Robert U. Montgomery

September 2019

Tall Grass Delights

My house sits on 1 ½ acres, with much of the land sloping steeply down to the lake.

As soon as I moved in, I started allowing grass to grow unchecked on both sides. I did this to cut down on runoff and improve water quality in the lake.

Instinctively, I knew that allowing the land to exist naturally again would attract wildlife, but I really didn’t give it much thought.
Read More…

How Fast Can Fish Swim?

A leaping sailfish can hit 68 mph

Bass aren’t the fastest fish in the world. But no matter how quickly you retrieve that crankbait or topwater, you can’t get it away from them--- if they want it.

That’s because even the fastest reels are capable of retrieving baits at only 3 or 4 miles per hour. A bass, meanwhile, can swim in bursts of 12 to 18 miles per hour.

Most of the time, they don’t, not even when they’re feeding. Three to 4 miles per hour is closer to average. That’s because bass are pot-bellied, ambush predators. Much of the time, they would rather chow down on a slow-moving worm or injured minnow.

The key to success when you’re out fishing is not to know how fast a bass can swim, but how fast it is willing to swim. Experiment with speed until you find the right one.

With some fish, especially many salt-water species, you do want a speedy retrieve. That’s because tuna, wahoo, dorado (dolphin), billfish, and others are roving hunters that chase down their prey.

No one knows for certain how fast the fastest fish can swim. But experts estimate that a leaping sailfish can hit 68 miles per hour, based on the fact that it can strip out 100 yards of line in 3 seconds.

Other speed demons include the swordfish (60 mph), marlin (50), and wahoo (47).

Not surprisingly, the flounder is one of the slowest in the ocean, poking along at 2.4 mph, about the same as an eel.

In freshwater, the rainbow is among the fastest, capable of 23 miles per hour, while catfish have been clocked at 15 and northern pike at 10.6.

And in case you’re wondering: the flying fish can reach gliding speeds of 35 miles per hour.

Read More…

The Plastics Problem for Our Oceans--- And It's not Straws

The Plastics Problem for Our Oceans--- And It's not Straws

As someone who cares about nature and the environment, I consider people who litter our waterways, roads, parks, and other public places with their trash among the lowest of the low. If my car were equipped with a Star Trek pulse cannon, I'd have no problem obliterating anyone I caught in the act.

If I were benevolent king of this country, owing no allegiances to any special interests, I'd ban takeout from fast-food restaurants, a major source of pollution along our roads.

But let's get real: Banning plastic straws in the U.S., as has happened in San Francisco--- a city literally awash in human waste--- is idiotic and little more than politicians pretending to do something meaningful to curry favor among voters.

Why do I say that? Here's why:


plastic pollution




Read More…