With today’s high tech innovations invading every facet of our lives, life can sometimes tend to get a little complicated, so to with our recreational activities like fishing. If you doubt my words just take a trip to your local sporting goods store and walk through the fishing department, or go to one of the fishing and boating shows. There are more lures and gadgets available than one man could stuff into his tackle box, even if it had a tongue and wheels on it.
I remember when I was growing up and went fishing. I started with a cane pole with some of that old black fishing line on it, a float, split shot, if I was lucky, or a few nuts or washers for weight if not, and a can of worms. I would sit on the bank, presented my wiggling morsel to the fish, and take home a respectable catch of catfish, bream, and bass. If I was in salt water on Sabine Lake that bait would be shrimp and the catch were catfish, croakers, and speckle trout. The bottom line is with the simple gear I caught fish.
If a person would like to go fishing today, one could be faced with genuine confusion looking at all of those lures, and the cost will average from about three to ten dollars each. Bait casting reels, with the two hundred dollar and up, price tags and graphite rods in the same price range, are common. A fish finder will run in the area of a second mortgage to go on the mid to high five figure bass boat, which is hooked to the back of your seventy five thousand dollar pickup....Whoaoooo! Let’s back up a bit.
If an angler is dedicated to fishing, there is absolutely nothing wrong with getting into some serious toys as long as he can have them, and the rest of the family can continue to eat with relative frequency. All I am saying is if a man wishes to take his family out occasionally for a pleasant outing and do a little fishing, while passing on one of our great heritages to his children, the cost can be kept within reason. Why, I’ll bet a man and his family can go fishing, have a good time and catch fish without even creating a necessity for a second mortgage on his house.
One thing the occasional angler must remembered is everyone over the age of seventeen must have a fishing license to fish in public waters in Texas except for the first day of June of each year which is the annual Free Sport-Fishing Day. That day no one needs a license. Yes mom, you need a license to use that cane pole and catch bream, with the kids, any other time of the year. The big exception to that rule is if you are fishing in a state park that has water access and then no one needs a license. To be sure you are within the law Google TPWD and go to State Parks and you will find everything you need to know.
I did a little checking around at one of our larger sporting goods stores and found that a cane pole, and yes they are still available, or a rod and reel combo can be purchased for a friendly price. In our high tech world it only stands to reason that stacked next to the cane poles, were the fiberglass, modern equivalent, at twice the price. Line, weights, hooks and etc. another ten dollars.
Natural bait can be purchased, or caught depending on the desires of the angler. Worms work great for bream, bass, and channel and blue cats will eat almost anything. They can be purchased at anyone of the many marinas or bait shops, or a little digging in the garden or flower bed will yield about all a person could need for a trip. If night crawlers are too slimy for some of our more delicate anglers, I would suggest mighty mealy worms. They are not slimy like the night crawlers, and are obtainable from the bait shops.
Minnows are also readily available at the marinas and most bait shops. They are the premier bait for crappie. Bass will bite on minnows; bream will bite on them, if the minnows are small enough and like I said, catfish will eat anything.
Now let’s pick a spot to go fishing. Don’t forget the many creeks and rivers, and many state parks have fishing lakes and ponds on them that are kept stocked. Also remember when fishing rivers, creeks, and farm ponds, all property belongs to someone, so get permission before going on private property.
At any of the lakes in our great state there are usually areas around the lake and around many of the marinas available for public fishing. Pick out a lake that looks interesting and make a reconnaissance run one weekend to the area. Pack up a picnic and the family and search out likely looking spots and make a fun day of it.
So now that the weather is moderating and the fishing is picking up, this is an excellent time to corral the family, pack up a picnic lunch, and head for the nearest fishing hole, for a family day of fishing.