Feature

Freshman Fisherman Hooks His Way into Our Hearts

By Tommy Fellner, Online Sports Editor

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   For a select group of students at Acalanes, 3:05 doesn’t signal the end of the day, it signals the beginning of an adventure. Jed Wood is also one of those students. Wood spends his weekends and breaks frequenting local fisheries bringing a new authentic meaning to “streaming.”

  Freshman Jed Wood has been fishing ever since he could walk. Wood’s father, Ned taught him the basics of fishing and Wood has been improvising and teaching himself from that point onward.

   Wood enjoys fishing both for recreation and for sport. Typically, he regularly visits the Lafayette Reservoir or the San Pablo Dam in search of fish. Wood is a versatile fisherman and can catch fish from a dock, bank, boat or even a float tube.

   “I just started fishing for myself,” Wood said. “I like fishing because its fun and something to do. It can be exhilarating but also kind of a hassle sometimes when I have to go out there in my float tube.”

   Wood has many reasons to go out fishing, but it is mainly the thrill of hooking a fish that has him hooked on the sport.

   “My favorite part of fishing is probably right when the fish hits your bait,” Wood said. “It’s just like wow that was fun, but then you have to reel it in. Right when they hit is a great moment.”

    However, Wood says there are also downsides to fishing. Wood is so intense that he rarely breaks to eat or drink and will fish for nearly 12 hours straight. For Wood, reeling in the fish as well as casting off and losing expensive bait are some of the drawbacks of his favorite sport.

   “My least favorite part of fishing are all the hassles: breaking fish off, losing fish and casting baits off,” said Wood. “I have a 200 dollar bait and if I cast that off, that would be a day ruiner.”

   Wood would love to continue his career as a fisherman as he gets older, but being a professional fisherman doesn’t necessarily reel in a lot of cash. Also, it takes a really skilled fisherman to become a pro, but Wood wants to keep up his passion for fishing.

   Wood competes in regional competitions for teen anglers. Although he hasn’t won yet, usually being the youngest competitor out there, Wood still makes a name for himself.

   At the C.O. Pro-Teen event, professional anglers team up with teens and fish in the Delta. The pairs have about six hours to catch as many fish as possible, and the victor is declared based on net weight of fish caught. Although Wood did not win the competition, he won the award for biggest fish caught on the day, weighing in on 7.54 pounds.

   Wood outfished his pro partner, Adam Kern and ended up catching all of his team’s fish. Wood and Kern placed 8th overall in the event, with their total weight at 14.37 pounds, just three pounds shy of the top weigh in.

   When he is not fishing in competitions, Wood fishes recreationally at local spots such as the San Pablo Dam and Lafayette Reservoir with friends. Wood goes on outings with friends Jack Brydon, Will Watson, Joey Gladden, and Michael Lalor.

   One memorable outing for Wood was when he went to San Leandro and fished the entire day.

   “One time I caught 70 fish in one day, all bass and all over two and a half pounds,” said Wood. “It was a new spot we were trying out and I fished from dark to dark. There were three guys with me and we caught 140 altogether. I don’t think I stopped to eat that day because it was so good, all I had was some leftover cake. I don’t normally eat when I fish because I don’t really want to stop but then I’m always starving by the end of the day. Sometimes I’ll stop to drink.”

   Wood’s insatiable need to fish rubs off on his friends and they all fish together to keep improving their craft.

   “Jed has been fishing for a really long time, he actually got me back into fishing in 6th grade. What makes him a good fishermen is his experience and time he has spent on the water trying to pattern the fish,” junior Jack Brydon said. “What makes him such a unique fishermen is his ability to mess and joke around but still be successful, not many guys can do that. He is also unique in the sense that not nearly as many guys have been doing it as long as he has and as often as he does. In middle school we would fish 3-4 days a week at least and sometimes up to 12 hours a day. And he manages to pull that off without food or water.”

   Wood has a resilience that really sets him apart from the rest of the pack. He is a joy to be around while he’s fishing and can still catch a lot of fish. Moreover, Wood’s drive to fish inspires others to pick up the sport or get them hooked again.

   He is able to create great memories with his friends while continuing to be a top fisherman. Although he has a tendency to mess around, Wood knows when it’s time to focus, and that shows in his top placing at fishing competitions. His passion for the sport is contagious and his drive pressures his peers or whoever he fishes with to become better fishermen.

   “One of my best memories was when we both first started fishing for bass,” Brydon said. “We would go every weekend and never catch anything and Jed told me he would only go one more time before he gave up because it had been about two months and we would get poison oak almost every time we went. One time I was talking to Jed about how cool it would be to catch a fish on the lure I had on and out of nowhere one exploded on the lure on the surface of the water and we finally caught one. A couple minutes later, Jed landed a couple and we were hooked.”

   Wood is just an all around outdoorsy person that has a knack for understanding how to fish and knows a lot about fish migration and spawning patterns. He invests time into broadening his knowledge about everything related to the sport to help himself improve.

   Wood’s passion is evident and this sport that he loves could potentially become his career, if that is the path he wishes to pursue.

    “I can definitely see Jed doing something in the fishing or outdoor world for a living,” Brydon said. “For his age he is one of the best fishermen out there. Every year we do a tournament on the delta and the past two years he has caught the biggest fish, last year he got 2nd place overall and won the big fish prize. He is definitely good enough and passionate enough about fishing to have some type of career in the industry.”

Categories: Feature, Sports

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