You Should Be ‘Gone Fishin’

by ahanagata


  Hey there Savages! The sun is shining and it’s a great time to get out there and pull some fish out of the water. Is there anything more satisfying than a day on the water and defining the term ‘fresh’? Not much, it’s akin to growing your own vegetables in that sense of accomplishment. I myself grew up fishing, my first memory of catching a fish occurred when I was four. All these years later, a bite on the line is still just as exciting. While there are a few super anglers in my family, like my Auntie Jean who storms June Lake every year and is a veteran deep sea fisherWOman, My late Uncle Suts who’s photos of giant tuna and marlin inspired me as a youth, or my cousin Craig who just got back from three weeks in the wilderness fishing…I do not count myself as one of these super anglers. I think I might be somewhere in the middle, but I’m learning so look out. Most of my family tied up simple rigs, and dropped bait in the water hoping for the best like my Mom. We aren’t all experts, that’s for sure but you’d be hard pressed to find someone in my bloodline that doesn’t like to fish. I don’t know if it’s in the genes, or if it was just growing up and going out as a family. Maybe we’re all just hungry. My point is, you don’t have to be an expert to catch a fish or enjoy your time out there.

   I’m not trying to write a manual on how to fish, but there’s a lot of B.S. out there and it can be hard for someone new to learn the ropes. The term fishing is broad in scope to say the least. One can get bogged down or even discouraged by the amount of information you’ll find on fishing. It can be difficult to know where to even start. There’s salt water then within that category you have beach, pier, deep, etc. and Fresh water then there’s lakes, streams, bank, trolling, etc. That’s not even really getting into the sub sections of those subsections. To make things easier, just pick a place you’re most likely to fish the most often. If you live in the mountains or mid-west obviously you’re not going to be deep sea fishing every weekend. Let’s say you live near a lake, now what? Find out what kind of fish are in that particular body of water and at what times of the year. Now decide which fish you want to go after. While you might end up with a crappy on your line when you meant to catch a trout, the tackle you purchase is fish specific much of the time. Basically, there’s different riggings for different fish, baits, rods, line, etc depending on what you’re after and where you’re going. Gah, I know it sounds confusing which is why the sooner you pick one specific fish to go after, this all gets much simpler…

   Destination and Target acquired you now have a focused path toward what knowledge you need. You’ll need to know what sort of gear you need, and you’ll need to know what to do with said gear. There are three resources you can look into at this point: friends and family who are experienced, your local tackle shop, and books/video. Friends and family are great, they work cheap and they probably want you to succeed. Let’s say you don’t have any at your disposal with adequate knowledge base. That means you’re left with books/video and your local tackle shop. I would say a combo of these two is your best bet. They aren’t without pitfall though, I’ve found videos on youtube tend to either fit into two categories amateurs that might not all that proficient and pros who are trying to sell you something. I’m not saying they’re all bad, but it’s youtube and there’s a lot of bullshit so I hope you have a pair of high boots. There are DVDs you can purchase, but those can be glorified commercials too. I think books are probably a safer bet, buy a real book and not a e-book. They’re better for making notes, flagging pages for reference etc. Now, how about that tackle shop…I’d stay away from the big box stores like Sport Chalet, Big 5, or Wal-Mart. Simply because often the staff know little or nothing about fishing and just want to sell you things. There’s only one way to go as far as a tackle shop and that’s Mom and Pop. They’re usually run by people who love to fish and have years of experience. The other advantage they have is the great anglers in the area will shop there and not the big box places. Mom and Pop are in the perfect position to get loads of feedback and 90% of the time they spend talking to customers it’s about the last time said customer went out and fished. Mom and Pop also have a dog in this fight unlike the pimply kid at the big box store.. They want you to succeed! The more you enjoy yourself the more you’ll be back, and the more you’ll do to promote their store and fishing in general.

   Now you have a book and you visited yelp and found a mom and pop tackle shop. That book you have is probably filled with more information than you can process at one time. My advice is this, pick one or two kinds of lures and one or two kinds riggings for live bait and use it to the point of mastery. To be honest, there are probably more rigs and lures and jigs than you’ll ever need. Just like there are a million kinds of fishing knots you can learn, but you only really need two or three. Bruce Lee once said “I fear not the man who has practiced ten thousand kicks once. But I fear the man who has practiced one kick ten thousand times.” Generally speaking, keep rigging simple. Time and time again I’ve been on the water and have out performed other anglers with a clear bubble, split shot weight and a worm on a hook. I’ve seen the contraptions at the end of the line of the other anglers and I can’t help but think they threw every kind of apparatus they’ve ever seen on it. Let’s not forget people have been fishing for a long time with very simple outfits.

   Fishermen I’ve found tend to be a friendly lot. Sure there are A-holes in every walk of life, but generally Fishermen are pretty friendly. Most are more than happy to strike up a conversation and share knowledge. If you’re new to fishing and would like to be better, there perhaps is no greater resource than being friendly. It’s one of my personal secrets, I talk to everyone I come across. When people do well, they like to brag and tell you exactly how they did it. When they do poorly, they want to see what you’re doing and if that’s working. There is something to learn in both scenarios. Keep an eye out for an angler who’s pulling in a lot of fish and ask him what he’s using. If you’re new, pack a few extra beers in your cooler and offer one to that guy who’s pulling in a ton of fish left and right. I have at least three lures that I learned to use proficiently from strangers fishing near me.

   Also, keep a fishing journal for at least your first year. Make note of your triumphs and failures. Fish bite on different things depending on conditions, keep your experience written down so you can access it easily. With all that, when you’re fishing there’s a bit of weird luck involved so don’t get discouraged, there will be a feast day when you can’t do any wrong and you have a fish on your line seconds after ever cast. After all, if it was that easy they’d call it ‘Catching’ instead of ‘Fishing’. They say it takes ten thousand solid hours to master something, luckily it takes less than one to learn something basic to enjoy fishing. If you’re vegan or vegetarian, you can fish with hooks that have no barbs and just catch and release. That said, fish are basically a vegetable and they’re super good for you. Omega-3’s ya’ll.

   Alright, here’s my little gem. My ace in the hole. Johnny’s Sport Shop in Pasadena. People travel from all over to visit this well stocked Mom and Pop that’s been around for ages. The people there are super nice and always willing to talk to you about what the fish are bitin’ on and where. If you’re in the area, or are passing through, schedule it as a stop and ask for Bob or Warren. They go fishing regularly, clearly enjoy it and have a vast knowledge of everything in the store. If you have a question, give them a call they’re friendly on the phone too. If I’m headed somewhere new, I’ll give them a call to see what the latest news is on that spot.

Johnny’s Sport Shop
1402 Lincoln Ave
Pasadena, CA 91103
(626) 797-8839

Mahalo Savages, Live Wild. Eat Well.

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