October 17, 2015

The Interview: Berk "Legend"

Hello Berk, can you please briefly introduce yourself?

Hello RC,

As I must say some about myself I am a man of many interests.
I was born in Amasra in a little town at shores of the Black Sea "where waves always hits the shoreline hard" .Then i grew up in Bursa a town of Marmara sea and Istanbul "the city that sea runs through". From my early ages fishing was in my life my grandfathers my father my uncles all were abbot anglers.
But I also did many sports in my childhood to name a few free diving, football, martial arts, swimming and list goes on :)
Then I practiced fine arts in high school but also studied different academic genres.
Now my profession is concept design and stage design but my real profession is industrial designing ....All this time travelling to different countries and fishing is a part of my life (a very big part)  I consulted brands in Turkey.
I have introduced many new techniques to fishing community of Turkey and also I gave many interviews to the fishing magazines of other countries  being a pioneer of lure angling in my country is my main reputation I guess.

But from freshwater bait angling to surf-casting I did every type of fishing I can get my hands on in my native waters ...

I also studied academic aqua-biology and behavior habits of fish all those years like a license student. I guess my nick name comes from knowing too much :)

When did you start fishing?

I can't really remember ...
Sounds cliche but my father says they even changed my diapers on the boat ahahaha
But I remember catching huge wrasse and bream from rocks in very early ages like 6 or 7
And my first lure fishing memoir is at my 8 or 10 trying to throw a table spoon with treble behind from the rocks with a hand line :)
My mother was very upset about me stealing a silver spoon of her collection but the huge foul hooked bluefish saved me that day.
At that age my father didn't told me what is a spoon ahahahahaha so I improvised my own :)
Those are sweet childhood memories that always makes me smile ...

What type of fishing do you prefer?

Lets see...
Light tackle spinning is one of my favorite especially when medium size predators and some opportunistic species that turn predatory at times are the quarry.
Shore jigging is an addiction for me especially when hits come from big bad ass pure blood predatory fish.
Topwater fishing tossing poppers and walkers sticks etc. Is a must for me explosive strikes make my heart beat faster.
Tactical ultralight spinning is also one of my essentials that's when spinning comes very close to fly fishing standards.
Vertical jigging both light and heavy for muscle aches and big fights...
Softbaits for winter months.
Jerkbaits for finicky predators.
Sometimes bait fishing stalking big carp sea bream even sea bass on live baits sightcasting at them is fun.
Rock fishing/iso game/bolognese you name it for huge bream, corvina and snappers at night.
But as you can understand from the list I love fishing no matter how and where :)
Yes there are less enjoyable ways to fish for me but if I can improvise if I can feel the contact with the fish be sure that I will be the one smiling there.

But if you ask me one thing that I am good even perfect at it would be casting hard baits I think :))

Favorite places to cast a lure?

My favorite places to cast a lure .....
I think no one can answer this question simply by saying here and there.
It depends on the fish that im after or the size of the fish that I'm after.
I can happily throw mini jerkbaits softlures tiny topwaters at small seabass in a shallow estuary or a harbor wall or a port in summer.
But if I am asking for trouble of 5 kg or more I will be on a deep estuary a big port mouth or a headland where currents meet and plenty of bait migrates.
In those circumstances I will use different lures up to 200 mm. Both soft and hard !!
If I am after big Mediterranean predators deep rocky shores are the answer mostly jigging and topwater lures makes my day sometimes big softbaits for groupers :)
Or on a huge estuary will hate me after throwing big topwaters on its face after big bluefish or leerfish.
Rivers lakes streams oceans canals sea ways (Bosphorus/Dardanelles) and even some swamps all has its place in my fishing life and each one of those has its special hotspots for your selected quarry.

What is your favorite fish to catch with lures?

Now you killed me there ...
List is long very long haha
But I can make my way into an answer like this;
I like catching mythical ghosts :)
Big seabass
big jackmackerel (aji)
Big leerfish
Big barracuda
And likely....
I favor fighting angry devils...
Skipjack tuna
Sea trout
Big houndfish
Huge sea bream
And I like a meaty opponent on my selected environment facing the devil himself challenging the odds...
Giant trevally
Broadbill swordfish
Huge amberjacks
Red bass
Dogtooth tuna
King mackerel
Wels catfish
Huge pike
Even sharks are on my list when I'm furious about challenging the Poseidon ahhahaha

I like fish that has many identities. I want them to play cat and mouse and make me go extremes after one specimen ....
That is the proper answer to this question for me I guess :)

What is your best catch ever?

I can't put one a side of others but to list a few...
10 kg + seabass I managed a few of those big ghosts ..
6 kg + barracuda I landed some of those crocodiles
50 kg + king mackerel
20 kg + dorado even managed 2 of those on 8 pound braid after 1 hour fight with each :)
I have some big dentex from shore up to 6 kg+
Trevally up to 15 20 kg even managed some double strikes on one lure...
But most of my specials are fish from Bosphorus ...
Why because landing big fish in a megacity is something every angler will say impossible ...
6kg corvina nearly 3 kg jackmackerel (aji) 7kg bluefish 10kg + seabass (and one biggest sea bass of nearly 18 kg years before)
And sea bream up to 5 and 6 kg
Those fish are special for me because they were impossible catches from city of Istanbul ...

For freshwater:

Catfish of 30 kg
Pike up to 11 kg
Zander of 7 kg range
Perch up to 2 3 kg
My chub fishing is exceptional I guess fish up to 8 kg visited my lures :)
And list goes on in freshwater too.

As you see I can't put one over another every catch is special best isn't a word enough to describe those memoirs.

What kind of tackle do you use during your fishing trips? Rod and reel

I used nearly every brand you can imagine in my fishing history....
Daiwa/Shimano/Penn/Quantum/Van Staal/Tica/Mitchell/Tubertini/Ryobi/Okuma/Banax/DAM for reels.
As listed some above and other than the list: Zenaq/ima/Apia/Anglersrepublic/Jackson/Graphiteleader/Lamiglas/Gloomis/Fox/Wright&Mcgill/Jigging Master/Tenryu/Trabucco/Megabass for rods.
If I have to list lures I use I need to write down all known brands and some hand made masters even my own self designs ahahaha.
But the perfection in tackle comes in two brands for me.
Zenaq and Shimano !
Stella is a reel that is indestructible and works like a charm against every condition !
As Zenaq the pa (Plaisir Answer) series is a must for every serious lure angler around the globe.
So strong yet so light and the RG guide system is like magic casting without effort and hesitation is perfection to my opinion...
And the legendary DM (Defi Muthos) series in RG guides versions there is a rod for every fish that swims in this selection and I still find myself surprised on how much punishment those rods can take.
For braids and PE 3 brands made my fishing easy
Hooks and accessories i always trust
Those are essentials for my tackle as I try to list shortly as i can.

If you had to choose only three lures to put in your lure box, which ones would
you pick?

If I had to choose only three lures himmm...
1. It will be a popper for sure but not any popper the Maria Pop Queen will be the one depends on the situation you can work it as a popper or a walker and from my memories with it I know it can catch just about any fish eager to rise to top.
2.It will be the Daiwa Shorline Shiner SSR the longest casting shallow hardbait ever ......
3. Is the must other lures can change according to the circumstances but this one is going everywhere with me the DUO Realis Jerkbait 120 SP !
If there is a fish...
If it swims and breathes...
And if it has predatory inclinations...
I can deceive it with DUO Realis Jerkbait 120 SP the masterpiece of Masashiro Adachi !!
Lets make it one lure world tour ahaha the lure will be DUO Realis Jerkbait 120 SP for sure :))

Where do you see lure fishing in 10 years?

Lure fishing is almost dominant way of practice around the world today ...
And as every anglers know every year brands and designers make better products for serious angler all around the globe.
But we cant just catch fish and use the best doing it we need to become an organized legal community worldwide to ensure our future sport and future generations sport eco tourism plays a big part on this process also angling clubs community social media and blogs.
Distributors and brands must help those organizations against commercial poachers and over fishing and raise their voice for lure angling community.
That is a global problem with all of us lure anglers around the world.
We need to go to extreme places to find un-depleted predatory fish stocks and most of us practice catch and release.
Yes we do have right to keep our table share of fish but killing all you catch even this is a problem that must solved.
And also there is cheap equipment problem new starters buy the cheapest present brands and lose lures on fish rock you name it that's a pollution that keeps killing after they leave fishing spot. Think like that you lose a lure on a bass the ailing hooked bass will be eaten by a bigger predator say an amberjack but dissolving metal and hooks eventually kill the aj and even a shark can eat it ....
Now a new angler killed a shark by using cheap equipment think like that and teach everyone why we spend tons of money on gear we use today ...
So many thing must change but I have hope 10 years is a long time for the industry and the anglers and from my point of view there is no other community worldwide bigger than lure anglers we just need to realize this crowd is the power itself ..
"As all of us man and woman that loves the art of fishing lures and deceiving the nature with something man made we put our souls in those plastic and metal and one way or another we are like each other that is why i keep lure anglers in a different category...
We are all brothers and sister playing with our toys and with the water :)"

What do you think of catch and release?

Catch and release must be controlled by regional guards to my opinion anglers are perfect hit and run poachers if you think properly.
But I am not a fan of no kill policy. We put our money our effort even risk our life and limb to catch those specimen fish we do have the right to take fish for our family friends and our own table share.
But there must be regulation on that for example:
For species near extinction serious anglers must pay a good tax for keeping the catch and those taxes must go to conservation projects for this species of fish like they did after disaster freeze on snook population of Florida
For others limits for fishing technique must differ.
Bluefish for example or seabass other techniques are less effective and less productive on those species but for a lure angler catching average size of this species is very easy and we can easily have a huge blow on those species local populations if we kill all we catch.

So keeper size for lure anglers must be 50 cm or bigger for those species I guess..
Bait anglers and other techniques can stay at a 40 cm average size.

Regulations like these can save fish stocks and future of our sport and, as I mentioned before in my interview, distributors and tackle brands must have their support on this type of process too.

As an angler I keep fish that is too old to breed or turned cannibal and sometimes if table quality is good average trophy sized one or two according to species others released by me to fight another day !

All lure anglers must kill cleanly a foul hooked or badly injured fish by our lures ....
Its common sense an ailing fish is a dead fish in aquatic environment I can't let my practice to make a living things life a torture !!!

Anything you want to add?

I wish to all my brothers and sisters tight lines lucky days good weather and challenging fish of their dreams hahahaahaaa.
What more to say from a veteran lure angler :))))

Again, thank you very much for your time!!

Thank you!

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