Ogdensburg native and long-time Canton resident Mike Seymour is acknowledged by a consensus of area baby boomers as one of the most fundamental basketball players ever produced by North Country.
Executing the basics of roundball methodically and meticulously, he was widely acclaimed at St. Marys Academy and later at Siena College, where he is a member of the colleges Sports Hall of Fame.
Implementing the essentials of fishing in like manner, captain Mike Seymour has enjoyed a successful and enjoyable career as a U.S. Coast Guard licensed fishing guide for 25 years and as a prolific outdoor writer. He authors Hooks and Antlers, an outdoor column that appears on Sundays in the Advance News and the Watertown Daily Times, on the websites of the two publications and in the St. Lawrence Plaindealer on Tuesdays.
Seymour has also written any number of articles for Outdoors Magazine, New York Sportsman, New York Game and Fish, The Conservationist, Musky Hunter and many other magazines and publications.
In speaking of fishing, Seymour uses basketball as a point of comparison.
Like basketball, fishing is very complex, but the key to success is the fundamentals, said Seymour, who taught English at Canton Central School for 30 years.
When I watched the Dallas Mavericks win the NBA title last year, you could tell that they worked very hard on basic things like the pick-and-roll at every practice, Seymour said.
Seymour recently wrote his first book on fishing and The Smart Guide To Freshwater Fishing is a 266-page playbook on the sport that would impress any NBA coach with its information, insights and attention to detail.
The book is published by Smart Guide Publications Inc., which has rapidly produced a series of guides on 250 wide-ranging topics such as: Astronomy, Bachelorette Parties, eBay, Golf, Life After Divorce, Photography Essentials, US Visas and Single Malt Scotch and Wine.
Among the topics covered in The Smart Guide To Freshwater Fishing are: Where To Fish, Gearing Up in terms of rods, reels and lines and drag; Fish Senses and Natural Baits, Artificial Lures, Angling Techniques ranging from bobber fishing to trolling downriggers, Finding Fish methodology from water temperatures to sonar and GPS, Best Fishing Times, Hooks and Unhooking, Fish for the Dinner Table and the Den and Rules Ethics, Safety.
There is also complete sections on fly fishing and ice fishing and part three of book details the Most Common Freshwater Species from the diminutive minnow and herring to the giant lumbering sturgeons.
When I started the book I accessed every fishing book in the North Country Library System, Seymour said.
I really enjoyed the research especially on fly fishing. I dont fly fish all that much so I really learned a lot. I think my experiences of guiding for five summers in Alaska really helped me attain the North American perspective I needed.
Once his research was completed, Seymour wrote his manuscript in three months working eight hours a day, seven days a week.
I wrote 1,000 words a day and it took a great deal of discipline. I worked on the book everyday, including Christmas, Seymour said.
As he writes in the introduction, the result is a guide full of practical information that will help the novice get started in the sport and broaden the knowledge base of experienced anglers. My expectation is that after reading the book, you will have more fish at lines end.
But the book is about more than fish and catching fish.
It offers dissertations on why people fish and why people should fish.
Throughout the book are sidebars with old school illustrations.
Fishing Vocab provides explanations of widely used terms.
Bad Casts details common mistakes and ways to avoid and correct mistakes.
Real Fishing offers reflections and recollections by the author.
Many of those reflections deal with fishings unique ability to link generations.
Captain Mikes mother, Rose, bought him his first reel from green stamps acquired in grocery shopping and arranged fishing outings with her father, St. Lawrence River legend Clarence Seguin.
Captain Mikes Fishing Charters clients are regularly taken to spots Seymour discovered while fishing with his father, Jim, and Captain Mike has conveyed and absorbed a great deal of knowledge from his two sons. Matthew is an avid fly fisherman living in Maryland and Luke lives in Canton, where he is hopelessly enthralled with musky fever.
Captain Mike bids adieu to his readers in the books afterword Final Cast.
Fishing has been a blessing in my life, and my hope is that fishing will be a blessing in your life.