In 1996 there were not many fishing websites. My vaguest recollections are of places like Allcoast, NCBF, biteson.com, and perhaps the fish sniffer and icthy.com.
Over the years sites and people have come and gone, but some people stand out in memory as having been great contributors. The guys who posted reports, helped people out, shared broadly and made the fishing internet worth clicking on.
I thought I'd list a few here and hope that you'll list some of your favorites too.
Cooch: If you go to the Delta reports page on westernbass and scroll to page 1 of all time, there's Andy. 1997, reporting from tournaments, sharing locations and lures. If you never read his Viper tournament story, it's an all time internet classic. I searched high and low for bo liz because of Cooch. All time hall of fame for sure.
Paulfishes: Some fishing stories make you want to get to the lake. Some make you want to buy tackle. Some just make you laugh until the tears roll. Paulfishes was and possibly is the master of this genre. His stories on sdfish were always about the adventure. The fishing was secondary. The humor was top notch. One of the brilliant writers to ever grace our Internets presence.
Josh D: Josh posted for years on Allcoast, a few on BD. Some ocean guys are hardcore, but these guys took it to every extreme. Small boats, long distances offshore. Night, day, big fish. These were the reports that always made me get albacore fever. When your avatar is you filleting a severed head well...
heymon: Heymon was the saltwater version of Paulfishes. Maybe they were the same guy, it's not clear. Heymon could make you laugh with a story about catching a treefish on a grub at a Los Angeles area sewer outfall. Thank you for gracing us with your posts Heymon, hope you are still out there.
capt josh: Some people's brain is afflicted fishing. For capt josh it was about harnessing very large skipjack as bait and catching fish that were interested in eating said very large skipjack. Some people only want one thing in fishing and this dude was about giant yellowfin. His posts put PV and El Banco on my bucket list.
The Kayakers: There's a few guys that pioneered the ocean kayak thing and made it fascinating to read about. The Iceman, madscientist, Lamb, and THE DARKSHORSE (in all caps). Kayaking is fundamentally wet, tiring and a little too much exercise but you guys got me up in December years ago to paddle my out of shape butt out past the preserve and get my skunk on like a true barni. Thank you.
Hamachi Kamas: Speaking of barnis. In a world of Barni's you make one website worth reading occasionally. Love the fact that you limit your lure selection, constantly fish on new water, and charge every weekend. Saw you out there last year and I give you props.
The Brians: Brian #1 and #2 were practically kids when they got on. You guys lived it, shared it and made the site great. Swimmy swimbait was a great contribution to humanity. When the wookie settles down, I hope he becomes a great tournament bass fisherman. And Brian #1, I hope you find your dream job at Pixar, make a kids movie about bass fishing and retire to a sweet private lake. So you can invite me up to fish.
Ryeguy: Page 1 of the trophy forum, 2001. The home page right now today 11 years later. You and Team 85 have made it interesting man. I hope you find a heretofore unknown fish in the high mountains of tibet and they name it micropterus teamus eightyfivus after you. Or at least ponytailyonus
gletumfeelsteel: I probably spelled that wrong. But you gotta give Gary props for a decade or so of So-Cal charging. Loving fishing every minute of the way. 2lb striper, 20lb striper, whatever. It's about the experience. About the awesomeness of fishing. I always read your reports. Thank you.
Nico: The guy who quietly built many of the great fishing sites over the years. Who enabled the shared experience. Who is unquestionably one of the great trophy bass fishermen to ever live. More than few PBs have been caught because of a helpful tip or a detailed report written by Mr. Raffo.
In the list above I forgot at least 10 other great fishermen who made the last 16 years awesome. I hope you're still out there charging every weekend. We're never going to quit this gig here. It's just too much fun.
#12119, "RE: Heroes of the Internet" In response to Reply # 0
Definitely this site. I read this site for many years before signing up. Jig article and float tubing article definitely had the largest influence in my fishing than anything else ever. Never would have thrown a brushhog for a jig trailer and definitely would not have thought to put a double wide on a jig with out that article. Thanks!
Cooch is at the top too. I always re-read the viper tourney article for inspiration before going on a multi-day fish trip. His oroville, columbia, and mead recaps are pretty cool too. Need more of those type of fishing stories on the internet.
Worldrecordbass.com was big too. Pity that it isn't up anymore. The site should make this informal hall of fame just for the Paul Duclos pictures and info. The story of the 24lb(I consider it the largest bass ever legally caught) bass and how it was lip locked was so amazing to me when I read it. I still think it is the coolest story of a monster catch, no chance of it ever coming off.
#12124, "RE: Heroes of the Internet" In response to Reply # 4
Great topic Rob! I spent the majority of my 6th period in high school reading Nico's reports on Ichty.com. Man you guy's crushed some toads back then and the reports were so detailed. I obviously know why the reports ceased, that info was like gold, but man the anticipation of the next report would dictate my weekend float tube plans.
I agree that there is a true lack of information provided from the fishing community these days. Too many times have I been previewed to good bites without capitalizing. You simply cannot duplicate the experience another angler has. With that said, I feel I can share information with other anglers without worrying that I made some catastrophic mistake. Thank you and Nico for once again providing anglers with thorough information.