Best fishing tips for the FISH fanatic...

Brrrr it's cold...but soon I will be ice fishing with my friends...

I like to go for Pike from time to time. All I could find were wire leaders with kinks in them. So I went online for advice. Don't you love it when the only advice you get is, "Throw it away and buy new ones?" I came up with this and it works!...

1. Kinked wire leader.

2. Zip tie and weight attached.

3.  Pinch wire and pull down.  Let hang for awhile.

4. Wire leader is much better!

I started fishing with a friend from church this year. We have taught each other a lot. The first time we went Ice fishing he used his locator and I had no locator. I out caught him two to one. I explained that while he was looking at his screen, I was watching my line. We went out again the next week, same lake same baits etc. He again used his locator. He caught 8 to my three. Go figure.

Here's a letter from my friend Jeff about Piranhas:

Haha, no comment on the missing neighborhood kids. Yeah I've had the boys for over 7 years now, since '07. Their expectancy is 10+, sometimes 15+ years. They were all smaller than a quarter (honestly) when I got them, came home in the same bag. They're now almost 8 inches. I joke that they eat better than I do. Nothing more gruesome than occasional few dozen goldfish. Typically they eat fresh seafood or steak from grocery butcher, can eat just about anything, but has to be raw.  Their digestive systems aren't built to handle cooked or fatty foods. Over the years you learn the balance between enjoyable feedings and keeping a balanced water chemistry, some things get way too messy.
They're the hardiest fish I've ever kept. My first apartment was robbed when they were almost 2, the thieves poured a large bottle of red wine from my kitchen in the tank. Came home to a pink tank with drunk piranhas bumping into each other. So they were wasted once.
One August few years ago our a/c broke and the tank was nearly 90 degrees for a day or so, I was pouring ice in the tank. Tattered fins, they made it through the stress.
The next year I left back home to WV for Thanksgiving and came back to find our heater had broke. The fish survived in 43 degree tank water, they were laying against the glass.
They are really interesting characters.
Its always obvious they are more like river fish than tank fish. They always are aware of the room, who's in it, and where you are. They never take their eyes off you, they're always aware and watching you.

That's where your painting comes in.
Even with your stunning use of color, it's not what I love the most about it.
You captured the perspective of their true personality. First, the eye is focal, you made the fish look straight at the viewer, as they do, always watching.  They like to hide/feel safe, so your broad side view with only the head poking out from the side of the image is an absolute match of their true nature, they lurk. You captured all of that. By coincidence or subconscious, you nailed it.

Congrats on the interview, that's cool. I'll have to send the link to my uncle, he's going to love your work. The Fish Scream is bound for Charleston, WV.
Stay warm in PA!!

Isn't this a great picture? I hope I get the story right...

I believe she was Mary Ann Skinner, and she caught this muskie near the Thousand Islands circa 1890. Her husband was a well known maker of fishing lures and won an award for the lure seen below. I guess they are quite the collectors items.

Just before the ice came, I went out for perch. On a one hundred acre lake that is 60 feet deep in places, it's not always easy to locate a school. And perch DO school, usually by size. First I try some of the old standard spots. If, after a half hour nothing happens, I move. remember, patience AND persistence! I did hit a school of medium size keepers. All I had was some freshly dug garden worms. Before the bait even hit bottom (about 10 feet) a perch would grab it. I got these in less than an hour, and another batch the next day. I put 8 fillets in a vacuum freezer bag and that's a meal for my wife and I. So this was about 4 meals for us.

Mr. Izaak Walton (1593 –1683) was the author of the happiest of books:
"The Compleat Angler" was first published in 1653, but Walton continued to add to it for a quarter of a century. It is a celebration of the art and spirit of fishing in prose and verse.
I have made an original watercolor of a rainbow trout upon his opening page about salmon.
$30....This is not a print.
Shown here at low resolution,the art and type are sharp and clear.
The paper is natural parchment. It is matted to fit your standard 8X10 frame.
A fine addition to the sophisticated man’s study.
Art is signed by Barry Singer. Matte may differ from one shown.
© 2017 Barry Singer. Reproduction rights belong to the artist. Thank you. Just click this link....

What to do with those pike heads...Tip # 8 - a cool and creepy piece of 3-D art and it really doesn't smell. Put a nice big pike head somewhere to dry where animals won't get at it (like up tree). Leave it there for the entire summer and then put it in a shed to dry some more. Then give it a bath in Clorox water. this one is mounted on a distressed board. I intend to give it several coats of varnish. Finally hang it in a dim corner of your studio to scare little kids!

I saw this at the Anchorage Airport and couldn’t believe it. It’s a world record halibut caught by Jack Tragis. It was 9’ 5” long, and weighed 459 lbs. Tip #43:... while fighting fish this size, wear Depends.

Moby Dick is such a great story it's almost a shame to monkey around with it. But I can't help it when these images pop into my head. I just have to draw them. There are more cartoons below (if you think you can stand it).

Magritte is way up there with Dali when it comes to surrealism. I did a whole collection of parodies in pencil and you can find them at my Etsy shop...

Fishing Wind Poem...

When the wind is in the North
The fisherman seldom ventures forth.
When the wind is in the South
It blows the bait in the fish's mouth.
When the wind is in the East
Then the fish will bite the least.
But when the wind is in the West
Then the fish will bite the best.

Fishing tip #27 :  Memorize this little poem of fishing wisdom. I have found it to be true. When the wind is blowing in the West, that is when the fishing's BEST! This is my latest watercolor, inspired by a weather vane on top of a lovely home in Middletown Rhode Island.


You're never too young to wear a GYOTAKU tee shirt. Boy, how kids love them! Here are two of my grandkids, the next generation of fishermen and women. I keep some kid size fishing poles around at all times. Don't forget to take them catching bait too (tip# 44). That's all part of the fun. These were made from a nice black crappie, in case you couldn't tell. Bass trout pike perch bluegill fish art

My old fishing buddy moved to Florida and I'm here in PA alone to ice fish all winter. I often wonder if the fish are as cold under the ice as I am on top. Can you imagine how anything could live down there? I made this cartoon of two bass contemplating a move. As I get older I am more cautious about the whole ice fishing thing. And getting too cold is no fun at all. One of my tips is this: You know how you sit on an old pail? mine is equipped with a soft seat as many are. I usually put nothing but a wide base candle in the bottom of mine. Just light the candle and not only will your rear get warm, but you can stick your hands down there and really warm them up too. I never heard of anyone else doing this, and hope it's not unsafe in any way. So far, so good! Remember to check out my fishing art at

Waiting. And waiting. After missing a northern pike a couple of weeks ago my luck has gone south. I found this totally unpolished cartoon on my desk. I must have drawn it subconsciously while talking on the phone. My misery is deep.

Back in the day, we used to catch 50 nice yellow perch quite often. Sometimes the school would be packed so tight that casting a foot or two off the spot would yield no bite. We would have to sharpen the fillet knives a couple of times while cleaning a batch like this. Then I would prepare my favorite chipped perch recipe....

Tip #21: Eat your catch! A high quality 8X10 print of this recipe is available at Best Perch recipe .


Always treat your fish with respect and never take silly pictures of them. Well, unless you come up with something clever and funny. (See funny fish pencil drawings at ) These are fallfish, a very large native minnow. The largest I have personally caught was around 18". They are actually quite common here in Pennsylvania and I often catch them on dough balls when I'm after carp. Once I hooked one on a spinner and was sure it was a hefty trout. They make great GYOTAKU because of the large scales.

GOOD EATING! When I asked my nephew about the blackened fish he prepared for me one night this was his response:This was silver (coho) salmon. One of the ones we caught. I've amassed quite a list of fish that I've blackened now. Including -- king, sockeye, and silver salmon, halibut, pike, yelloweye (rockfish), white bass, LM bass, and blackfin tuna. Ironically, I have not blackened the common ones like redfish, speckled trout (weakfish), flounder, or catfish... I buy the seasoning in the grocery store, so I can't really give you a recipe, per se... Dip pieces of fish (size of a deck of playing cards) in olive oil or melted butter and sprinkle on seasoning. Paul Prudhomme's Redfish Magic is our favorite. Then slam it down on a super-hot cast iron fry pan and cook about a minute per side. Easy as can be...(and it was GREAT!) 

I call this photo 12 pounds of fish. It was late November, cold and windy. But I had cabin fever and went out in my little rowboat by myself. I dropped anchor and fished for awhile without results. Then on a flash of inspiration I lifted anchor and drifted. within an hour I had this stringer full. The chain pickerel was 28", so you can judge the rest. The drift was what they wanted. My theory is this: These predators had cleaned up all of the baitfish etc. in close to shore and had moved into deeper water. Just before the long almost dormant winter they thought they would pick up a quick meal. You'll see GYOTAKU of the bass and pickerel on my FISH ART website  Folks had been asking me for some largemouth BASS ART for their cottage so check them out.

I've spoofed just about everyone from Grant Wood to Leonardo DaVinci, so now it's Gary Larson's turn. Does anyone remember his famous "Dog Heaven" cartoon? Well, we fishermen want to go to heaven too. You should be able to find a high quality 8X10 print of this available at ... Just pick up a cheap frame and you're in fish heaven! bass trout pike salmon walleye wall art gift funny

Who are some of the best fish artists that have inspired Barry Singer over the years? The fish rubbings or gyotaku by different artists each have their own style. Lori Hatch, Dwight Hwang, Michael Reimer, and Naoki stand out in my mind as good examples. Above is a smallmouth bass composition available at

The long snout of a Northern Pike as he prepares to attack his prey. Pike can clean up the pan fish in a body of water quickly. When that happens you might want to keep a few. They are good eating, but be careful not to touch any of the nasty slime from the outside of their body to the fillet. Sometimes when we are fishing for pan fish and they are shut down we discover that a large pike or pickerel is hanging out in the area. Note also that when ice fishing if you put a tip-up (with a live bait) it may attract the predators. But you may find the jigging action nearby slow for that very reason. These are the things that occur to you over the years. Are they true? I don't really know, but I have fun trying to figure out why fish aren't always biting.  

Tip #1. If you fish where bears hang out, take bear spray and know how to use it.

Seriously. Here's a bear track. If you see signs of bear...beware.

This is the eye of a pink salmon. I like to take a close-up picture for future fish art.

How far are you willing to hike to get to a good fishing spot? Would you go 2.5 miles with 35 pounds on your back? Oh what the FISH fanatic will do! Arctic grayling

Perhaps one of God's most beautiful creations...the Arctic Grayling. He jumped out of the water and came DOWN on the fly. Yes, I thought I'd died and gone to heaven! This one is still swimming happily in a remote mountain lake. remote Alaska fishing

Is he happy? Fish chowder, bread, and an NA beer brings a smile to Barry Singer.

With the skill of a surgeon, Troy Miller fillets a silver salmon from the Kenai River in Alaska. Cleaning fish trout knife

Father's Day 2012, it's the day after the bass opener. I was out with my youngest son, David and looking for bragging rights for the longest largemouth bass. I thought I had him on the ropes with this 18 incher. I caught him using the rubber worm wacky rig. (check out my wacky pencil drawings on Etsy ( ). Anyway, this guy was only out of the water long enough to be measured and photographed. Then David catches this hawg...


He really put up a tremendous fight! I'll bet it took us 10 minutes to get him into the boat. First he wrapped himself around some lilly pads, then we had to coax him out from under an old dock. He earned his freedom though. After measuring in at 22" he was gently released. We got 5 largemouth bass like this in 2 hours and none of them succumed to GYOTAKU or the frying pan. I guess it was a good day for everyone.

This 44", 17 lb. Northern Pike is just a peanut compared to the world record Northern Pike caught in Canada on Rainy Lake. That monster was 56" and weighed in at 55 lbs! This GYOTAKU made by Barry Singer was turned into a wall hanging by adding dowells top and bottom. It's so easy to roll up and transport. I like to take it to art class to show off. The lad shown here lives (and swims) at the lake where the fish was caught! There might still be some GYOTAKU of this one at

Here's a beautiful stringer of yellow perch. They fillet up nicely and are delicious! Below is a GYOTAKU and testimonial. pan fish

"Hello...I received the beautiful perch rubbing yesterday (via etsy) and am thrilled to have it. I spent many a happy hour perch fishing in Wisconsin. Now that I live in South Carolina, the oportunities for this pursuit are few and far between. The Gyotaku will be a great reminder to me of good times. Many thanks to you!" Chris Hess  

A new and funny gift for fishermen and women who appreciate wacky humor in the world of fish. I have included eight of my favorite irreverent pencil drawings in this 16 page 8 1/2" X 11" book. All are suitable for framing (See picture background). Pop them into a standard frame and you've got enough gifts for the next eight years! They are high resolution and look just like an original. One woman from Minnesota bought 100 of these wacky pieces of art and gave them as gifts to her loyal bar patrons. Take a look at this great deal on ETSY. Just click here

This cannibal largemouth bass was found thrashing around in front of my neighbors dock. His eyes were too big for his belly. I thought of making a GYOTAKU but didn't think anyone would believe it. The poor bass finally expired and was netted. He made a fine meal and a great fish story for my neighbor who had never seen anything like it in his 60 years at the lake.

This is why they are called Great Northern Pike! Just caught Sept 22, 2011 in a private lake in NE Pennsylvania. George used live bait in the form of a 7" perch. Note the classic light colored bean shapes on the pikes sides. This fellow weighed in at 17 lbs. and measurd 44" long. A wire leader is a must. They say the average wait for a fish like this is 100 hours of fishing. Thanks George. See a GYOTAKU of this at

Crew of Ren Ren (Captain, Mike Pavlovich) releases a small blue shark on a slow day at the Mud Hole east of Block Island, RI. Other sharks include: bonnethead, scalloped hammerhead, smalltooth sawfish, nurse shark, spiny dogfish, soupfin shark, sandbar shark, smooth dogfish, leopard shark, sand tiger, thresher shark, blacktip shark, shortfin mako, dusky shark, tiger shark, bull shark, white shark, whale shark, basking shark, and the broadnose sevengill shark. Sharks, unlike most bony fishes, lack a swim bladder and must move constantly or they will sink to the bottom.

Where to fish:ponds, lakes, streams, rivers, oceans and seas, swamps, channels, from piers, docks, rowboats and charter boats, kayaks and canoes, from the shore or a jetty. Paul Richards caught and released this largemouth bass from a private lake in Pennsylvania. If you fish...they will bite.

On a recent outing to the Tunkhannock Creek in Wyoming County I was hoping for a decent sized carp. You truly never know what you might catch in this beautiful stream and the scenery is worth the trip. That day I was joined by my good fishing friend George Turner and we were using corn, dough balls and crayfish for bait. We didn’t have to wait long. It was the crayfish that produced George’s first strike. I knew by the bend in his rod that a nice fish was indeed on. Ten minutes later we were looking at an odd carp with an oversized head and a deformed tail.

 A very short time later, as I was about to pour some coffee from my thermos, George’s pole again bent over. “Go ahead and drink it, he cried, this is going to take awhile”. I netted it for him some time later and this one was a perfect specimen. By then we were already considering the trip a success.

Now, George knows that when I am planning to make some images, his fish end up being MY fish. Later that day he stopped by with a camera to document my work.

Getting the paper in the right spot is sometimes tricky.

The GYOTAKU image will be a mirror of the real fish.

Here is the finished GYOTAKU of a common carp.

Baits to use:Live things like worms, minnows, grubs, insects, squid, shrimp, hellgrammite, leaches and even mice. Artificial things like flies, spoons, spinners, plugs, plastic stuff, and jigs. You can even use fish eggs (row), cheese, and homemade doughballs

Relaxation at the lake:Here's George again with a pair of fine brown bullheads from NE Pennsylvania. Members of the catfish family, the bullhead can be distinguished by it's rounded tail. The catfish's tail is forked. They were right on bottom in about 12 feet of water. Nightcrawlers were the bait and light tackle made landing extra fun. Their strike is usually more like a gentle nibble. Watch out for the dorsal and pectoral fins, as they are spines loaded with a painful poison. I remember being horned by them as a kid and the wound would ache for hours.

What about trout?Pennsylvania lakes and streams are often stocked with brook, brown, rainbow and golden trout. Here's Doug Stevens with a nice stringer from Martin's creek on the opening day. Keep your fillet knife sharp because they are delicious. We use 6 lb. test line and no landing net. Did you know landing nets can be bad luck?

In 1996 I had one of the best days of my life! The limit of trout in those days was eight. Sometimes I would take a break from fishing the stocked streams and ask a good friend of ours if I could fish on their private farm stream for the day. This steam was so small that you could literally jump accross it in spots. There were about half a dozen decent pools that held native brookies and you pretty much had one shot at each one before they were spooked. I would get down on my hands and knees and put a tree between me and the hole. then when I was in range, I would flip a worm, minnow, or spinner into that sweet spot. Bam! On this particular day I not only got my limit, but I had my camera along. I wasn't producing as much fish art then as I am now, but this picture gives me some real inspiration.

A good fillet job deserves a good beer. This is Nico a quiet Swede who loves to fly fish. He's holding a salmon caught in Alaska. 

Now that's a stringer of fish! From a feeder creek of Lake Somerville, about 1/2 way between Houston and Austin, TX. The anglers are good buddies Troy Miller and Jim Fraser. There are 49 white bass (also known locally as sandies) which they caught in about 2 hours. Caught them on a special Clouser Minnow imitation that Troy refined over about 6 years of experimentation. It's semi-famous with fly anglers in TX and known as the Shaddie Clouser, you can google it and see what it looks like.

This is a nice keeper-size flounder caught by captain Doug. The best way to catch flounder is with a good drift in clear water. They lay on the bottom looking up and waiting for a meal like squid or minnow to go by. Another favorite fish for dinner, the flounder is hard to beat. 


How can you preserve your catch? Taxidermy can be very expensive and mounted fishes will collect dust. Interior decorators and designers often turn to fish rubbings (or GYOTAKU). This art form accurately records the size of your catch and also preserves the spirit of the fish. A framed fish rubbing is an immediate conversation piece and...they bring GOOD luck!

To see more fish rubbings visit