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South Williamsport, PA
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Fishing – What’s Your Specialty?

Fishing – What’s Your Specialty?
Pastor Darren Rowles with his first ever chain pickerel.

I was talking with a bunch of guys the other day and the topic of fishing came up-now that probably surprises you. We were talking about catching a variety of different fish when somebody asked me about which species and what equipment I specialized in when fishing. I had to think about that for a

I was talking with a bunch of guys the other day and the topic of fishing came up-now that probably surprises you. We were talking about catching a variety of different fish when somebody asked me about which species and what equipment I specialized in when fishing. I had to think about that for a bit before I responded, “I specialize in trying to catch everything using anything “. I guess that means I’m not a specialist nor a purist. For example, some fishermen will only use a fly rod and fish for trout while others wouldn’t put any effort into trout fishing but rather pursue bass with a variety of artificials. I even have some fishing friends who won’t “waste their time” on bass or trout but rather go after panfish only.

I guess my problem is I love it all and I’ve tried to specialize in catching just about everything that swims using whatever equipment and techniques that work for any given species. I suppose the biggest setback in my approach is that you may never become an expert because you are spread out all over the place, but I certainly enjoy the variety of fishing experiences.

As we move into this time of the year those of us who are in my category face a real dilemma; What should I fish for on any given day and what equipment and techniques should I use? In an effort to address this scenario (all in the name of research of course) I decided to pursue as many different fish as possible using a variety of techniques over a three-day period. When I hit a local trout stream one afternoon there were fish raising but I could not see anything hatching. I prefer catch-and-release fly fishing when it comes to trout and I finally decided to tie on a number 14 black ant. My thinking was that ants, beetles and other “terrestrials” may be falling into the water bringing the trout to the surface-the ant produced nearly a dozen hook-ups. Obviously while the big push for trout may be over there is still some good trout fishing available.

The following day I invited our new associate pastor, Darren Rowles, to join me on an afternoon trip to an area lake. The lake offers a variety of warm water species including bass-a favorite for both of us. I don’t keep bass either but it’s important to remember that until later this month all bass must be quickly released. Trust me, there’s a big difference from pursuing trout in a moderate sized stream to chasing largemouth bass in a stump and weed invested lake. On this day we would be using heavier spinning gear and casting gear with 10 to 20-pound test line and leadhead jigs with an assortment of plastic worms and creature baits; the day before I was casting a tiny artificial black ant with one pound test tippet! As it turns out the bass and pickerel were still in the deeper water and our “wacky rigs” and Carolina-rigged plastic lizards worked on the bottom proved successful with each of us hooking into a number of good bass and pickerel.

Day one was trout, day two was bass and pickerel and now day three would be devoted to pursuing a variety of panfish. My wife, Sheila, and I headed off to a different lake in hopes of hooking into a good number of panfish — particularly crappies and bluegills. After working around the lake for a time we eventually found the ticket to success; we fished our small leadhead jigs and plastic grubs in deeper water. A number of fish were taken in water as deep as 20-30 feet with a slow troll or by letting the wind push the boat while drifting over schools of fish suspended or near the bottom.

The bottom line is my three day “research ” proved successful and all the species I “specialize in” were caught but I think more research is needed to determine what methods and techniques work best and under what conditions? I’ll work on that concept next week.

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