Welcome To www.OffTheHookFishing.com I'm Roy Leyva and I Hope You Enjoy Your Visit
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Former hall of fame world record Koi 20lbs 8oz
For those who are not familiar with my story I started OffTheHookFishing.com back in the summer of 2004. The idea was brought on by a dear friend of mine Joe Baker, & after much thought into the matter, I decided to start this site. At first it was a way of letting people in on my quest to be the first person to be named Master Angler. This is an award accomplishment given by Mass Wildlife to those who catch a trophy pin fish in all 22 species the state has to offer, a feat no one has yet to do. I am currently at 21 of the 22 with Tiger Musky being the last one left. After leaving my desk job at my brotherís hair salon a little over a year ago & going to work for Metro Insulation my time for the site became less. Wanting to spend whatever free time I had fishing instead of on the computer became a problem for the site, since most looked forward to the new fishing reports. So, after much thought, I came up with the idea of changing the site around, adding a few more things, but still keeping it as it some what was before. The bottom line is, lots of info on fishing that hopefully will help some others enjoy the wonderful angling that Massachusetts and its surrounding states have to offer. Some of the new things will be fish ID, articles, wildlife photos, more videos & under water photography along with some other cool ideas. Because I accidentally erased my old site some things will take a bit to get going, but please be patient.
Hall of Fame World Record 22lb 14oz Brood Stock Salmon
A little about my self
My name is Roy Leyva known as The Fish Whisperer and at 37 years old I am the youngest of four and have been fishing all my life. From the time before I could walk my parents would take me fishing to places around the city. My dad, Jose, grew up a fisherman on the island of Cuba and the same can be said for many of my relatives before they made their way to the United States. After arriving to the US in 1971 my dad became a chef and my mom Aleida became both a home maker and day care provider. For me, being the youngest of two sisters and an older brother, made things easy at home since I was babied most of the time, but growing up in the city wasnít that easy. I grew up in and around the Mission Hill area (a tough Boston neighborhood), but I have to hand it to my parents, they always had the time to show me things other than street life.
Me and my Dad
One of the greatest things they introduced me to was fishing. My brother, who shares the same interest in fishing, also took me along with him when no one else could. As the years went on my love for the sport grew and, by the age of 8, I had won my first fishing accomplishment ever. I had caught and entered a 24lb blue fish into a Cape Cod shop derby and won first place. The day I caught that fish was the day that I became infected with a disease that is so powerful it consumes you more than anything else. I had been out the day before with another person who was just as big of impact on my fishing as my father. My God father Rafael (a well known Cape fisherman) who owns Rafaelís Barber shop in Wellfleet. He had been living on the Cape and had invited me up to spend my birthday weekend with him and my God Mother Mary. I remember going to West Dennis beach while a strong SW wind blew the surf over the long jetty that outlines the mouth of the bass river. I remember being crushed when my God father told me we wouldnít be able to fish that day. Apparently I was too small to bear the crashing waves. So, when he told me that the winds would calm down and in the morning we would catch so much fish that my arms would hurt I trusted him. We woke up early that Sunday and reached the beach while the sun began to rise. I remember it being calm with a light warm wind that hit my face as we made our way out to one of the jetties on Red River Beach.
Me and My Brother
My God father then cut the head off a huge pogie and cast it out for me. I sat on a rock and waited. About a half hour went by without a sniff and my god father could only ramble about what could be wrong, I suddenly got the hardest jerk I had ever witnessed. What came next was probably the longest battle I had known at the time. I remember asking him to help me reel it in, but he just laughed and told me I was old enough to do it myself.
My Godfather and I
After both fighting the fish and trying to keep the long and heavy rod up, the fish showed itself along the side of the jetty. Well, I have to admit that the excitement that ran through me will never be forgotten. This was no blue fish, but one of the coolest things that any kid could catch. I had managed to hook and fight a Sand Tiger Shark. My Godfather estimated it at around 60lbs and still claims it be the biggest that heís seen while fishing the cape for that species. I can still remember all the teeth that bulged from its mouth and the big leopard like spots on its back half. If this wasnít enough to get any kid hooked for life what happened next surely would. We got into blue fish after blue fish. I still remember yelling out for help every time as my god father would watch and laugh. Till this day I have never caught another blue fish over 20lbs and after 26 years it remains my personal best and the day I became hooked for life.
2lb 7oz Hall of Fame World Record Yellow Perch
After that I breathed fishing. Itís all that was my life, or seemed to be. My school projects, book reports, free time was spent fishing or fish related. I wanted to be a Marine Biologist and would even skip school sometimes to go fishing in both Jamaica Pond & the Muddy River. At the age of 12 my parents bought a house in Hyde Park away from the city. We lived above Kellyís field and here I polished my skills. From fishing so much I even made a path that ran down the hill to Mother Brook, my friends named it fishermanís trail. For me fishing never became something I was ashamed of or kept hidden from girls or the cool crowd. Everyone knew it was my passion, and come to think of it was a great way to get girls to come out with me.
My love for the surf
My first love though has to be the salt, but over the last few years, I have seemed to have made a name for myself in fresh water. In 2003 I tied for angler of the year. Then won it 2004 and set the high mark for the number of pin fish species weighed into the program in one year at 16. Before that I had been recognized as one of the states top trout and salmon fishermen with my love for trophy browns showing through. I took top honors in weighing the gold winning brown trout both in 1999 and 2001. In 2004 I also received gold for Largemouth and Smallmouth bass and, last year in 2005, I won gold for my 2lb 7oz Yellow Perch & my 22lb 14oz Brood Stock Salmon. Both those fish were accepted as Hall of Fame world Records and the salmon just missed tying the MA State record by an ounce. Before those two fish, and probably my most famous and recognizable fish of all, was the 20lb 8oz Monster Koi that I caught in Jamaica Pond with a piece of my pb & j sandwich. The fish held the all tackle record before being replaced with a fish from California & then by another MA angler. I have been featured in many newspaper articles (Cape Cod Times, Boston Herald, Boston Globe, Hyde Tribune & Hyde Park Bulletin) and magazines (Massachusetts Wildlife, The fisherman, On the Water, and Cape Cod Magazine) I also have written a how to, trout fishing article that can be found in all five of Freshwater guides of New England and my picture can be seen on the cover of Innermost most waters a book and guide to fishing the Capeís fresh water ponds. I can also be seen on a few episodes of On The Water Magazineís TV show Fishing New England.
I worked as Project Director & lead instructor for The fishing Academy. A non-profit organization geared to take kids off the streets and into the outdoors by teaching them how to fish. Here I spend my summers working full time and enjoying one of the greatest moments any accomplished angler can witness, watching a kid catch his or her first fish. To these kids a trip to a local pond can mean so much. I grew up in the city and know what its like. So, being able to give so much back to the community means a lot to me. Besides all that, spending my time on the water is what I live for. The thing about it is I am always learning something new and will never know it all. In no way do I feel above anyone in the sport, but feel that as anglers we all share so much in common whether itís a 4oz blue gill or a 50lb striper, as anglers we share the same feelings of accomplishment. I meet a lot of people, who sometimes think of me as some kind of celebrity, and I am honored, but in reality thatís how I feel about most I get to meet. My sense of competition is against myself and is the reason I shy away from tournaments or even guiding. Not that I have anything against them, but feel that for me the tournaments would make me focus to much on a certain species and guiding would take away from my passion. I love watching and helping others catch fish as most could tell, but making it my job is something that I am still not ready for, maybe someday in the future, but for now Iíll just do my thing.
Blue Shark on light spinning tackle
I hope you find this site helpful and resourceful in some sort, and most importantly remember, I am not an English teacher. I will try my best at spelling and punctuations, but really canít make any promises. So take it as it isÖ.I want to also thank all the great emails over the past years. They are what have made me continue this site. I apologize for any that I never returned, it gets hard sometimes to respond to all, but I try. Please donít let this keep you from sending them, as I stated, I enjoy them very much. I promise I will try my hardest to keep up with them and try to answer any of your questions to the best of my ability. If I donít get back to you in a two week time period then please resend it. Again, I want to thank all of my readers for making www.offthehookfishing.comwhat it has become and continues to be today.
-God bless and tight lines
The Fish Whisperer
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A special thanks to my mom and dad. They always took the time to take me fishing and supported me all the way.
I love you both so much!!!
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Making a Difference, One Cast at A Time!
"There's a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot." -Steven Wright