A few years ago I shot a deer and tied it to my trailer hitch rack for the ride home from deer camp. I snapped a picture and posted it to Facebook where one of my friends, a decorated Special Forces soldier, made the comment, "If you don't know knots, tie lots". He was right; I was busted. I still tie knots with the skill and finesse of a pre-schooler. It's embarrassing to admit as a guy who spends most of his free time hunting or fishing, my knowledge of knots doesn't go far beyond the Fisherman Knot and Palomar Knot.

To make matters worse, one of my good friends is a local guy named Steve Pennaz. Steve was the host of North American Fisherman TV and the creator of the popular segment, "Knot Wars". Not only does Steve know how to tie knots, he knows what knots work with different baits, lines, presentations, barometric pressure patterns etc...you get the idea. Last year we were trolling for walleye and Steve suggested I change baits. Not problem as I cut off my Rapala and grabbed a new color. In my defense, it was cold, windy, and rainy and the pressure to perform in front of the "Knot War" guy was on... about 5 minutes later Steve asked, "Is everything alright over there?". He showed me a new knot that's like the Fisherman Knot but instead of wrapping the line from the eyelet out you actually start about an inch from the eyelet and wrap it towards the hook. It's easy to tie and strong. Steve can almost tie it no handed he's so good!

So armed with my new knot (I don't remember the name) I headed to the St Croix River with a couple friends to chase smallies. I used the knot to tie on a Rapala Skitter Prop and proceeded to catch 20-25 smallies. About 3 hours into the day I hooked into a nice muskie in the 42" range. I did a decent job fighting the fish with light tackle and had it close to the boat and next to the net when she broke off. I looked at the line and there was evidence that it didn't break off but my knot had slipped.

To this day, I still suck at knots! So, in 2015 when most people will resolve to lose weight or drink less, I'm committing to learning how to tie knots!

If you have any suggestions, please let me know in the comments below.

If you miss Steve Pennaz and his Knot Wars, check out his Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/MANvsLAKE or visit his website http://www.lakecommandos.com/. He has new shows of his hit series Lake Commandos, airing on Pursuit Channel starting in January.

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