05-10-2008 03:21 PM
Fishing 101 : LET’S GET GEARED UP !!
Author: Brent aka "Sundrop"
Ok, if you’re following along you know you want to keep this simple and see if fishing is for you. You know a little about what to expect to catch and you have your Fishing License and your little booklet of regulations… so you’re ready to get the gear you’ll need to get started…
I will start with the simplest, easiest to manage and cheapest to acquire way to fish. This dates back farther than we realize, and I’m sure you’ve all seen it in practice if you have ever been to a pond, city park or literally anywhere there is a wet spot big enough to hold a fish along the roads.
A “cane pole” is simply a 10-20 ft shaft of bamboo pole that has been dried and coated with a varnish to keep it from decaying. You can buy poles that are divided into 3 sections for easy transport or the full length poles (which tend to be stronger) but then you’ll have to decide if riding along with a bunch of pole hanging out of your window or strapped to the roof, ( if you're truckless) is right for you.
Now don’t laugh at the idea of fishing with a stick. It just so happens that this method of fishing is so effective and desirable that many companies have made quality copies of the good old cane pole in fiberglass. Many call these poles “bream busters” or Crappie (pronounced “Croppy” in many areas) Busters. They come in lengths of 8-24 ft and give the fisherperson a “stealth advantage” and the ability to hold the bait in a very tight place around cover and brush to bring out the bigger and more elusive fish. They also collapse telescopically like a car antennae to a nice short length that will fit in your car or on your bike.
They cost much more, from about $12 on up to $40 or so, and quality varies on manufacturer but they will last longer and are always a useful accessory even after you have moved on to fancier equipment. I use one quite often even in my boat.
If you chose to start with a cane pole there are a few important things you need to know.
When you purchase your pole check to make sure it is firm at the base and “whippy” at the end. The tip needs to be flexible because a larger fish can break a pole with poor flexibility.
As far as rigging goes you can purchase a pre made kit that ties to the pole and already has your floater (bobber), splitshot (weight) and hook attached. Once you see how this is made you’ll see it is very easy to duplicate so you can buy a spool of line ( I prefer 12-20 lb test breaking strength), splitshots and hooks to make your own.
I always use enough line to go a foot or two beyond the handle of my pole so when you lift the pole the fish swings straight to me and gives me just a bit of room for trimming and retying if needed.
Canepoles are best used with live bait such as worms, crickets, minnows, grubs but can be used with doughbaits, simulated natural baits like Berkley’s "GULP" and FishBites as well as small lures called jigs.. but “jigging” is a process we will cover at a later time….
The Bobber can be slid up and down the line to adjust the depth of your bait and you will need to make adjustments depending on water depth and fish preference. A simple 3-6 inch adjustment can mean the difference between a nice day looking at the water and a busy fun-filled day of catching fish!! If you have the right amount of weight(splitshot) on the line the bobber will stand straight up but not go under.. If you know the weight is right, but the bobber lays on its side, you're fishing on the bottom(which works for Catfish) but you will want to raise it slightly a little at a time until you find the "bite". Look around and see if anyone else is catching fish. Notice their depth and copy it. You'll have to play around with it as it may vary from time of day and location so be patient.
So grab a pole and hit the waterhole nearest you.!!! Pack some snacks and the kids and Rover if he is well behaved... (same for the kids.LOL!), the bait of your choice ( local bait shops can tell you what’s best for your area), and head out for some fun!!! And if you're lucky, SOME GOOD EATIN”!
Cane pole too slow paced for ya? Want a little more power to reach out and touch somebody! Want the option to cover larger/deeper areas and fish lures and such….
Well next Blog we will get into some of the simple to use Rods and Reels available and the differences in each type…
Check in later for …. The REEL deal..!!!!
About Me: My name is Brent, I'm 41 yrs young, or "old goat with an old boat" !!
City: "little" Washington
Interests: FISHING! tinkering on anything that burns gas...
Occupation: Health Care
Home Waters - Areas Fished Most: Pamlico river/ Tar river.. Coastal piers..Falls lake when I visit the folks!
- Brent aka "Sundrop"