Bass Fishing Without a Pole
By Steven Gillman
Bass fishing usually requires a fishing pole, but
there are other ways, and that is what this story is about. A
warning though: The techniques described here are almost certainly
illegal wherever you go fishing. They were fun when we were kids
Bass Fishing From A Raft
Wilsey Bay in Michigan's Upper Peninsula is known
for its good smallmouth bass fishing. The swimming isn't that bad
either, which was why we built the raft. My friend Bruce was
probably the oldest at the time, about twelve-years-old. It was
probably his idea to use the oil barrels for flotation. Four of
them, topped by some wooden pallets and plywood nailed together,
made a raft that could support seven or eight people.
We anchored it in the middle of the bay. It is a
shallow bay, so the middle was still only six feet deep or so. This
would be our swimming area, but more than that. We started to bring
small trees out and sink them with milk jugs full of sand and pieces
of cinder blocks. Of course, we didn't know that it was illegal to
build an artificial environment for fish. In fact, we didn't know
that this was what we were doing. We built walls of rocks underwater
Within a few weeks there were schools of fish
hanging out below our raft in the racks and tree branches. There
were some perch, but most of them were smallmouth bass. As we
watched then swimming below us, and then as we watched them next to
us during our dives. I had an idea. Who needs a fishing pole when
you can get this close to the fish?
Bruce kept the bucket ready in the boat, which was
tied to the raft. I had one fishhook and three feet of line. I tied
the hook to one end of the line and tied the other end to my finger.
I treaded water while Bruce baited the hook with half of a worm. He
threw the line over the edge of the boat.
Swimming by the trees, I simply let the baited
hook float alongside me, trying to hold it out from my body a couple
feet. I could only hold my breath for a minute or less, but by the
second dive a ten-inch bass darted out of the tree branches and took
the bait. I swam to the boat and lifted it up for Bruce to take.
Just barely legal - or at least it would have been if it weren't for
the trees. Then again, maybe a fishing pole is a legal requirement.
Bruce threw it in the bucket and I went back down for more.
Perch Fishing By Hand
The little creek that enters the bay was
occasionally stopped by the sand that built up during storms. Then
the water would build up behind the sand for days until it broke
loose and opened up the stream again. We didn't always wait,
however. Once there was sufficient water pressure, a simple channel
dug through the sand by hand, from the dammed creek to the bay, was
enough to get it going. It would start out slowly, and then, within
an hour the creek would be gushing out into the bay, twenty-feet
across where our three-inch channel had been.
Since the creek rarely flowed this fast normally,
other things happened that weren't normal. The fish that had been in
the creek behind the dam would all get flushed out, for example. The
day of the "perch flush" the creek had opened up almost thirty-feet
wide, but only a few inches deep. As the perch came out, we grabbed
them by hand until we had a couple dozen in a bucket. We built a
pond on the beach for these, since it was too many to eat all at
Other Childish Fishing Techniques
We caught smelt one at a time by hand with a
flashlight, as many as forty in a hour or two. We shamelessly
clubbed suckers in the creek ad brought them to the neighbor. She
would pressure-cook them with ketchup, and they came out looking and
tasting almost like canned salmon. Half for herself - that was the
charge for cooking them for us.
Whether bass fishing without a pole or clubbing
suckers, these are probably not techniques you'll want to try unless
you want to meet the local game warden. And I do have to warn you
that the last time I tried using just a hook and a piece of line,
the fish bit my thumb and drew blood. Yes, I may be the only person
to ever had blood drawn by the bite of a smallmouth bass. But it is
fun to remember how much fun childhood fishing could be.
Copyright Steve Gillman. For more Fishing Stories
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Steven_Gillman
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