Just Go Fishing

October 25, 2016 by  

I’ve had the good fortune over the past several decades to go fishing in lots of interesting places. I’ve also had the good fortune to have used lots of different fishing products, from rods and reels to lures to boats to whatever else anglers use to fool more fish. This past year was an unusual one: I didn’t get to go fishing quite as much as I have in the past. When I did get to go fishing, I paid more attention to details than I have in previous seasons. I discovered something that I found interesting.

Just as a carpenter uses specific tools for specific tasks, anglers have specific tools for specific tasks. An angler’s tools are rods, reels, sonar, lures, boats, and on and on. A good number of anglers are almost obsessive about their gear: they need to have the exact right rod and reel and line for a specific application. For instance, they have a rod/reel combo designed for throwing quarter ounce spinnerbaits. That’s fine, but maybe not necessary.

Kabetogama Lake Smallmouth Bass

A simple jig and minnow on six-pound test line was all Tim Snyder needed to put this nice walleye in the boat.

I was on Kabetogama Lake recently chasing smallmouth bass with some friends. The bass were eating, among other things, drop-shot rigs. I wanted to use a Drop-Shot Rig, and I have a wonderful Cabela’s Tournament ZX Drop-Shot Rod. But I had forgotten it at home. With resignation, I tied a drop-shot rig onto another rod I had, a Fish Eagle medium-light action rod: a great rod that’s maybe the best value in rods out there, but medium-light was probably a bit light for drop-shotting. It wasn’t the best tool for the task at hand, but you know what? The bass didn’t care: they ate my baits as frequently as they ate my friends baits who had drop-shot rods. And I landed just as many of the ones that bit. Even though I didn’t have exactly the right tool for the task, I caught just as many fish as the others and had a great time.

I’m a lucky guy: I’ve owned a lot of boats through the years. Some of those boats were inexpensive jonboats, others were high- end, top-dollar rigs. The high-end boats were great to fish from, and the inexpensive boats enabled me to get to places where I couldn’t with the top-dollar rigs. I have fond memories from both ends of the spectrum when it comes to fishing. For the past several years I’ve run Larson FX boats. They’re not the most expensive boat on the water, but they have all the features I want or need. They do an outstanding job in any rough water that I’ve encountered.

Same thing with line. I’ve seen so many changes in line in the past years. I remember when monofilament was our only option. Then we were introduced to different monofilaments that were designed for specific applications. Then came superlines and fluorocarbon. Most were improvements on the previous stuff, but the cost kept going up also. This summer I was introduced to P-Line and was immediately impressed. P-Line performed way up to my needs, and it was very reasonably priced. It’s available in mono, fluoro, and braid: something for everyone, but not overwhelming or confusing  options. I like that.

This summer I re-discovered that fishing is a wonderful thing that almost anyone can enjoy. You don’t need to overthink things unless you want to. You can have fishing success without a bunch of expensive equipment, but if you enjoy fine-tuning your gear selections to specific techniques, you can do that also. My suggestion for maximum fishing enjoyment: just go fishing.

To see all the most recent episodes of the Fishing the Midwest television series, new fishing related tips and fishing articles from the past, go to fishingthemidwest.com. If you do Facebook, check us out for a variety of fishing related things.


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