Coming full circle and enjoying the grand merits of fishing from shore
The day I mastered balance on a bicycle was the day my boundaries grew exponentially. Not only could I explore the other neighborhoods surrounding mine, I could travel to the creeks and ponds within riding distance. There was hardly a day that me and a half dozen other kids my age couldn’t be found at a fishing hole with tin cans full of worms and cane poles. No carp or bullheads were safe from our patience.
When I received my driver’s license, I didn’t immediately buy a car. I spent a few hundred dollars on a jonboat with an 18-horse Evinrude. Then I found a van on which I could handle my boat on top, and nearby lakes and reservoirs became my summer playgrounds.
After moving to Minnesota in 1981 from my home town of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, I realized a jonboat was not the best watercraft for the lakes on the west side of the Twin Cities. When I upgraded to a V-bottomed boat, I thought I had the ultimate fishing machine. Then I discovered sonar and realized I was missing a huge section of the equation.
After installing a flasher depth-finding unit on the console, I realized a bow-mount electric motor was necessary and a sonar for the front of the boat would enhance that addition. So now the boat had two “fish” finders.
After adding all the major equipment to the program, it became necessary to fine-tune the presentations. That meant complicating the fishing game with better rods, state-of-the-art line, smooth reels and boxes of the latest lures.
I’ve always been a tech-head who must own the latest and greatest gear. I thoroughly enjoyed fishing with all the latest technology at my fingertips. Until a few years ago – when I discovered fishing kayaks. I took to kayak fishing in all its simplicity immediately.
Fishing from a kayak is peaceful yet precise because restrictions require focus. There are a lot of limitations to kayak fishing, but the rewards are magnified when you reach your goals.
In the past couple of years, I’ve found myself coming full circle and have even stepped out of the kayak to tackle some shore fishing. When I was young I never considered the limitations of being stuck on the shore, and when I got a boat, the shore lost all appeal. Now I realize any limitations from shore fishing are put there by me. There are times I am sure I catch many more fish than the anglers I see cruising past in their boats.
Live bait, bobbers, jigs with twister tails are just a few of the techniques from my younger days that I’m using again. While I still fish from my boat and my kayak, the view from shore feels like a portal to my boyhood.