Monday, April 9, 2007

A fishing post...

My profile says that I am interested in fishing, so here is a fishing post. During the summer, I fish a lot. I'm not a fishing nerd so I won't be posting about what color lure to use, or depths, or water temperatures, or monofilaments vs. superbraids. Go somewhere else for that! This is just about the experience of catching a fish and what it means to me.

Last summer, my obsession was to catch channel catfish. Experience taught me that the best catfish bait was cut up bluegills. Bluegills are easy to catch at my favorite fishing hole, you just put a little piece of worm on a small hook, and fish two or three feet down, next to a dock or rock formation, around sunrise or sunset. Cutting them up is not much fun, I usually just lay them on ice in a small cooler and wait for them to die. Then I cut them into two inch squares with a pair of kitchen shears, and store the pieces in a Ziploc bag. I don't enjoy doing this but my catfish obsession has driven me to grisly lengths. I don't think that I am causing the bluegills to suffer, since hypothermia and hypoxia are relatively painless ways to die.

The best time for catfishing is when it is dark. I am not a night-owl so I prefer to fish early in the morning. It is not unusual for me to go fishing at 3:00 or 4:00 am. For me, it's not hard to wake up that early, but it does require a certain amount of motivation to gear up and go out to the dock, at that hour. I have to put on jeans and a long-sleeved shirt to keep off the mosquitos, and a headlamp so that I can see what I am doing and not fall into the lake. I carry a camp chair, my "tackle purse," (a soft side bag with fishing tackle), a big fishing pole, a net, a bag of bluegill chunks, and a mug of coffee. Before I go out I put a bobber on my fishing line, and attach a small glow stick to the bobber with a rubber band (I like to fish with a bobber to keep my baited hook out of the weeds, and it has to have a light on it so I can tell when I have a bite). Once I have tucked all of those items under my arms I'm ready to go.

So it's out into the night to pursue the fearsome channel catfish! My next fishing post will be about what it is like to catch catfish in the dark.

Here is a picture to whet your appetite:

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