Thursday, July 20, 2017

Plain Old Fishing Poles

"Plain old fishing poles." That was the title of a forum thread I saw recently. That caught my attention because I am drawn to the simple ways of doing things, and fishing is no exception. I have nothing against the more popular, modern methods of fishing. But plain old-fashioned cane pole fishing still has a place, in my opinion. Some of the most enjoyable fishing I have ever done has been sitting on the bank of a river or pond with a simple fishing pole and some type of bait, pulling in bream or catfish one after another. The forum thread was disappointing in that regard; apparently the term "plain old fishing pole," to the thread participants, was just another name for the same typical modern rod and reel just about everybody uses. So this is my attempt to keep real pole fishing alive, in whatever small way I can.

I'm happy to find that real fishing poles are still available. Whenever I am in a sporting goods store or visit the sporting goods section of a big box store, I tend to notice the simple fishing equipment. In fact I recently picked up a cane pole at Academy Sports on a whim while I was in there to buy .22 Magnum ammo. I also like the telescoping fiberglass poles that have a built-in spool for line storage, like this one:

There are other techniques for fishing with a plain fishing pole besides bank or dock fishing. Poke poling, for example. I think it was an article in Backwoodsman Magazine that introduced me to this technique. Basically you climb or wade along a rocky seashore with a fishing pole that is rigged with a short leader so you can poke it into every water-filled hole you find, to present the bait to any fish that may be hiding in the hole. This technique is most common in salt water, but I have used it successfully in rocky creeks too.
How about you? When's the last time you fished with such simple gear?