The most beautiful fishing experiences in France and elsewhere
Matthias Lothy, Don't Drop The Bass!
Posted On 11 May 2020
Discover the portrait of Matthias Lothy, graphic designer, decoy designer for Ernesto Tackle and founder of Don't Drop The Bass. Matthias reveals his career, his project, his vision of fishing and beyond his love for nature.
Hello Matthias. For those who do not yet know you, could you introduce yourself?
Hello everyone my name is Matthias LOTHY, I am 36 years old and I was born in Germany. I grew up part of my childhood in the Var then Strasbourg before arriving in Bordeaux 13 years ago.
I am a Visual Artist / Photographer by profession and passionate about travel, nature, humans, water and of course everything that lives around and inside.
My practice is in my image. I do a lot of different things but I will say that water and fish are a kind of common thread.
Coming back to fishing, I have been a fishing salesman, fishing guide, freelance writer for Predator magazine, graphic designer, lure designer for ernesto tackle. I have also been manufacturing and designing clothing for many fishing brands such as Navicom in France for 10 years. So you must have worn my clothes without knowing it 😉
I have worked with many brands such as luckycraft, lowrance, import peach and finally Navicom and Hpa who have always remained faithful to me. The opportunity for me to thank them in passing. After a little break, I joined the Abu Garcia / Berkley team last year. I took again the path of European competitions with my friend Arnaud Rizzi.
The passion for fishing didn't actually come to me. I have been fishing since I learned to walk. My father had to slip away so that he could go quietly to the water's edge with my brother.
I knew he wouldn't wake me up. So as soon as the first light of day was felt, I waited patiently for hours, trying not to fall asleep on the lookout for the slightest noise so that I could join them.
I think with me it's visceral. Fishing is only a means. Since I was little I have been in nature. I need to understand, to discover, to catch.
I talk to trees, to animals, I feel I belong there. It's natural.
You will tell me in that case why you need to catch them? Like many people still, I don't know, it's instinctive. Some have this stuff and some don't.
You will have understood it correctly, I have been fishing for over 30 years everywhere and all existing fish. Regardless of the technique. I fished a lot in Germany too. I spent all my vacations there fishing for trout in the river but also and especially at night for pike-perch and eel.
20 years ago, I gave up a bit of all other techniques to only fish with lures and flies. Fishing which in my opinion is just a lure fishing technique like any other.
Today, fishing is a way for you to ...
Honestly, I don't see fishing the way I used to. I no longer need to go fishing to get away from it all, although I always have a tube with a fly rod in my bag when traveling. I learned to appreciate without having to capture. And I have to say my camera is kind of my surrogate drug, I catch pictures 😉 But the instinct is kinda the same sometimes.
Fishing has long been a form of active meditation. A way to occupy my mind and my body enough to be able to escape, either in a dream, or by putting myself directly in the minds of fish. Today, a lot of other disciplines allow me to do it such as photography, drawing, slackline, climbing ...
That said, even though fishing is no longer a hard drug for me, when I go fishing, I don't go to sort melons. When I go fishing, it's to make fish and that's why I go less.
What fishing techniques do you practice at the water's edge?
As I told you, I only fish for lures. But you see, even when sailing with my buddy Erwann Dureau, we always have a trolling line fishing behind the boat.
I still love fly fishing when I can. But often with a different approach from the classic "fly birds" since I do not put up any barriers (like with lures). You will rarely see me fishing for trout 😉
What is your favorite fishing?
I don't have any but of course I prefer to see fish, so fishing on sight. Swimbait and top water are the peaches that make me vibrate the most. I will say that it is only vertical fishing that really pisses me off. And yet, I spent hours with my head in the pollster playing this game of patience.
Do you also have a favorite fish?
This is when your transition breaks. If I had to name just one it would be bonefish. It is the fish that I have caught the least in my life but which has made me dream since I was little and which haunts me again and again. It's a bit like my quest for the personal grale.
Otherwise it seems difficult to me to choose. That's what's great about fishing. It is because there are thousands of species to catch. That said, I admit that I have had a hell of a fixation on blackbass for a very long time. And yet I caught some ...
You are at the origin of the association "Don't Drop The Bass". Can you tell us a little more about this project and explain to us what it consists of?
Don't drop the bass left a request for Thomas Caumartin who offered me several times to do an exhibition at his place. For a while, I had wanted to make the link between my artistic practice and my desire to help aquatic environments and to donate part of my profits to help, but "to help who, how?" ".
I called my friend daniel mestrot whose job I love and I gave him the idea. I then plugged in my buddy Christophe Hugues who is also in the region and it was gone !!
The exhibition to them takes place in Villenave sur lot at Maison Ferrage with a partner Black bass france. We put three works up for auction to raise funds. From there, we continued our actions to continue to raise funds to buy black bass and put them back in the middle. Last year my sponsor wanted to participate by adding to the pot a check for 6000 euros !!!
We therefore had to structure our ideas, organize ourselves in order to establish the actions that we were going to carry out in favor of the black bass populations while respecting the work of each one, such as the federes, the AAPPMA, BASS France and Black Bass France.
Why did you create this project dedicated to black-bass when there are AAPPMAs or associations like Black-Bass France? How does Don't Drop The Bass position itself in relation to these players?
We realize that we are undergoing great changes. The climate mainly but also the demographic growth which has an increasing impact on aquatic environments. The black bass, beyond its playful qualities, is a robust species, capable of adapting better to a degraded environment than some of the endemic species that inhabit our environments.
In addition, we needed a "flag" to best represent the demands and desires of some current and future lure fishermen.
The black bass seemed to me to be the perfect illustration of fun, dynamic fishing that is accessible to all and of a different fishery management than it currently is.
We have observed, without wanting to, that a role was missing, a link between all the different entities in fishing in France.
Associations such as black bass France which have always advised and promoted the bass, but which do not finance the actions.
The AAPPMA who have the right to stock fish. They have the finances but often lack the desire to take action and sometimes do it badly out of ignorance.
The fishing federations which are silent, see completely disconnected from the field. But they are not all, some are totally invested and it works very well.
Manufacturers who sometimes have the desire and the means to invest themselves but do not want to play politics and do not have the time to manage the projects themselves.
Fishermen who are ready to give their time and money for projects but who no longer know where to turn.
Finally, the FNPF which is completely disconnected from reality. She is involved in politics in a country where that word no longer means anything ...
All these little people don't talk to each other anymore. We were able to position ourselves among all because we are totally independent and disinterested. As a result, we can convey our ideas without being pressured. We are private patrons and therefore free from any pressure.
Our role is mainly to raise funds and redistribute them to finance projects that meet the criteria of the calls for tenders that we will launch.
How do you go about recovering the necessary funds and subsequently to introduce black-bass?
We mainly sell our works on the page in the form of one-off auctions but also in the form of numbered art prints. We donate all of the proceeds to the association's fund. Some artists have also joined us to offer a helping hand. There will certainly be a few more guests this year to expand the offer a bit.
We have also received strong support from Abu Garcia / Berkley for the Biscarosse stocking project. This gave us food for thought on the possibility of soliciting industrialists to participate in specific stocking campaigns in exchange for a communication in their favor as we did on the last campaign.
Could you tell us about your biggest successes with Don't drop the Bass since its inception?
Our greatest success is collective since we were able to carry out a great stocking campaign in Biscarosse. It was a follow-up to all the work that had been done upstream by BASS and the AAPPMAs of the lake.
This is not trivial since for once all the actors jointly participated in this project which brought together all the AAPPMA of the lake, the Landes fishing federation, Gastes nautic, Blackbassfrance, BASS, FAGET fish farming and a fishing industry. berkley / abu garcia.
This project was not easy to implement. But it seemed important to us to show a COMMON action which succeeds and which involves managers, associations and private individuals.
It is a beautiful note of hope for the future and I hope it is a starting point that can serve as an example.
Do you have any future projects with "Don't Drop The Bass" that you would like to tell us about?
Our next stocking campaign is already planned on Lake Mimizan next fall because we were unable to finalize it for lack of blackbass (a shame).
We are currently in the process of structuring "don't drop the bass" in order to be able to set up calls for projects, with an admission commission to allow other regions to benefit from funds, support but also to enable us to call on manufacturers to get directly involved in the preservation and support of the environment.
A fishing anecdote to tell us during your many fishing sessions?
There are so many Nico… Fishing is just anecdotes. And especially when you're a bit of a black cat like me, nothing ever goes as planned ...
But I'm still going to tell you about a nightmare day in Papua where I couldn't bring a trevally back to the boat without making me Sharker! Well, I ended up bringing back a big shark which was stung by stealing my trevally. Except that the beast was HUGE and no way to get rid of it ...
I was on a small boat with my ex and a Papuan and there I said to the Papuan "you have to help me or we'll never get there". I drive everyone to their role and I tell myself that there anyway with a Shark 3m long, we won't have to mess around.
The Shark ended up climbing alongside the boat. I say to the captain "you understand? Go get the tail !!! ". He turns around, grabs a death club and tries to jump on the Shark to smash it after I had just lined it up !!
There, great moment of solitude. The club falls on the Shark's head. I have the leader in my hands and there is the drama !!! THE Shark goes wild and almost overturns the boat. Of course, at that point there is no one left. The Shark gave a loud rant in the soft fiber hull and ended up unhooking ...
I'm on my ass, the line in my hand quite pale. I have nothing and there I see the papuan start to have a giggle of space !!! I wanted to kill him but he was happy that we got out of it, that's all, just happy ...
A message to pass on to young people who would like to discover the world of fishing and black bass today?
I will only have one message for them, start at the beginning. Take an interest in the essentials: nature, fish, their behavior, their environment. This is the only way you can become good and perpetuate your passion. Don't get lost in the networks, the technique. Spend time by the water, have fun, experience nature, cherish it.
Useful links to learn more about Mathias Lothy and Don't Drop The Bass:
Rodmaps is above all the story of Nicolas and Matthieu, two friends passionate about fishing. Since our childhood, our passion drives us to travel through France and to travel around the world in search of adventure and trophy fish. Through Rodmaps, we want to share our passion for fishing with as many people as possible and make people discover the joys of this sport around us, because yes, fishing is a sport!