Let’s Go Fishing

Captain George Mittler taught us about bait and trolling speeds. He commented that you want the bait to be constantly swimming with a natural presentation. Trolling speed is important when it comes to sea weather conditions. On a flat day you’ll troll about eight knots to keep that bait swimming or just skimming along on the surface. In a 2 – 3 foot sea you’ll possibly drop down to six knots. If you go any faster than that your bait is going to be flying. If it’s 4 – 6 foot seas, you’re going to be low and may be going only 3-4 knots. With that, Rebecca asked if that live bait is dead. Everybody erupted into laughter and she not only made our day but she helped soften the learning.

The week before class begins, Betty Baum (owner of LLGF) sends you a wealth of information for review. This includes: agenda, fishing terminology, knots, information regarding the Friday Party Master Chef Potluck Appetizer Contest, directions for the event and recommended lodging, silent auction, optional fishing for Sunday, and cancellation policy. Basically everything you’ll need to know before class starts.

The event kicked off on Thursday night with an appetizer contest and silent auction. Appetizers included: mini meatza pies, mock oyster dip, chicken, salsas, stuffed cucumber, and a watermelon boat with little gummy fishes; at the Stuart FL event. Buckets filled with fishing gear, fishing trips, clothing, rods, and jewelry were just a few items in the silent auction. It’s a great way to network with classmates.

Friday morning at 8:00am class begins with an introduction to fishing. Captain George clarifies a fishing pole is really called a fishing rod. Companies make fishing lures for fisherman. If they catch fish with them, that’s a bonus. The best place to buy your rod and bait is from a local tackle store. You get knowledge of what’s biting and the right type of bait to use. A great way to learn what works best with fish for bait is to open the guts of fish you catch and look into their stomach. For example, if you see squid or shrimp, then you know they’re going deep at night. Cobia loves crab and shrimp.

“You have to learn what to fish with as well as the how-to,” says Jodi Girourd. “There’s three different kinds of reels: bait caster, conventional and spinner. The waters are tantamount to the way you catch a fish because you need to know the waters and how to read them.”

A bait caster reel is a conventional type of reel for casting lures or bait in both salt and fresh water. On the conventional reel, the biggest mistake we make is to tighten the drag. To control the drag on a conventional reel use your thumb. For a spinner, use your hand. For example, if the fish wants to take off, release your thumb off the conventional reel or your hand off the bale on the spinner. According to Captain Melinda Buckley, the moment you drop your tip you’re dropping the tension on the line. That’s why you lose fish. Without tension the hook keeps rocking in the fish’s mouth and falls out. So keep your tip up and wind down.