Friday, May 29, 2009

"Cane" Pole Fishing

I decided this spring to try something a little different. I regularly fish from the bank of a local lake in which lilypads quickly take over the first few feet of water. I've seen some decent bass in these area, and while I've been able to coax hits on floating worms cast past the pads and brought back over them, I've never been able to hook up. I'd also be glad to have an extra method to pull out bream and crappie from such areas.

My solution? A cane pole. And by "cane," I mean a 13-foot piece of telescoping graphite. But it's still the basic rig. I've never tried to do this before (though I wanted to years ago at The Pond), so I read up on it online and figured that was enough. I tied a 13-foot piece of 10-pond monofilament to the end, grabbed a couple bobbers and some worms and headed off.

It's a little late in the year for my purposes (and let's blame this on the backordering and shipping practices of a certain large retailer). The fish here have been starting to move deeper and the spawn, at least for most species, has happened and the fish are out a little more. Still, I figured I could have some fun.

Well, yes and no. It's hard than I thought it would be. I hadn't considered the amount of overheard clearance I'd need to "cast" in some situations, nor how heavy the pole would be after a few hours. I also thought I'd be able to get my bait and bobber into the water both more precisely and more quietly (although I think I can improve on both counts with practice).

In the end, I caught six very small 'gills, but not that I couldn't have caught with conventional tackle and a bobber. I think the real experiment will have to wait for next spring.

Interestingly, though, I tried circle hooks again. My hook-up ratio was far worse than on previous outings, but I blame this on the minuscule fish involved, apparently just pecking at the crawler pieces without inhaling the hook. On the upside, I didn't have any bad hooks, any difficult unhookings, or any blood.

One last thing: this sort of fishing, I suspect, won't match conventional or fly options for excitement, but there is something adrenaline-inducing when you realize you're swinging a spiny fish, with biggish hook directly at your face from 15 feet away. So at least there's that drama.

No comments: