Thursday, February 18, 2010


This appeared in the CAPE COD TIMES THURSDAY 6/18/2009:

By ROB CONERY June 18, 2009

Want to meet a local hooker?

Bob Jenkins grew up fishing Chatham. His boat is still moored there, in Ryder's Cove. But his business ventures took him far and wide.

An ex-Marine combat engineer, and real estate investor, he found himself doing video conferencing sales in New York. Until that day of days: He was giving a presentation to Lehman Brothers on the 39th floor of the World Trade Center when the first plane hit on Sept. 11, 2001.

"I looked up and saw people jumping and I said (forget) this." Jenkins got out in time and walked uptown, and he never looked back. He returned to Cape Cod and went fishing.

Three years ago, he decided to combine his business acumen with his love of fishing and launched a saltwater rod building concern.

Local Hooker was born.

"I've been fishing since I was a little kid. I love all aspects, the preparation, getting the gear together," Jenkins says. "And definitely the camaraderie with your buddies out on the water."

These are serious rods, built to turn big fish. They make a handful of models, from stout 5-foot, 6-inch offshore/tuna rigs, medium-action trolling rods to 10-foot spinning rods.

Hand-assembled by a master rod builder right here at home, a custom deflection test performed on each blank helps the builder locate the true spine and set the guides accordingly. This limits torsion – which keeps the rod from wanting to spin in your hands, or break – and helps keep the pressure on the fish and the fish on the line.

No two rods are the same. The guides are set according to the individual rod, not some template. All guides are under-wrapped and then double-over wrapped with quality Gudebrod thread and covered with a UV-embedded, slow-dry epoxy for long life.

And some of them have real striper skin inlaid on the handle, which looks very cool.

That attention to detail is exactly what you're not going get from a rod pumped out of some anonymous factory overseas.

Three years in and the rods have a growing reputation. Jenkins has doubled his sales every year. The rods are available in many Cape tackle shops and as far away as Connecticut and Maine. Check out

So while Wiley fights the good fight, it's time to ask ...

What's going on? First of all, last Saturday's Cape Cod Salties Learn to Fish event was a lot of fun. Lou MacKeil showed people how to customize their plugs, Bill Cottle talked about fly-fishing, Joe O'Clair tied flies and there were good vibes to spare. But the biggest screams were for the hotly contested crab races that had the kids in an uproar, and may or may not have engendered some friendly wagering on the side. Good times.

1. Buzzards Bay/Cape Cod Canal – Big sea bass continue to be caught in Buzzards, including many 5-pounders. The Canal has become picky. I fished it Sunday and got skunked – couldn't find fish in a bag of Van de Kamps. "Still some fish in the Canal, but you've got to be a professional" said Red Top. Swimming plugs have been working, and eels at night.

2. Islands – The Vineyard has been solid. Chappaquiddick has been the best for shore fishermen. Dick's Bait said cast Ron-Z's, Bombers and Slug-Go's have been working around sunset. The boat crowd is doing well, but fish are middling; not much over about 28 inches. Nantucket is lights out. Hot spot of the week. "Best fishing I've seen out here since 1975," said Steve at the Nantucket Tackle Center. "If you can't catch a fish out here this week, it's time to take up golf." The bigger fish are off to the east and south of the island.

3. Cape Southside Beaches and Estuaries – Bishops is the place to be. Consistent bass fishing all this week, especially on live or chunked scup. Trolling has been effective, too. Dowses has scup and some schoolie bass. West Dennis Beach has had wild, athletic, cart-wheeling blues in the evenings. Some squid reported down toward Monomoy.

4. Nantucket Sound – Solid. Middle Ground has some keeper bass. Ditto Hedge Fence. And Colliers is still going strong with bottom fish.

5. The Great Backside Beach – Some bass were caught, and tuna were taken off Peaked Hill Bar.

6. Cape Cod Bay – Captain Jeff was out on There's A Will and hooked 35 bass, with eight keepers and only one bluefish. A nice ratio, I think you'll agree. Wire-line jigging was working over Billingsgate with bass up to about 39 inches and big blues – like, 17-pound 36-inch bruisers – testing tackle and angler alike. Tuna have been spotted and pursued from the Fingers to the southwest corner of Stellwagen. And chunking the channel in Barnstable Harbor has been effective.

Freshwater – Joe McNamara hooked a 4-pound largemouth on a shiner to take first place in the youth division at a tournament at Glen Charlie Pond, making him the three-time defending champion. His mom told me he caught his first bass at age 4. Elsewhere, Sheep's Pond in Brewster had some nice smallmouth this week.

Catch 'em up!

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