Friday, May 8, 2015

Tools of the Trade

     Hard not to repeat myself but after two hundred fifty entries it's a challenge.  Keep in mind I'm sixty-eight and spend most of my time turning over the compost in hopes of finding something new and fertile.  Yeah, fertile.  Most of what's underneath was turned over decades ago
     Started off this morning with a good idea about what's needed to catch fish.  Somehow I got it all ass-backwards.  I'd been thinking about equipment like bass boats, thousand dollar rod and reel combinations, fish finders and so on.  Go back a ways in my entries and you'd see I'm not a fan of such things.  Could be I'd think differently if money was no object.  But since I'm tight with a dollar and don't have enough of them to feel otherwise, I go for a basic approach.  Canoe and paddle, rods and reels with the biggest bang for the buck, homemade lures and area knowledge.
     Anyhow, I originally started off by putting gear at the bottom of the list.  That sure was stupid.  Unless you're a noodler, you have to have some kind of gear to catch fish.  Net, spear, fish traps or, at the least, a hook and line.  Can't throw a lined hook far from shore.  Some kind of pole helps a lot.  Add a weighted hook, heard tell they call them lures, and a reel and a person can shore fish out thirty or more yards.  Of course, unless you're wading, there's always stuff in the way to snag a lure or trip you up; rocks, trees, cattails, bullrushes, Moses floating along in a basket, private property, people with guns telling you to get the hell off their dock and worse.  A boat comes in handy now and then.  Nothing between you and the fish except water.  Hard for me to admit it but I guess equipment rides the top of the list.
     Years ago, my son-in law's grandfather said he'd heard I was quite a fisherman.  'Spose I could have lied and said yes.  But I've a few friends who are good anglers and, believe me, I'm not in their league.  Instead, I told Grandpa Dan I simply knew lakes where the fish aren't smart.  That's my skill.  Took a while to figure out what to look for.  Nearly all of the lakes are under two hundred acres, most less than half that.  Off the beaten path, deep enough to hold fish with a vacant look in their eyes, no cabins, no developed access and, best of all, a carry-in over boulders, through brush thick with wood and deer ticks.
     Found out yesterday one of the Iowa boys won't be making the trip this year.  El Dean's wife broke her hip and he's doing the right thing.  El loves his five days of escape to the north.  So much so I know without a doubt this is one of those thick or thin things he promised at the altar.  Good man.
     No El in the bow seat will move me to the solo canoe.  No complaints.  Means I can carry the nine and ten foot rods without worrying I'll take a chunk out of El Dean's scalp.  Might even pack a fly rod or two.
     Almost done with the spinners.  Four and a half dozen oughta do 'er.
     So, what does it all mean?  If the bite is on, we'll catch fish no matter what we do.  If not, a six hundred dollar G. Loomis walleye rod won't make much difference.

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