Atlas Enos loves the fisherman’s life

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Courtesy of Atlas Enos

BIG FISH. Atlas Enos poses with his catch after saltwater fishing. Enos started fishing when he was seven years old and has loved the sport ever since.

Amber Cowden, Staff Writer

There was a calming silence at the banks, waiting for something, it seemed. Somebody is holding a rod, patiently looking out in the open breeze with the line in the water. Then, something starts pulling at the line. After what seemed like forever, a big fish dangled from the end of the line. Atlas Enos made his first catch of the day.

Enos started fishing at around 7 years old when his father asked him if they could go fishing together. Enos didn’t really want to go but he wanted to make his dad happy, so he went. His first catch was a 2 pound Largemouth bass, which was exciting to him and he started enjoying fishing a little more.

“Fishing is just my life now; I love almost everything about it,” Enos said. “It is relaxing, exciting, fun and I’m very passionate about it. The fish that got me really into fishing is when I caught my first channel catfish. I remember being super excited and thought it was so cool.”

Fishing is not an easy hobby. Anyone can go out and put a worm on a hook in a calm lake and catch some sunfish, but that isn’t fishing to its full potential. It takes a lot of work to catch a good fish

“Setting up gear for our saltwater trips alone takes a total of probably 24 hours or more,” he said. “So when I lost my first few sharks, it was hard I won’t lie, there were even some tears shed.”

The hardest type of fishing that Enos does is land-based shark fishing.

“It is extremely difficult, but I’m not giving up until I catch one from the beach,” he said.

Enos fishes in both saltwater and freshwater. The two types of fishing are a little different.

“Saltwater fishing is basically freshwater fishing on steroids,” he said. “The fish in saltwater are bigger and badder. Saltwater fishing also requires different techniques than freshwater fishing, especially on the beach.”

In saltwater, fish act differently than freshwater fish.

“Funny fact, the coolest freshwater fish I’ve seen hunting in action is a striped bass, which is actually a saltwater fish, but it can breathe freshwater,” Enos said.

He actually prefers to fish in saltwater because it is more exciting and requires more skill than fishing in freshwater.

“Most people who fish in freshwater in the U.S. fish for bass,” he said. “I personally don’t like fishing for bass because they are kind of lazy. Usually, you want to slowly work a lure of some sort, and it will usually pay off with a 3-5 pound bass if you know what you’re doing.”

Enos’ biggest accomplishment as a fisherman happened on September 19, 2020. He and his dad went on a week-long camping trip to Florida to do a bunch of fishing. The day after they got there, a bad storm hit with winds gusts going up to 50 miles per hour. Due to that, the beaches were rough, so they went to an inlet to fish.

“So my shark rod all of a sudden took off, and after 10 minutes of battle, I won over the beast: a monster redfish that weighed, we are guessing,  around 60lbs,” Enos said. “On the last day of the trip, I got an 80lb stingray after battling it for 15 minutes.”

Whenever he is fishing with his dad and friend, they have a small competition of who can catch the most fish. Even though he does these little competitions with his dad and friend, he has never entered in a real fishing competition.

“I wouldn’t really mind too, but competitions have restrictions and are usually done on boat,” he said. “I like fishing on the bank better.”

According to Enos, a successful fisherman needs, at a minimum, one decent fishing rod, which is usually around $25 to $50. A decent reel usually usually runs $30 to $60. Other tools include a net, a tackle box, which requires weights, hooks, swivels, beads, floats, and lures, line for the reel, and leader line. Fishermen also need the ability to tie knots and make rigs, know fish movement patterns, and good fishing spots to fish.

For his shark fishing trips, Eno has two set-ups that are around $350.

“Catching big fish requires high quality equipment and the skill of knowing how to use it efficiently,” he said. “I will say fishing for big fish isn’t cheap. But I would say different fish require different gear, and it’s more complicated than people think.”

Enos doesn’t usually eat the fish he catches in Northeast Tennessee.

“Most of the water here is dirty,” he said.

In the end, fishing is always a real adventure for Enos.

“I’ve seen a couple sharks jump,” he said. “I’ve seen a bunch of huge Tarpons tear up a school of mullet. I’ve seen giant stingrays jump, but my favorite would be when I fought the huge stingray for 20 minutes then caught it. It was humongous and super strong.”

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