Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Beginning Fishing

Okay, it's been a while since the last posting. Always thinking and writing about the economy, inflation and bailouts gets a little tiring. So I went fishing.

This is a beautiful fish, isn't it? But fishing is more about the experience than the result (or at least that's what amateurs say when they aren't catching any fish).

The simple plan was to get a rod and reel, some bait, and find a few small private spots on some local lakes-- lakes that could be reached within a half hour of the house or office. Sort of like these pictures--

As it turns out, there are a lot of local lakes that sort of look like that. But most have aluminum cans and plastic bags and Styrofoam coffee cups-- thrown into the water or bushes even though there is a nearby trash can. (I've decided to always carry a trash bag and fill it up with garbage. Then I'll have something to carry away, particularly when I don't catch fish, which will probably be most of the time).

So, I got a decent graphite pole and spinning reel and looked at the maps of the area and found the lakes with public access and fishing from the shore . . . and got some advice and a tour from Clayton (a real fisherman).

For bait, I started out with night crawlers. Clayton showed me how to tie two hooks on a leader and thread the worm on the line. It has worked-- once so far.

One time at a lake I found a lure that sort of looks like this, only green. I later tried it after worms didn't work and caught a fish! It was the biggest trout I'd ever caught. So now that's a favorite lure, of course.

I've learned that other fishermen and bait shop owners are super friendly and love to talk about fishing. They are more than willing to share a few tips with a novice like me. The learning part might be the best part. I'm finding that fishing is a social-- albeit solitary-- sport.

I saw a guy casting a metal lure and he said I needed one, too. So, off to the tackle shop for a Kastmaster and some pointers. I got one like this and caught another big trout! It's fascinating that an animal will try to eat a small metal machine like this lure.

I spend a lot of time (when my reel isn't one big bird nest) casting into tress and bushes. I had to wade into the lake to retrieve my pole tip after using it as a rake to scrape my lure out of some brambles. If you've ever fished, you know how it goes. This fishing sport is going to teach me patience and relaxation-- I hope. It sure tests my patience.

This is not a picture of me (is that a golf club?) but it's a picture of exactly what I went through to hold on to my first big fish. So far, I'm finding that fishing really is fun.