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The Cage Takes Angling to a Higher Level
Outdoor Florida Magazine
By Capt. Ariel Cabrera
Making an angling accomplishment doesn't have to be as extreme as climbing Mt.
Everest - it can be as simple as taking one stride forward into a new product
known as "The Cage." Stepping up to the plate in this cage adds a whole new
perspective to the game. And in fishing, where seeing is believing, I have
borne witness to how the cage has emboldened one man's life.
These days, former pro baseball slugger Joe DiGraziano steps into The Cage
mounted on my skiff as eagerly as he used to step into the batter's box on a
baseball diamond some 30 years ago. Better known to fans as Joe "DiGrace," the
ex-AA Minor Leaguer who played in the Pittsburgh Pirates' organization now
prefers to hit his grand slams from The Cage. The Cage, a removable aluminum
superstructure that attaches to the skiff's casting platform, elevates and
provides the angler with the ultimate advantage - embraced sight casting. It
makes the challenge of sight fishing under the toughest conditions
It was the summer of 2003 when Joe snapped out of a nearly seven-year hiatus
after suffering from a severe stroke that hospitalized him for several weeks.
He was forced to re-learn certain things that many people take for granted,
like coordination and balance. Late that summer, Joe and I fished near Flamingo
in Everglades National Park and managed to score a triple grand slam of tarpon,
snook, redfish, and seatrout. Joe spent the whole day fishing from the cockpit
of the skiff, since it provided his body with stable support. Considering that
Joe was a rookie to the backcountry, this was an outstanding day even for
seasoned professionals. We both knew he was out of the slump.
The inspiration for The Cage arose from Joe's special needs. Joe now steps up
to the plate, raises the bar, locks the lever, and has a bird's eye view of the
flats, creeks, and shorelines that we fish. He tells me, "When you are
confident and secure, you can do anything." The Cage is a wonder structure for
Joe, not only stabilizing his body, but offering him the piece of mind he
requires as well. With the support from his leg brace, Joe can effortlessly
ease up on the bow deck and into The Cage for the ultimate fishing experience.
He adds from the last trip, "I felt so secure and relaxed, I concentrated
strictly on fishing."
The Tamer Casting Platform and Cage, made by Alu-Marine Corporation, has helped
this man do the thing he loves most. I can testify to that since he has fished
with me for a few months now and despite his braced leg he didn't think twice
about moving around the boat to search for the large net I needed to land a
behemoth snook. No, the doctor didn't prescribe "fishing from The Cage," but it
won't be long before that leg brace comes off. And that's a fact! Although Joe
may not realize it because he's having so much fun from high up there, The Cage
has provided a kind of therapy that you just can't get anywhere else.
The cage supports, corrals, and acts as a comfortable seat for hours of
non-stop casting and fishing. It's just like being atop a pitcher's mound
because the added height from the casting platform affords a better angle of
the immediate environment and imparts to the player/fisherman a cutting edge
advantage. When you can see the fish, a more accurate cast can be made, leading
to consistent hook-ups. The feeling of standing on top of the world would want
to make anyone step inside.
When Joe is secured in the aluminum superstructure that protrudes from the bow
of my skiff our game has begun. Just like the Florida Marlins' terrific pitcher
and catcher duo, Joe and I make great casts, catches, and hit grand slams of a
similar kind. Don't sit around and wait to be given a lift, step up to the
plate instead. Get in The Cage and make it happen.
For more information on The Tamer Casting Platform and Cage contact Islamorada,
Florida-based Alu-Marine Corporation (Pro -Trim) at 1-800 421-2586, or visit
Capt. Ariel Cabrera is an outdoor writer, instructor, and a permitted
Everglades National Park fishing guide. He brings genuine fishing and outdoors
experiences to people and to print. To contact him call (305) 552-9788, (305)
431-6936 or online at www.captainariel.com.