Fishin' for the blues

Betcha goin' fishin' all of your time, baby's goin' fishin', too
Bet your life, your sweet life, catch more fish than you
Many fish bites if ya got good bait
Here's a little tip I would like to relate

Big fish bites if ya got a good bait
I 'a goin fishin'
Yes, I'm goin fishin'
And my baby's goin' fishin', too.

--"Fishing Blues" by Taj Mahal

Wild about fishing? Can't get enough of the blues?

Here's a chance to combine two great pastimes -- for a good cause.

For the fifth year in a row, legendary musician Taj Mahal will bring together his two great loves -- angling and the blues -- to create a unique event benefitting the Music Maker Relief Foundation. Based in Durham, N.C., MMRF provides grants and services to older artists rooted in Southern musical traditions, and it also operates the New Orleans Musicians Fund to help artists displaced by Hurricane Katrina.

The Taj Mahal Fishin' Blues Tournament will take place from Feb. 4-10, 2007 at Roy's Zancudo Lodge, a world-renowned fishing resort in southern Costa Rica. Participants will travels to Playa Zancudo for three days of offshore fishing targeting some of the world's fastest swimmers: sailfish and marlin. The tournament is catch-and-release, with anglers using circle hooks to ensure no billfish are harmed (though other species such as wahoo and tuna may end up on the grill).

After days spent fishing, participants return to the lodge for dinner followed by all-star jam sessions. Fishin' Blues' musical alumni include Dickey Betts of the Allman Brothers, Jimmy Herring from the Dead, slide-guitar genius Derek Trucks, Lee Gates, Cool John Ferguson, Mudcat and Adolphus Bell. Taj and his band are also on hand. The event closes with a free concert for the residents of Zancudo.

The tournament is limited to 30 participants, so interested folks should reserve a spot early. The entry fee of $5,500 -- $2,200 of which is tax-deductible -- includes airfare from Miami or Atlanta; luxury accommodations; all meals, drinks and alcohol; three days of fishing, including bait, tackle, ice and fuel; and transfers within Costa Rica. MMRF is also selling 110 raffle tickets for two spots in the tournament, with those tickets costing $100.

For more information about the event, call Denise or Tim Duffy at 919-643-2456 anytime or e-mail

Put 'em in the pot baby, put 'em in the pan
Honey, cook 'em 'til they're nice and brown
Make a batch of buttermilk coal cakes, mama
And you chew them things
And you chomp 'em on down.