Jaycob Gough of Lewis, a third grader at Willsboro, show off his first smallmouth, a 4-pound 2-ounce monster caught on a tube in the Windmill Point area of Champlain.
Of course, the old Mitchell 300 spinning reel taped to my 6-foot fiberglass rod has since been replaced by at least a dozen high modulus graphic rods with ceramic eyes matched with 10 ball bearing bait caster reels and another 6 or so 7-foot medium action spinning rods with high speed 8 ball bearing spinning reels. All cozily sit in a rod locker on board with fitted holders to protect the very expensive and sensitive cargo. Each rod has its own function: there are topwater rods, frog sticks, spinner-bait rods, worm rods I and II, flipping sticks and drop shot rods and on and on. If there is a type of lure there is a special type of rod. Then, there are several different types of fishing line from monofilament to Copolymer, to Braid to Fluorocarbon all in combinations of line strength from 8-pound for finesse fishing to 12-pound for crankbaiting to 20-pound for flipping.
Are you confused yet?
How about lures? It used to be just the classic Zara Spook invented by James Heddon over 100 years ago. Now it’s evolved to dozens of versions of topwater lures from Japan or China all with creative looks to resemble a real fish, with magic designs and colors. And after spending $15 to $25 for this very realistic lure we have to send it to “Buddy Bill” who charges another $15 to strip the factory color scheme and replace it with a special one –of- a- kind paint job that more resembles a minnow that bass are likely feeding on today. Since this column is about to end, I’ll save for another time the types of spinnerbaits, jerkbaits, chatterbaits, crankbaits, jigs and soft plastic baits that only the mind of a bass fisherman can dream up.
All this…and we still have to explain to our wives that we do in fact need all this to catch a silly green fish with a big mouth. Somehow, I don’t think the loves of our lives believe us.
Howard Hammonds is a guide and experienced bass fisherman living in Westport. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.