Last mission to repair the Hubble telescope Hubble space telescope discoveries have enriched our understanding of the cosmos. In this special report, you will see facts about the Hubble space telescope, discoveries it has made and what the last mission's goals are.
For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
Fill out this form to email this article to a friend
Pitching bait, not balls
Former Rays pitcher Doug Creek stalks fish for a living as a guide and angler on two pro tours.
By TERRY TOMALIN
Published March 23, 2007
Doug Creek spent nine seasons as a major-league reliever - including a little more than two seasons with the Devil Rays - pitching to players such as Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa. Last year, the 38-year-old who grew up in West Virginia embarked on a new career out of Pasco County: charter captain and professional tournament angler. He and Times Outdoors Editor Terry Tomalin spent some time on the water chasing redfish and talking sports. Some of the highlights:
Is there any similarity between major-league baseball and professional tournament fishing?
The competition. I'd love to win a ton of money, but that is not why I tournament fish. I do it to feed my competitive nature. Playing baseball or fishing, I want to do it at the highest level.
What is the hardest lesson you have learned on the tournament trail?
Every dog has its day. You have to keep at it. You have to be consistent. When you are dealing with things like fish, wind, tides, moon phases - those are elements that you can't control. So you have to be able to adapt. One day you may come out here and the fish are lined up ready to cooperate. But come out here the next day, the conditions may have changed, and you are back to Square One.
What is the biggest mistake you made when you first started tournament fishing?
I get too excited. It is kind of a problem when I'm tarpon fishing. I have to learn to settle down. Take it easy.
Did anything you learned playing baseball help make you a better fisherman?
I'll go back to persistence. Too many people want instant results. Sometimes you have to put in your time and wait for things to line up. You are not going to become a major-league ballplayer overnight. The same goes with fishing ... you have to put your time in.
Most redfish tournaments allow only artificial lures. What's your favorite?
That's an easy one; a soft-plastic jerkbait. It is versatile and will work in a variety of conditions. You can catch fish with it pretty much anywhere.
What's your favorite live bait?
The most versatile natural bait has got to be a live shrimp. You can get them just about anywhere. A close second would be the scaled sardine.
Would you rather use live bait fish or artificial lures?
I like a healthy mix of both. When I am out prefishing a tournament, I like to cover a lot of territory. So I am out on the deck, working the trolling motor, throwing artificial lures. But when I am out with a customer, I like to get on a school of fish, park it and use live bait.
Finish this sentence: I hate it when a customer ...
Makes too much noise. You get a lot of people on the boat, moving around, slamming hatches; it makes the fish very skittish. Redfish are very sound sensitive. They spook easily.
What is the most common mistake most anglers make?
They don't have the right touch. Fishing is a lot like golf. It isn't easy chipping out of a sand trap. You can't hit it too hard or too soft. You have to have the right touch. Same goes with casting. You can throw too long or too short. You have to hit it just right ... quiet and accurately.
What is your pet peeve?
Pessimism. Most days we catch fish, but some days, the fish just don't want to cooperate. People should come out here and have fun. I have had families come out here before and listening to them, it seems like they haven't talked to each other in years. You shouldn't judge your day on how many fish you caught. What matters is what kind of day you had.
You have a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old. Do you have any advice for parents when it comes to fishing?
Take them! I fish with my little boy all the time. He only lasts about 15 minutes before he is off playing in the bait well. But that is OK. I am spending time with him, we are talking the whole time, and I know it will foster a love of the sport.
What are your three favorite Florida game fish?
Tarpon is No. 1. I love catching those big brutes. I just love fighting something as big as me. Snook and redfish are a close second and third.
Do you miss baseball?
I played it as long as I could. I don't miss the schedule. I am home every night now with my family. That is the most important thing in the world to me.
Do you have a favorite team?
Sure, the Devil Rays. I grew up outside of Washington D.C., so I was a Redskins fan. But once I moved down here, I started rooting for the Bucs, the Lightning and of course, the Rays. I am pulling for the home team.
Where do you see yourself 20 years from now?
Fishing. Right here. Or maybe hunting. I don't know ... but definitely doing something outdoors.