It started with a little fish like this. Baannaannahhnnaannahhh!
I discovered lures at an early age, and rarely used live bait in freshwater, especially for bass. There was always a cast net at the house though, mostly for catching mullet, menhaden and other salt water bait. It's nice to have kids though, because you get the opportunity to go back to your roots. There's hardly a better live bait than the wild shiner pictured above. Bass, gar, pickerel and host of other freshwater predators like to gobble them up. My daughter noticed them one day and asked why the big minnows wouldn't go into her trap. When I looked in the water I realized they were shiners, and so I told her some stories of the good old days. She was determined to catch some and try them out for bait. I finally threw away the old cast net a few months ago when it tore in half from dry rot. My buddy Matt loves to watch her cast, so he brought her this 4 footer, and she was happy as a fox in a hen house. It took her 3 or 4 cast to get her rythm back but then she was catching fish. Shiners are difficult to catch with a small net, as Matt tells me, probably because they are so use to herons and other attacks from over head. They are typically over deeper water than I would usually have to cast for mullet, and disappear at the first sign of movement.
I taught her how to cast the same way my grandmother and mother taught me. In order to it this way, part of the net goes in your mouth. Drew would like to cast net but is revolted by my method, so I am going to have a friend show me the way he does it, without tasting it.
Even if you are one of those guys who turns a nose to anything non artificial, a cast net is a great opportunity to match the hatch so to speak. I will definitely be looking for lures, that imitate these guys, on my next trip to Bass Pro Shops.
And of course turtles like them too.
Yet she'll kiss the fish directly. I have been studying and observing girls up close for some time now. They may hold the key to convincing me of the existence of alien life forms. I remember when she was afraid to even be close to a fish. You have come a long way baby.
Ok, so its not a hog, but I still get chills whenever I see my line take off. That is the beauty of weedless plastics, not knowing what sort of monster is at the end of the line, and then trying to be patient and not set too early. You wait, praying that he doesn't spit it out. Right at the last second you set, and it is a very wonderful and natural high, to feel something other than weeds, kicking on the end of your line. What's even better? Sharing that feeling with your kids.
Forty years old and still in awe of the outdoors.