Friday, February 21, 2014

A fish school

February 21, 2014--The main purpose of our week's vacation was to learn how to fish. And that's what we did today.

The seminar wasn't exactly what we had anticipated, but we learned a great deal about surf fishing, as well as fishing off a dock or bridge. (I had wanted more information and techniques for fishing in the river or at least off a bridge. But most of what we learned was applicable for those areas.)

Did you know that fish can smell? I didn't. I knew they could see; that's why you put attractive bait that they want to eat on the hook. But smell? Well, it makes sense.

Rodney Smith, the publisher of a statewide fishing magazine distributed free at bait shops, was the main presenter, along with John Detmer, a long-time angler and owner of a bait and tackle shop. Smith used to be a fish guide; he has won recognition for hooking the biggest snook on a certain type of line. He knows what he is talking about when it comes to fishing.

The bait method Smith and Detmer suggest using is called the 3-S method: sight, sound, and smell. When all three are used together, supposedly fish will jump into your net. Well, maybe not. But using a lure that is attractive, adding scent (either with a scent plug or spray), and also adding a rattle within the lure makes the lure more alluring, since it immitates real bait fish.

And did you know that a smaller hook is better than a bigger one? And that you can actually catch a very big fish on a lightweight monofilament line?

I didn't know these things, but I do now, and I can't wait to try them out.

Part of the fishing school was inside an auditorium at a conservation center on Melbourne Beach. After a couple of hours, we went down to the beach. Unfortunately, the wind was fierce and clouds were overhead. Rodney and John demonstrated how to bait hooks and how to cast into the surf, using a 12-foot fishing pole. But the weather was too bad for any hands-on experience, assuming some was planned.

Fishing is like any other sport: You have to learn how to do it. Sure, you can just throw out a line and hope for the best, but it's better if you have at least a little knowledge. The fishing school gave us that.

So, tomorrow, if the weather is better, perhaps Jim and I will head out to the beach and try our hand at surf fishing. I can't wait.

Until next time,

Your Reluctant RoVer,


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