Daniel Mancari, Team Eye Strike
What do you like most about fishing? Fishing is my escape. I work a lot and have a family, so any free moment I get to sneak out to some water somewhere, I’m on it. I get wrapped up in every aspect of fishing, from reading every possible piece of literature on my targeted species, to connecting with other fishermen and fisherwomen who share the passion. A handful of my closest friendships were born on the water.
How did you get started with fishing? I started when I was about 5 or 6. My dad worked overnights and was not into fishing at all. My mom was a stay at home mom and enjoyed anything water related, including fishing, so she would be the one to take us fishing every chance we could. As we got a little older we would rush home, get our homework done and pack the car up to go catch countless bluegills with the occasional bass mixed in. Bluegills were the gateway to the rest of this world for me. From there the passion grew. Once I was able to drive, instead of going off hanging with my friends or doing other things, I would head to the river to catch striped bass and catfish.
What are your other interests? I grew up going to the beach, so the beach will always feel like “home” to me. Outside of being on or around the water, I have a wife and three children who complete me. My wife and kids all enjoy fishing as well, so my favorite things are able to overlap on occasion. We also have a small furniture refinishing business that allows us to explore our creative sides outside of our full-time jobs.
What’s your favorite Eye Strike Fishing product? If I had to choose just one, my most used would be the 2/0 3/16 oz TroutEye in Pearl. In the winter time, I target walleye heavily and it is by far the best jighead I’ve ever used, hands down. I’ve used the weedless jigheads for snakeheads and the striper and redfish eyes for striped bass and flounder. You can’t go wrong on these jigs. I have caught my personal best walleye, bluefish and largemouth bass on these jigs and will continue to target new species with them going forward.
What is something most people don’t know about you? I don’t eat fish. I’ve tried, lord knows I’ve tried all kinds, just not my thing. My preference is always to practice catch and release. It’s far easier to accomplish when I don’t particularly care to put my targets on the table. My family, however, does enjoy eating fish, so I practice selective harvest with a few more sustainable species of fish for them and everything else goes back in the water.
Anything else you’d like to add? I do 99% of my fishing from the bank. Most people believe you need a boat or kayak to get on fish, but I believe otherwise. I think when you’re on foot, you’re more in tune with your surroundings and more focused which allows you to key in on minor details that would be missed by the boat fishermen. I’ve fished from boats, I’ve fished from kayaks, but I find myself really relishing the ability to put quality fish on the bank.