Centerpin fishing becomes a center of attention
I don’t know much about centerpin fishing but I’m ready and willing to learn, especially after seeing all the Facebook photos from friends who seem to consistently – and I mean consistently – score on fine steelhead and hefty, colorful brown trout.
It’s something I’ve been considering for a while, even though the traditional Great Lakes tributary hotspots – Oak Orchard Creek, the Salmon River, Cattaraugus Creek and so many others – involve, for me, a considerable drive and time allotment. Too, it will also entail some additional equipment in the form of a centerpin reel (or two or three) and one (or two or three) of those 11- to 13-foot rods designed to maximize your drift.
And that’s really, as I understand it, what centerpin fishing is all about – getting a lengthy drift with a large-arbor, drag-free reel and using your fingers as a brake and drag-setting mechanism when a fish is hooked. It sounds like a blast, and those Facebook photos from friends like Adam McInerney and Bob Rustowicz have made it too much to resist.
I’m fairly sure it’s not just a matter of buying the right gear, rigging up and slamming the fish. There’s a knack to this kind of fishing, but when done properly it’s extremely effective. And New York state offers miles of waters where the tactic can be applied. I’ve always wanted to land one of those butter-colored late fall/early winter lake-run brown trout, and I’m guessing centerpinning may be my best option to do that.
There will also be a learning curve when it comes to casting, and from what I’ve read I should expect some frustrating bird’s nests until I learn the Wallis cast, a traditional but difficult way of fishing a centerpin setup.
But I think I may go this route soon. Those Facebook photos just keep on coming, and I’d like to be the subject in one of them instead of the viewer.