Loud. Colorful. Hilarious. Entertaining.
Many adjectives have been used, good and bad, to describe Charlie Moore, The Mad Fisherman. Being from New England, I first learned of Charlie Moore back in the 90’s when he had just a small segment on a regional sports show on the cable station NESN. Today he’s responsible for, part of, or hosting six different television programs, many of which are broadcast nationally. Not bad for a guy who likes to go fishing. While some may feel his brand of entertainment is an “acquired taste,” Charlie Moore has been a breath of fresh air and a welcome addition to the landscape of angling personalities on TV. He’s funny, down to earth, and is really someone most anglers would thoroughly enjoy fishing with on a given day. And he’s really good at what he does. I had the opportunity to ask Charlie some questions about one of his favorite activities, bass fishing, to get some tips and a better understanding on how to land big “Larry’s” next time I’m out on the water.
Most anglers do not have the luxury to fish every day or only on days where the conditions are perfect, but I wanted to know from Charlie what he considers “perfect” conditions so I’d know what to look for next time I want to go fishing. “My perfect condition for fishing would be a day that the temperature is between 65 – 75 degrees and cloudy with a little bit of a chop on the water. I find it ideal to throw a lipless crank bait or spinnerbait at this time.” Charlie also mentioned what he considers the worst fishing conditions, which happen to be some of the best days to be out in, “high bluebird skies, no wind, and extremely hot and muggy.”
Something I still struggle with as I venture out to unknown ponds and lakes is what to look for. What areas of the water are holding the fish you want to catch? While Charlie has special considerations for the places he fishes, because of his television shows, the basic idea is the same: “I always like to scout out the boat ramp location, how many houses are on the lake, structure on the water, lily pads, docks and wood structures.” Structure, structure, structure. It’s the key to finding places holding bass. If sight fishing is not necessarily your thing, you can always rely on a good fish finder to help understand what structure you can fish beneath the surface. Speaking of fish finders, I asked Charlie if he had any recommendations for specific features or brands of fish finders he likes to use. Surprisingly, or maybe not surprisingly, Charlie likes to rock it “old school.” “I am not a big fish finder kind of a guy. I am totally old school, primarily because I fish very fast. I target aggressive reacting fish and I fish in 10 feet or less. Basically, if I can’t get the shallow water fish to bite, then I am pretty much done.”
Currently, I have 5 TV series. Two of them I am the host of. And a third one for the Boston Bruins on the NHL network is soon coming, giving me a total of 6 TV series that I am responsible for.
Since his debut on NESN back in the 90’s, Charlie Moore has gone just about everywhere in search of interesting, fun, and entertaining experiences fishing and having a good time. I asked Charlie what location is he most surprised to have been able to visit for his show. “My career started in 1996 on TV and I was fishing primarily very difficult, high-pressured waters. As my career on TV started to expand, I got to fish some really awesome places. It would be extremely difficult to put it all on one location and one fish. But if I had to narrow it down, Hawaii and the Bahamas were tremendous places to fish. Not only that, but the food and other activities were top notch. The fish in both of these locations were sight fishing with light spinning tackle for bonefish. Extremely fun!”
Being so busy with television obligations, I wondered if Charlie Moore had any time to continue what he did early in his career- tournament fish. “Currently, I have 5 TV series. Two of them I am the host of. And a third one for the Boston Bruins on the NHL network is soon coming, giving me a total of 6 TV series that I am responsible for. It is a very difficult thing to put the proper time in when it comes to tournament fishing. I really don’t like to lose. So if I am not going to be able to put 100 percent into it, then I will not do it. I do have a tournament that I film each year called the Charlie Moore Classic. I started it on my Beat Charlie Moore ESPN series. I look forward to it, because it brings me back to my tournament side of fishing.” On an upcoming episode of “No Offense” Charlie does have a dramatic moment from his Charlie Moore Classic that you surely don’t want to miss. “Last year, it was a 2-day event, and I was losing, and I knew that I was losing. As I changed lures, my boat ran out of gas. However, I turned to the cameraman and said, ‘I remember catching a fish on this point several years ago.’ I made three long casts with a huge spinnerbait and caught a winning 3-lb. largemouth bass. It was awesome! The show has not aired on NBC yet. If you get a chance to see it though, it is worth watching. It was pretty dramatic.” While on the subject of Tournaments, Charlie did have an interesting take on what he feels would be good changes to tournament rules. “I really wish they would only allow tournament fishermen to use fish finders for depth and navigation purposes only. I also feel like fishermen should not be able to use nets in a tournament.”
I made three long casts with a huge spinnerbait and caught a winning 3-lb. largemouth bass. It was awesome!
Every angler has a favorite lure, or favorite lures, that they cannot, will not, leave without. I asked Charlie Moore, in the spirit of BaitRodReel, what are his Top Three lures to use? “Hands down my #1 lure is the spinner bait. My second choice would be a Lunker City Spanky Wacky Rig. My third choice is a tie. It would be between a pumpkin seed tube or a 1/2 ounce rattletrap.” Sometimes, anglers will bring too much. I asked Charlie how much he brings with him to the water and his philosophy is a good one. “It is funny. I do not recommend that people have a ton of tackle, especially when they go out on their boat. I recommend basically throwing an assortment of your top three of four lures. I always try to get really good at five lures and get those five to be my confident baits. My boat, like most fishermen, is completely stacked with tackle. But that is more of a just-in-case factor. On my deck of my boat, I have 12 rods, but I basically have 4 lures with an assortment of colors. Most of the time I head to a place and I have a pre-thought of what I am gong to catch them on.”
I’ve traditionally been a salmon and trout angler, but more and more I’ve become interested in other species. When it comes to bass, it always seems the best lure to use is a rubber worm. But unlike other lures that provide its own action on the retrieve, you need to do a little more with a worm. Charlie explains how someone not experienced with a rubber bait can get very good at it through trial and error. “I think the #1 selling lure is still the rubber worm. It is definitely a trial by error. Whenever I have the opportunity to talk to people about fishing, I always tell them to bring a bag of worms and a bag of hooks to the lake and that is it. Do not give yourself any options if you want to get good at worm fishing. Bottom line is that you have one way of catching them if you want to catch them. So you will find a way. The proper feel of the bait and the presentation is key. Again, my big advice is to mix things up and it is all trial by error.”
On an episode of Charlie Moore Outdoors, Charlie was fishing for bass, as usual, when he hooked a different species of fish, one completely unexpected! Expecting a smallmouth bass, or “Sally,” Charlie reeled in a fantastic Atlantic Salmon! He explains, “I honestly can tell you with a 100 percent straight-faced that I was just as shocked as everyone else that I caught that fish. I thought it was a smallmouth. My guess is that I went over to a very small silver spinnerbait, almost a beetle spin, because the fishing was extremely tough. So, I think that the salmon was attracted to the flash, maybe a school of shad. But trust me, if I had to say that if it was luck or skill – it was 100 percent luck.”
Finally, I wanted to know if Charlie had to use one setup and one setup only for bass, what would his look like? “I would have a low visibility green 14-lb. test with a 6’9” medium heavy baitcasting rod with a 1/2 ounce all chartreuse spinner bait.”
If you haven’t seen Charlie Moore yet, you really should. His personality really sets him apart from the traditional fishing show host. Not only does he fish, he also gives you glimpses into the locations he travels to, as well as some of the finer eating establishments in the area. While he’s an angler first and foremost, he’s also an entertainer. A great personality and a great watch. You can find Charlie Moore on NESN on his show, Charlie Moore Outdoors. You can also find him on NBC Sports Network with “No Offense.” Coming soon, he’ll also be part of a hockey show on the NHL Network featuring the Boston Bruins. Stay tuned for that. Thank you to Charlie Moore for spending a few minutes with me for BaitRodReel.com. You can find Charlie online at www.charliemoore.com. Tight lines!