Brittain League at East Palestine CC WINNERS (4-man, 2-ball): Lee Wyant, Brian Cartwright, Rick Huston, Roger …
With winter behind us itâ€™s time to go fish and I can think of no better family activity than fishing.
The licenses are very inexpensive, especially when you consider they are for an entire year and kids under 16 years of age do not even need a license. Best of all itâ€™s fun and you might even catch some good tasting fish to add to your table fare. But I realize that some families will begin fishing for the first time this year so maybe I can make a few suggestions to help you get started.
First of all you will need a fishing outfit. Oh I know that many fish have been caught using only a willow stick, some thread and a hook, but why not get started the right way?
There are many different combinations of rods, reels, lines and other necessities available, but I think the easiest rig for a beginner is a Zebco spincast. You can buy a Zebco 202 outfit for around 20 bucks, and I believe more fish have been caught on one of these inexpensive combos than any other rig. It is a perfect outfit to start a youngster on an exciting hobby. You can pretty much use the 202 right out of the box, but when I help a youngster, or an adult, I make a few changes.
If you are new to the sport you might need help from an experienced angler for the first change I recommend. I always begin by removing the line that came with the outfit and replacing it with 6-pound test Berkley Trilene XL line.
The XL stands for extra limp and once you start to fish you will appreciate how well it works. It casts easily and will have less snarls that the heavy line that usually comes with the combination outfits.
The species of fish you hope to catch will dictate the size of hook you will use, and since many youngsters will be catching small sunfish you will need a small hook such as a #8. If you are after larger fish like crappies I recommend a #2 hook. In hook size the larger the number the smaller the hook.
You will not need a lot of weight to help you cast out with a spincast reel so keep it light. If you use a bobber it alone will provide enough weight to cast, so I would only add a small split shot to the line. Some split shot sinkers have a tab that will allow you to remove it easily.
Speaking of bobbers you should always use one if you fish with kids. There is something fascinating and even mesmerizing about watching a bobber. That piece of cork or plastic is your connection to the mystery below the waterâ€™s surface. When a fish bumps your bait the bobber will twitch and wiggle. After a while you will learn to read its message as though it was a telegraph line between you and the fish.
Most bobbers can be set to hold your bait at the proper depth, and that is important for fishing success. Sometimes you will want to have your bait down deep to catch perch or catfish, but crappies often need your bait higher up as they are more likely to rise to a bait than go down to one. Iâ€™ve been told that is because the position of their eyes makes it harder to see bait below them.
Once you have a fishing outfit all you need is bait and one very important accessory. No angler is complete with out a well used fishing hat. The hat needs personality like the one you see in my photo each Sunday. That hat has been around since the 1980s and I still wear it.
A real fishing hat needs a few salt stains from sweat and mine also is stained from saltwater. As for other stains I will bet that an analysis would show DNA from fish slime, nightcrawler slime and blood from many squashed mosquitoes. There might even be some of my blood from the times Iâ€™ve nicked myself on a hook or two.
That hat of mine has been around for a while, and so have I. So maybe itâ€™s true that the hours spent fishing are not deducted from your lifespan. My advice to you is to get out there and go fishing. It might even make you live longer.