July 8, 2008

And Now... Some Frugal Fishing Tips!

Last week we took a look at so many ways to have a great staycation. One thing I didn't mention was going fishing, a very favorite pasttime of mine since childhood. You don't need a lot of fancy equipment, you don't need a license (for saltwater fishing - well, not at the moment anyway, but DON'T get me started on that issue!), and bait can be free to cheap.

I'm going to focus here on freshwater fishing although there's nothing like fighting the bluefish, reeling in stripers (which we do sometimes on Sunday mornings right in the Royal River here in our small Maine town), or going way further out for haddock and some other good eating fish.

In keeping with the idea of a staycation, we'll be, not at our own home, but visiting a lake in NH where some of our best friends live, wonderful people we also happen to be related to, our daughter and son-in-law, Heather and Tim. They have a big u-shaped dock and I'll be out there at sunup and at sundown. What do I catch off their dock? Well, one day two years ago, I had a five-species day, but mostly it's small- and large-mouth bass, nice, fat, feisty ones, including the grand-daddy known as Darryl. And, yes, we do have NH licenses.

My fishing equipment is nothing fancy and my fishing bag is old but well-stocked with extra hooks, swivels, etc. My bait is worms; I am not a fly fisherman.

Now, as some of you know, I am a vegetarian (although I guess I'm really a flexitarian as I do still eat some seafood), I am strictly catch-and-release, and I've always tried to live by Christina Rossetti's admonition to "Hurt no living thing." Soooo, a few folks have asked me, isn't there some hint of hypocrisy in all those worms I drown? What can I say?

As I've mentioned before, I keep a worm bin. Raising worms, formally called "vermiculture," is invaluable for good gardening as well as fine fishing! My worm bin is a big old plasic tub that I fill with freshly-pulled weeds, some dirt still clinging to the roots, and any worms I come across as I garden. I start the worm bucket as early in the spring as I'm in the garden, and I keep it right through the end of fishing season, the last of September. Yes, I ice fish, but use different live bait for that.

The worm box has a top that's snug, but not air-tight. I check the box once a week or whenever I'm going fishing to be sure the worms still have fresh fodder to make their incredibly rich castings. Once or twice during the summer, I empty the box, sift the castings for use as potting soil, mulch or fertilizer, restock with weeds and dirt and put back about half of the worms. The other half of the worms I scatter in garden areas that need aereating or enriching. Now, I'm dreaming of one of those worm composters that I could keep right through the winter in our root cellar... hmmmmm...

Aside from any old-fashioned frugality of fishing, or the fun of the cast, the bite, the set and the catch, there is the wonderful peace of fishing, hearing the still, small voice of God in the morning mist at sunrise, and the call of the loons helping color a glorious sunset at the end of the day. What a blessing!



Just for a while . . . It's all about You! said...

I was wondering how to improve the worm population! Have started my Bait Barrel. Altho ' I am not going fishing! But I have a question, why does one need to put on a cover?

Just for a while . . . It's all about You! said...

Well, the cover is to keep the rain out perhaps? My Bait Barrel has a crack in the bottom & does not hold water. So . . . do I still need a cover?