Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz has had a spectacular first few months in the National Football League. Despite a rough start, he has shown amazing poise and determination, along with a fighting spirit. So it is no small statement that Wentz feels just at home in the woods or on the lake, as he does amongst the bright lights of the playing field.
“Growing up in North Dakota there was amazing hunting and fishing everywhere,” Wentz told Mens Journal. “I didn’t really take advantage of it as much as I wish I had in my younger years. I am trying to make up for that now.” Selected as the second overall pick by the Eagles back in 2016, he picked up a large property in New Jersey where he could go hunting with his three golden retrievers.
Coming off a few injury-filled seasons, where Nick Foles was brought into the mix and won a Super Bowl, Wentz has returned to the fold currently ranking as one of the highest-graded QBs in the league this season. This amazing comeback is credited largely to an all new health regime paired with important recovery days spend out in the wild.
(Wentz’s gear is now available on Amazon, and see his picks below the interview.)
Men’s Journal: You have been looking great on the field this year.
Carson Wentz: I know I have been hurt the last two seasons, so I am trying to find a way to be healthy and stay healthy. I have adapted everything about my lifestyle, it started in January after this last season. I am putting a lot more attention to everything over the past few months.
So that means no beer out on the boat?
I have been doing a gluten-free diet, so taking the beer out there is out of the question for me. But my buddies are making up the difference for me along with my brother.
How did you start fishing?
I fished when I was younger but I would say that I came back to it after my rookie season in the NFL. I went home to North Dakota and I went out fishing for walleye with a bunch of my old buddies. The experience got me really excited about it. Now it has become an annual trip where we all get together for it, usually sometime in the summer.
What do you love about fishing with the old crew in North Dakota?
I have good friends that were in my wedding that really enjoy fishing, so it is our chance to catch up on everyone’s life. Not to mention, talk about the good old days. There is always a ton of jokes and laughter. The tunes are essential. I have a buddy who I swear messes up every fifth word of every song, so that always provides plenty of entertainment. Just watching him try to sing along. My buddy has the sound wired in. It is about letting loose a bit.
One would think that being a quarterback, your casts would be next level.
I do alright. [Laughs]. Especially when now that I am getting the technique down. They are pretty solid. They do the job.
How long are you out there?
We like to get out there pretty early. Put the boat in right when the sun is coming up. Ideally you are off the water two hours later because you have caught your limit, but it never seems to go that way. We have had hot days and we have had slow days.
What do you do for breakfast before going out?
Eggs and bacon is key with a little gluten-free toast. My wife has been amazing at supporting me with the meals. Before I started with the new diet I used to go for these breakfast pizzas they make at the local gas station which are just unbelievable.
Do you ever jump in?
If the fish aren’t biting then for sure I am going to jump right into that water. There is nothing like a little lake swimming. I like to bring my dogs out to the water as well. I have three golden retrievers. They are a lot of fun and are duck and goose-hunting dogs. They aren’t world-class hunting dogs, but they earn their lake time too. They don’t mind hanging out on the boat while we are fishing.
How do you cook up the fish?
There is nothing like grilling it up same day. It is my favorite type of fish, walleye, though I am pretty biased. I really enjoy frying it up too. I am as involved with the prep and cooking as I can be, but I stay away from the gutting. I tell my brother that my hands are just a little more valuable than his. [Laughs]
There was a pretty cool fishing trip you guys did after you won Super Bowl 52.
Yes the crew went out in the Keys. Sadly a few of those players aren’t a part of the team anymore, but that was a great time. We didn’t really get out into the deep sea, which was cool, it almost felt like lake fishing. It was just a beautiful day in Florida. As you can imagine, with a bunch of football guys on a boat, there was a lot of poking fun at each other.
How does hunting and fishing help you mentally?
During the season time is limited for me. I am lucky that we have an off day every week and I get to be out here in New Jersey, where I can get out to hunt on my own property. That helps refresh my mind during my off days, to just sit in a hide in a tree stand for a few hours. I love being here outside of the city. I cherish that during the season.
When’s the next big fishing trip?
The next one will probably have to wait until the off season in January and February. I would love to get out to fly fish more. I like to be more active, so going out into a creek with a fly rod in Montana sounds pretty good.
I checked out your store on Amazon, there is some great gear on there. How did you curate this?
The outdoors is a huge part of my life now. I even started a company with my brother called Wentz Bros Outdoors. I have discovered that having the right gear makes all the difference. Whether the rain comes or the heat comes. If you don’t have the right equipment you can have your day ruined. I would say creating my own collection of gear has been a collaboration, where I have found a lot of items that I personally love and wanted to share. On the other side, I have a lot of great people around me who have pointed me in the right direction, especially when it comes to fishing, where they have steered me to the gear that I use and love now. So I wanted to share those.
Here’s a look at Wentz’s gear picks:
ROD: Abu Garcia REVO Revo X Spinning Combo Fishing Reel Rod (See on Amazon here) – “I am lucky that I had a bunch of friends taking me out showing me the ropes. I want to find something that feels good, and I found it with this one.”
EATS: Jack Link’s Beef Strips (See on Amazon here) – “I really enjoy making my own jerky out of the animals that we have harvested ourselves. But when we are in a pinch we will pick up some Jack Links.”
JACKET: SITKA Men’s Jetstream Jacket (See on Amazon here) – “Can’t go wrong with Sitka items which are windproof and waterproof. The weather can be kind of chilly, so I usually wear jeans or a pair of pants that can breathe more to cover the legs. The sun comes out and you just peel off the layers. And if I’m outdoors, I am wearing camo.”
TO-GO CARRIER: Yeti Rambler (See on Amazon here) – “I hit the local gas station and have my Yeti rambler filled up with some coffee there. That is how you get the morning going. The rest of the crew will break into the beer eventually, but I am staying away from that right now. I try not to spoil their fun.”
TENT: Coleman Dark Room Sundome Tent (See on Amazon here) – “I cherish when I get to sleep outdoors. There is no better way to get at peace.”
SEAT: AmazonBasics Camping Chair (See on Amazon here) – “Sitting down on the ground after a long day of hunting or fishing is rough, so never hurts to bring a seat to set up by the campfire.”
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