Nick Bergman, Surf Hippie Phishing

My name is Nick Bergman (aka Surf Hippie Phishing). My passion for “all things fishing” began when I was three years old. We had moved to Jacksonville, NC. My first remembered experience involved an abandoned bridge, bucket, string, and chicken backs. We were crabbing. I never looked back. You might say, “I was hooked.” My dad was a school teacher and he worked summers with a friend who owned a charter fishing boat so I got to see fishing from land and sea.

By the time I was five I was hardcore. My friends (also five) and I walked, gear in hand, a three-mile pipeline to the beach, fishing every waterway we crossed. We had a blast. My parents had no clue.
The major turning point of my love of fishing happened when I was 12. We were staying at a beach house and we would usually stay out all day; however, the waves were 6-8 feet and the riptide was brutal. Everyone gave up but me. I’d throw my line out and plop my pole in the rod holder. After watching relentlessly, I noticed my bait, which had been moving quite swiftly down the beach, had stopped. That’s odd I thought. I noticed a little tug. I walked up to grab my rod and boom. What happened next has kept me searching ever since. My rod bent over and I was holding on for dear life. I walked back and forth up the beach. My adrenaline was pumping. I was going over and under lines and people were pulling in their lines to get out of my way. Then it happened, I saw it on the front of what felt like a 20 ft wave, swimming to the left. I had a hard time keeping control. About that time a huge waved crashed on my line and I knew it was over. Wait, he is still on as I felt him pulling once again. After a few minutes I finally landed him. It was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen and none of my family had witnessed it. I was determined to take it a mile down the beach to show my people but everyone was telling me I had to release it. A woman stepped up and volunteered to take a picture. This was before cell phones and she just happened to have a camera. I agreed and the photo was taken and the beast released. The next day the woman came to see me and was so apologetic. She did not have film in her camera and the picture was lost. She told my parents about the epic battle but the proof was gone. The fish was measured before it was released. It was a 42 inch red drum caught on a 7 foot pier special and an old Penn reel.

Fishing is my passion and I want to share it with everyone. I have lots of memories from early on but you can start today and you can be any age. Fishing can last a lifetime.

And, I’ll never be caught without a way to take a picture!