The son of a mobster goes from deadbeat to world champion to protector of “the people's fish.”
Born to Fish tells the story of a man who led a harrowing, sometimes dissolute life until he turned himself around, thanks to his rod and reel. Overcoming learning disabilities, substance abuse, and the violence associated with a father in the mob, Greg Myerson, a lifelong sport-fisherman, caught an 82-pound striped bass in 2011, shattering a world record that had stood for 29 years. Without any training in biological research, he began studying the striped bass like a scientist—examining how it hunts, the food it eats, how its behavior is affected by moon phases and the cycles of the tides—which led to the creation of the RattleSinker, the lure that helped him catch the record-setting bass. During an appearance on the TV show Shark Tank, Mark Cuban bought a 33 percent share of Greg's company, World Record Striper Company. Yet at the very instant he achieved his crowning glory as a striped bass fisherman, he had a staggering epiphany and instantly regretted killing the fish. Greg is now at the forefront of the effort to save the big striped bass, the most prolific breeders, and actively promotes no-kill catch-and-release tournaments.
About the Author
As TIM GALLAGHER was working on his book The Grail Bird, he was among the first to sight the long-thought-extinct ivory-billed woodpecker in Arkansas, which led to a multi-million-dollar effort to confirm the sighting and protect the bird's dwindling habitat. The sighting changed the direction of the book, for which Gallagher won the Outdoor Writers Association of America's Best Book award for 2005. Gallagher is editor-in-chief of Living Bird magazine and of the Journal of the North American Falconers' Association.
GREG MYERSON is a born fisherman who has spent the bulk of his life trying to figure out how to catch more and bigger fish. In 2011, he stunned the sportfishing world when he landed a nearly eighty-two-pound striped bass, demolishing a world record that had stood for twenty-nine years. He has won Angler of the Year three years in a row. More recently, he appeared on Shark Tank, where Mark Cuban enthusiastically financed his invention, an innovative lure for attracting striped bass.
"This is an extraordinary story of one man’s obsession, a tale of passion, brutality, tragedy, and redemption. It’s a book about a love of fishing that tackles the deepest themes of life and family, of history, education, masculinity, and America, and shows us not only how the natural world can be a place of grace, but a soul's complicated and beautiful saviour."
—Helen Macdonald, author of H is for Hawk
"Born to Fish is an authentic page-turner. A gripping tale about obsession, sacrifice and, ultimately, redemption. It’s the moving story of a tormented child who finds escape in the woods and on the water, alone. His struggle becomes our struggle as we witness this vulnerable boy making wrong and increasingly dangerous choices until, finally . . . well, I’m not going to give that away. And, oh, it’s also about the largest striped bass ever caught by a recreational fisherman."
— Walter Anderson, former editor of Parade magazine
"Born to Fish is the compelling story of an unlikely conservation hero—Greg Myerson, who landed the largest striped bass ever caught by a sport fisherman and instantly regretted killing such an important breeder, just to break a record. Myerson has since dedicated himself to saving the Atlantic Coast striped bass, now devastated by pollution and overfishing."
—Robert F. Kennedy Jr., environmental attorney and activist
"A wordsmith and a fishsmith have collaborated on an important book that will live long in angling literature. Born to Fish is not just for anglers but for everyone who knows one—a study of the demons and angels that drive us. I couldn’t put it down."
— Ted Williams, environmental journalist
"Far more than just an excellent book about fishing, this is one of the most compelling portraits of an individual I have ever encountered.
It is no surprise that Greg Myerson should be the holder of so many records with regard to striped bass: he himself is an outsize personality, containing raw contradictions such as vitality, courage, grandeur, and pain. Once you have met Greg Myerson you will never forget him: he will stay with you even longer than the memory of all those behemoths that he has hauled from the deep."
—Tony Huston, screenwriter
"Perhaps it takes an intense sportsman who has led a wild life himself to tell the story of another one the right way. Greg Meyerson, obsessive angler and mad fisherman, is fortunate in having Tim Gallagher, a falconer and writer who has a past of his own, as his chronicler; two wild men tellling unforgettable stories."
—Stephen J. Bodio, author of Hounds of Heaven, Querencia, and Eagle Dreams
"Gallagher is a skilled enough writer to capture the humanity of this complicated man, one who becomes the best at what he does . . . A compelling biography even if you’ve never picked up a fishing rod."