll catch 20 to 30 that day."
Chad's favorite type of fish to catch is bass, because it's a challenge. Also, "it's really fun being in the fast bass boats⋅and to use all the new technologies for finding fish and determining the depth of the water." He also likes deep sea fishing because of its suspense. He explains, "A lot of times you don't know what fish you've been struggling with for the last hour or so!" And of course, Chad digs taking home trophies and prizes from fishing competitions, like fishing gear, tents, sleeping bags, and other cool stuff. What's his secret for winning? He explains, "I say to myself that this is the winning fish on my line, which makes me put a lot of effort into it." Chad eats fish too, but fishing is much more than catching his dinner. He says, "I really believe in catch and release, so I throw most of them back. But sometimes I eat saltwater fish that I have caught way out in the ocean and that are the legal size and weight to keep. My favorite fish to eat has to be the mahi mahi or dolphin fish."
Chad knows that different fish go for different stuff and "you always have to be prepared." So, he studies fish habits, the weather, the right gear to use, the right bait or lure to use, how to cast, and more. To get better, Chad reads books on fishing"thick ones too, like 400 pages." He also reads magazines, watches shows and videos, and asks for tips from his mentors. But he says, "The best way to become a better angler (fisher) is to do a lot of fishing!"
Chad is also into computers, tennis, and getting out in the ocean to sail, skim board, boogie board, and snorkel. He likes to help people, so he also volunteers to teach fishing to kids who are sick. "Fishing makes me feel comfortable and takes my mind off stuff. A lot of people think fishing is boring⋅I have to admit that fishing takes a ton of patience, but it's fun and heart pounding! "
Fishing is hard sometimes too. Chad says that for him, the tough part is "bringing in the fish. It puts a lot of pressure on me, especially when I am with guides" (adults that drive the boat and help during a competition).
Ultimately, Chad wants to be a pro bass fisherman. And he's on his way... Chad was just asked to join the famous Rod and Reel Club of Miami Beach, which according to him is "the best fishing club in the world!"
If you'd like to start fishing, Chad advises, "Take it a little bit at a time. Start out with a push button reel and move on to harder reels. Do not start at the hardest because if you can't do it, you won't like it. Also, try to fish with guides who can teach you and who know where the fish are! If you fish everyday in the wrong spot, during the worst time of the day, with the wrong bait, you won't catch anything and then you'll get discouraged. You will think that fishing is too hard." Chad also warns against leaving bait (especially squid!) out in the hot sun too longit's just gross!
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