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Heartland Outdoors July 2017 cover catfish flathead rend  lake

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Through the Lens

Fishing Old School Style

Thu, June 29, 2017

In this world of full of the latest and the greatest technology that finds fish for us, marks the spot, and all but puts them in the boat combined with rods and reels that also sport one technological miracle after another, there is much to be said for returning to our fishing roots.

A simple pole, a coffee can of worms, and bucket. That’s all we really need some days. Perhaps a pocket full of some plastic, or a little jig, a length of cording and a washer for a stringer, and few extra hooks to round things out.  Don’t we all remember the excitement of heading out with Mom or Dad, Grandpa or Grandma for that walk to the edge of the creek, a stretch of river bank – the farm pond in the pasture?

There’s not much to go wrong. Not a whole lot of moving parts on a jigging or cane pole that can break, no batteries that can die.  It’s a bit primitive. Just the fisherman and the world around him. It allows us to go back and reexamine why we fish in the first place. It allows us to feel that staccato bam-bam-bam bite of a bait sized drive by bluegill bite or the solid smack and thump hard hit of a young aggressive bass. The gentle tap and nudge of a crappie.

Fishing “old school” allows us to concentrate on the world around us, marvel at the colors and shapes and feisty attitudes of some fish. Little fish with big fish personalities. The birds sing and swing by to snatch up bugs or fish, a fat raccoon lumbers along the bank looking for a hand out. This is what fishing used to be before the bells and whistles, before maps, and fish finders, jet boats, air boats, and twin 250’s.  Before the world of tournaments, trophies and TV. This is what made us love fishing in the first place.

I challenge you to leave the big boat, the fish finders, the tackle box behind. Take only what you can carry, and take a walk down the path to a piece of water.  Find a spot, have a sit on the bucket or the bank.  Let fishing at its most basic remind you of why you learned to love it so much.  The sights, the smells, and the feeling of satisfaction of filling the stringer with supper.

Perhaps Herbert Hoover said it best, “Fishing is much more than fish.  It is the great occasion when we may return to the fine simplicity of our forefathers. “

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