Fishy Secrets

The problem with fishing is that when fishing goes well, fishermen are usually willing to share somewhat reliable information about their catch, but they often won’t give details about where they were fishing, exactly, and what they were using, exactly, and what color was working, exactly.  Indeed, from the average fisherman you are more likely to hear, “Yeah, the fishing was great.  I was on a lake in Michigan, and the fish were hitting all sorts of stuff.”

How helpful.

But see, the reason fishermen don’t want to share this information is that they really don’t want other people to find out about their secret lake.   For example, Mark and I went fishing last Saturday and he caught a bluegill, an 18-inch largemouth bass and a legal pike.  I caught two legal pike and a largemouth bass that was small but put up a good fight.  We went fishing at … 

Oh, no, I’m not going to tell you.  Because there we were, on a hot, summer Saturday, the only people fishing on a lake that is within 20 minutes of our house.  Nobody saw us grunt our way through the cattails with our kayaks in tow.  Nobody saw Mark sink knee-deep into the muck at the waters’ edge or heard the loud sluuurrping noise as he extracted his Croc from the muck.  Nobody saw us do the shallow-water boot-scoot boogie as we tried to get our kayaks out of the muck and into open water.

And I like it that way.

But while I’m not going to tell you where we went fishing because I don’t want to see you at the same lake any time soon, unlike most fisherman, I’m happy to share the details of what we used.  I caught my fish with a two-blade, spinnerbait with a yellow head and yellow and white skirt because, well . . . out of necessity.  See, I forgot to bring a knife with me, and because the line we use is 50-pound braided stuff that takes a year to bite through, couldn’t swap out my spinner bait for anything else.  Mark was in his own kayak on the other side of the lake and I was stuck with whatever was on my two poles. 

My primary tour de force is a medium-heavy Fennwick Iron Hawk pole with a Daiwa bait casting reel.  Dangling from this pole was the spinnerbait and I didn’t notice that the yellow paint on its head is worn off; the skirt so deteriorated it’s more a globule than a skirt.  But I was in a my usual hurry when we left on Saturday and I didn’t pay any more attention to that than the other pole Mark handed me.   Turns out that pole’s so old the lettering has been rubbed off.  It’s from the 1940s, belonged to Mark’s mother, and the Zebco reel on it squeaks worse than a sickly mouse.  Attached to it was a purple rubber worm with a pink butt, which I tossed out, only to suffer as the reel squeaked and resisted my every turn of the crank.  I like fishing for the quiet as much as anything, so set that old pole aside and kept to my spinner bait, which—I must note–even in its deteriorated condition, caught as many fish as Mark. 

While I wasn’t exactly well armed, Mark, meanwhile, was in his own kayak with a busload of tackle, a knife, plyers and two fishing poles with bait casting reels that both work well.  One rod is a St. Croix rod so well designed he can throw a lure halfway across the lake.  He was also smart enough to take a knife on board his vessel.  He started with a chartreuse and white Hank Parker “The Classic” spinner bait, which broke after he caught his first pike.  He then tried a Thin Fin, then a LuckyCraft Pointer, the latter of which caught him that big bass.  

Oh, I know, there’s lots of LuckyCraft Pointers, so I’ll narrow it down to a Live Pointer 110MR.

And, yes, there’s a few Live Pointer 110MR patterns to choose from.  But there’s only a few with a white fuzzy tail.

That should narrow it down for you. 

Now, you should thank me.  Because not many fishermen will tell you where they were fishing, exactly, what they were using, exactly, and what color was working, exactly. 

Well, two out of three ain’t bad.

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