Writings & Photography of Jim Murtagh

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The Writings & Photography of Jim Murtagh

my Hobbies

Writing and photography allow me to merge my work with my hobbies. I observe the world around me and record it with words and photographs, so that others may share in my experiences. I keep a list of "life goals" and each time I cross one off, three more get added.


I competed in my first bass tournament when I was 14. I won that event and took the lunker award with a 5 lb. largemouth bass. From that moment on, I was hooked! There was a time in my fishing career when I was fishing more than 100 days a year. I don't get out as often as I would like to anymore, but I seldom turn down the invitation to spend a few hours on the water.

My focus has changed from competitive bass fishing to more recreational angling. Through my volunteer activities with Connecticut's CARE program (CT Aquatic Resources Education), I have an opportunity to share my knowledge with the next generation of anglers. These videos highlight the excitement new anglers experience when they land their first fish.

Burr Pond Ice Fishing - CARE from myexclamation

CARE Saltwater Fishing Day 2016 from myexclamation

I pursue any species of fish, but I particularly enjoy catching slab panfish and snapper bluefish on a light fly rod. It's a great day whenever I can get out on the water. Rainy days are my favorite.

I have been a factory representative and field tester for the following companies:

  • Humminbird Electronics (depth sounders/fish finders and marine electronics)
  • Dupont Stren Fishing Line
  • Plano Molding Company(tackle boxes)
  • T's Bass Lures (injection molded plastic baits: worms, tubes, etc.)

Menunkatuck Audubon Society

A regional chapter of National Audubon Society, Menunkatuck Audubon Society (MAS) is the most active Audubon chapter in Connecticut and has received national accolades for our work with repairing and installing osprey platforms and establishing purple martin breeding colonies. We focus on conservation and youth education to ensure our natural resources will be available for everyone. We have three live-streaming video cameras on active osprey nests and two cameras on Faulkners Island in Long Island Sound to watch seals and Roseate Tern nests (the first in the US). Watch our video streams now.

Purple Martin Banding

Purple Martin Banding Menunkatuck Audubon from myexclamation

Osprey Platform Installation in 60 Seconds


Monarch Butterfly Tagging

Guiding Eyes for the Blind

My family has raised six guide dogs for Guiding Eyes for the Blind (GEB). As a volunteer instructor, puppy raiser, website developer, content and curriculum writer I have donated 100's of hours to this amazing organization, and yet everyday I still feel that I am in their debt for everything they have given to me. There is no greater sense of personal pride and accomplishment than when one's efforts change the life of another. The friendships I have built (both two-legged and four legged) have forever impacted my life.

This is Zeta, the first guide dog I raised. Her image has been used in countless marketing campaigns. The first time I saw her image wrapped on a GEB van parked in NYC I was blown away. There she was, larger than life, emblazoned on the van for all to see. Zeta retired early from her guiding career and returned to our family.


Friends of Hammonasset State Park

Meigs Point Nature Center at Hammonasset State Park is my second home. I volunteer as a docent, animal care provider (snakes and frogs) and address all the building's technology needs. A committed group of volunteers staff the building everyday. To assist new volunteers with onboarding, I created an eLearning orientation course. Visitors learn about native animal species through eLearning activities on five interactive touch screen displays and 50 digi-screens dispersed throughout the center.

rat snake

Aquariums and Zoos

I can spend hours watching animals at zoos and aquariums. The touch tanks are my favorite. It doesn't matter if it's an alligator or a sea urchin; I want to touch it! I spent a year volunteering at Mystic Aquarium's Sunlit Seas exhibit. I walked in the tanks with the cownose rays, hand fed the animals and cleaned lots of poop. I loved it and wish I had the time to do it again.

These are the aquariums and zoos I have visited.



Culinary Arts

My mom says that I am a picky eater, but I don't agree. I like to think that I just have a sophisticated palette. Cooking has always been a passion, so I decided to attended culinary school and get an education in French cuisine. My wife thinks it was one of the best decisions I ever made, as now she doesn't have to prepare dinner. A chef is taught to taste everything, even those foods they might not like. As you can imagine, some weeks of school were more difficult than others, dare I say sweetbread (and I'm not talking about baked goods). After 30 years, the Connecticut Culinary Institute closed. My thanks goes out to all the great chefs that served as my instructors.


There is something remarkable about working with horses that makes all your problems go away. I learned to ride English style, but I prefer working with horses on the "ground." I have been a stable hand at several barns and am always ready to volunteer to tack and groom for anyone looking to go out on a ride.

Contact Me

Jim Murtagh