First off I just want to say thanks for all the readers and especially all the posts on last week’s blog. It’s really enjoyable for me to read what fellow FishAddix have to say and I’m glad I’m not alone in the etiquette department. Perhaps we should just Shaq-beat offenders until there aren’t any offenders left. Whaddya think?
For this week I decided to bring it down a notch since last week’s article struck a chord with many of you. And as we near the start of the fishing season here in NJ I’ve decided this week to talk about fishing preference. For the purposes of this article I’ve decided only to tackle live bait and lures although I know some of you like the hybrid approach of trolling around using out-riggers. Now this is an age old argument right up there with the infamous, blonde versus brunette debate, with trolling with out-riggers being analogous to redheads - it’s nice to do every once in a while but it’s just not your bread and butter.
My personal preference depends on my mode of transportation around the lake. What I mean is, will I be hoofing through the bush taking on the wilderness Bear Grylls style with only my Rambo knife for protection (NJ fishing is dangerous, like fishing from the trenches – but that’s a topic for another article), or, will I have access to a boat and or canoe.
If I’m walking the lake and fishing from shore, odds are I’m going to make one hike around the lake to find my favorite spot and then I’m going to set up camp with a couple poles, a bucket of live bait, a few beverages (of the adult variety), a pack of sun flower seeds, and my Coleman Max camping chair. And the most activity I will engage in during my 7-8 hour day, is finding Mother Nature’s pole holders in the form of fallen branches, and then of course the occasional trip to relieve the adult beverages from my system. I like this type of fishing mainly because it’s relaxing. Once you pick out your spot there’s not much else to do but bait your hook, cast out the poles, and sit back and take in the outdoors in all its glory. Fishing from shore with friends only sweetens the deal. There is really no substitute for watching your friend bait their hook, flip the bailor, and launch a helpless shiner into the same tree that you are using to block those vicious UV Rays. I may immediately take that back – it’s a close race between watching them launch it into the trees and then them trying to get their setup back in one piece. Of course you can still cast into the trees from a boat but you usually just clip the edge of a bush and it’s not a full-fledged tree cast. Plus you can just row over to the bush and unhook your bait – with no pleasure derived from the painful experience of ripping your line through the trees.
Now if by the grace of God I have access to a boat (obviously I am not the skipper of this sea vessel – and I’m probably tagging along with the owner) then I like to use one pole for live bait and the other for lures. For me, this is the most enjoyable when I’m on a boat because I have the live bait out there, so I’m almost guaranteed to catch something eventually, but I can also mess around with various lures and perfect my casting as I try to get into more and more difficult spots. Plus, if I get bored of throwing the lures I can just kick back, enjoy a brewski or perhaps a sandwich (yeah I’ll bring the old Italian sub aboard), and watch my bobber.
I’ve also found that fishing with others is almost always more enjoyable when you are camping out on shore. This definitely depends on your company but the hooligans that I fish with really come out of their shell when we’re all lining the shore. My reasoning is this – if you are camped out on shore with live bait – there’s not much else to do except past the time by talking. I’ve had many an interesting conversation while I was hawking my bobber from shore and I’ve realized that you just don’t get the same forced interaction when you are lure fishing. Whether you’re on a boat or walking the lake with lures – there’s always something to do when you’re lure fishing. Keep this in mind when you bring your kids fishing – give them a bobber to look at and they’re going to drive you crazy – but give them a rubber worm to cast and recast and let them wreak havoc while staying occupied and out of your way. Now I hope no PTA members are reading because they might be misunderstanding my techniques for child neglect. Have no fear – no kids here. But I digress.
In any event, whether you are fishing with lures or you’re using home grown baby shiners – the way you fish is up to you and you only. And despite any off-color remarks from you’re more purist-minded fishing buddies – I say, keep on keeping on and do what makes you happy. If I could rip fish out of the water with lures the way I rip them out with live bait, I might be singing a different tune. But to me, I fish because I’m trying to relax and get away from the stress and responsibilities of being a semi-productive member of society. And I’m not eager to go fishing and stress out because I’m not using the right color lure or because the lure I’m using isn’t the right weight and doesn’t provide the action it was designed for. If I want a Cheeseburger, I’m gonna go to McDonald’s, and if I want to catch fish, I’m going to use live bait – because I don’t fix what ain’t broken (how’s that for sounding cliché?).
So tell me what you think. Do you use live bait or lures, and why?
Thanks for reading,
(Scrambled acronym for – Cool Penname I Haven’t Thought of Yet)