Sharing Fishing Success

March 14, 2011 by  

Our Outdoors  – By Nick Simonson

I had promised to take a coworker, Dane, on a number of fishing trips this past year, but it seemed as if fate was aligned against the idea of getting him exposed to the different niches of angling he wanted to learn about. Our muskie adventure in August was cancelled when he took ill, and when family obligations came up for him in February, he was a scratch for my 180-ice hole adventure. Due to some on-key Toby Keith, a trip planned for later was nixed, as I had qualified for the local Karaoke Idol finals set for our next penciled-in adventure. Fortunately, he was able to reschedule for a panfish trip on the ice last weekend and on Friday we were on the way up to the cabin.

Dane had never used a spring bobber before, but I explained to him it was the best (if not the only way) to fish bluegills and crappies through the ice. As we drove up north, I informed him that if he had ever fished through the ice for either species before, he had probably missed most of the bites by not using a rod equipped with one. As we set up in a small bay for the night, I walked him through what he would see when fish rolled in on the Vexilar.

“First you’ll see the green lines come in and turn to red, and then they’ll approach this line,” I said pointing to where his jig was located, about three feet off the bottom, “then you’ll see the tiniest bump or twitch in the spring at the end of your rod – set the hook on any movement, even if you think you imagined it,” I concluded.
It took him an hour or so and a few missed crappies before he got it down, but he learned quickly that the small movement of the spring meant a fish was inhaling his tiny jig. We finished the night with a few eater-sized crappies in the sled and headed back to the cabin. The next morning we set out for my favorite slab crappie lake and there was no need to provide any more instruction.

As I took the Vexilar around and inspected a deeper area off the breakline where we set the portable shack, I heard Dane shout. I turned around and saw one of the lake’s famous monster specks in his hand and a smile on his face. I ran over and snapped a photo of him and his fish and he sent his jig back down the hole. A red line rose to meet his offering, and a 10-inch bluegill was quickly on the hook after a slight wiggle in the spring bobber’s bead. As he unhooked the fish, he reiterated his amazement at how tiny the bites were and how much he had been missing in past seasons. We whiled away the day moving from hole-to-hole working for our fish, but making each strike count. By the time we were packed up, Dane was a pro with a spring bobber, connecting with a good number of the lake’s colossal crappies. I was content with the handful that I had landed, knowing that I had passed on some knowledge to Dane, which would help him enjoy the outdoors more in the future.

For those who know a great deal about a certain area of angling or a niche of hunting, it is important to pass that information on to others. Whether it is to a young hunter, a casual angler or someone branching out into other areas in the outdoors, the information we share when it comes to catching a certain type of fish or pursuing game in a way beyond the conventional, helps them learn and grow.

With spring just around the corner, options for the coming months will open quickly, providing us all with a chance to share the information we have locked up in our brains when it comes to trolling for walleye, shooting trap, working plastics for bass, tuning a bow and other hunting- and fishing-related activities. Make it a point to share your knowledge with someone who likes to be outdoors, but might not have the same understandings as you. It’s an enriching experience, not only for the student, but also for the teacher, and you will undoubtedly find that you learn something in the process too.

Passing on to others those things that work well for you and result in more success for them is part of the evolution of an outdoors enthusiast.

Filling a limit, catching a trophy, or shooting a wall-hanger is satisfying, but helping another person accomplish the same feat carries with it an equal amount of pride – if not more. Find out for yourself when you share your tips and techniques and make someone else successful…in our outdoors.


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