Jason Muenzner | Outdoor Channel
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Jason Muenzner

Jason Muenzner

First Mate – Hard Merchandise

“I started going out for bluefin when I was 21. I haven’t been in the game long, but I can’t imagine doing anything else,” explains Muenzner. “ I definitely want to become a captain someday. Dave pushed me to go out and get my captain’s license, and to run charters. He’s letting me take the boat out more and more. I’ve proven that I can catch fish. The first time he let me take the boat out, I got them.” Muenzner says that bluefin fishing is not so much a job as a craft, an amalgam of complex, difficult to learn skills, knowledge and physical endurance that takes years to master. “ You have to start as an apprentice and work your way up,” he says. “And it really helps to have a teacher like Dave, who’s been around for over 30 years catching bluefin now. I can go out and compete with some of the best, because he’s dumped all his knowledge on me. “For Muenzner, the most challenging part of bluefin fishing is not the required endurance and the intensity of the physical labor, or even the danger. Instead, it’s the challenge of suddenly being able to morph from a normal, calm and relaxed demeanor into a mental state of steely resolve and unrelenting concentration. The experience of catching bluefin – everything about it is hard. You wake up early, you stay up long days. You might go three, four days without a bite, and then you have one, and you’ve got to go to work, jump into action. You’re feeling relaxed and lazy, and then that rod moves, and it’s game time. Those first couple of minutes, they’re the toughest.” In the off-season and when he’s not on the water, he works as a mechanic to make ends meet. “I can always fall back on that. Its flexible, and people are always going to need their cars fixed.”

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