The Choices and Options of Fishing

options_0Ed Snyder/Outdoors
Bolivar Peninsula, TX.
A treasure trove of fishing info can be had by just watching and listening to other anglers at Rollover Pass on the whats, wheres, and hows of fishing. Especially when major runs of fish, such as redfish, speckled trout, or flounder occur. Techniques on how to fish live and dead baits, or what types of artificial lures to use and how to use them are important for honing your fishing skill levels.

As a former fishing guide (way back when), I’ve often listened with eager eyes and ears to those who were teaching me the trade. This was an insiders view on guiding which greatly improved my ability for catching fish. But it also made me aware of the need for educating my clients to the differences between the fishing and catching aspects of the sport. And I’ve often said that the CHEAPEST way to learn about fishing was to hire a guide. BUT, if it’s not in your budget to do so then the next best thing is to seek the info from those who know.

If you’re leaning towards bait fishing, then learn from the bait fishermen. If you prefer casting artificial lures, then learn from those who use such sporting options. Fishing rods and reels may differ greatly between the bait and sport anglers as well as the techniques and methods used for those types of fishing..

My experiences at Rollover Pass have flooded me with the different fishing methods and techniques used to fish. And here at the Pass you’ll see everything from hand-lining, to bottle casting, to cast-netting, or to the more accepted fishing gear such as spinning (open face), spin-casting (closed face), or bait casting (level-winds). In keeping with these more accepted means of fishing I’ll keep with the different rods and reels used and those differences betwixt.

Spinning Rig (Open Face Spinning)

Spinning Rig (Open Face Spinning)

Spinning is very popular among anglers for many reasons. It’s normally inexpensive (under $50 for most rod and reel combos) and very easy to use. The line-spool is located in front with a bale holding the line fast to the spool until released. I find this reel most favorable when pin point casting or when casting into gusty winds. Also the reel is designed to be either being left or right handed by simply removing the handle gears from one side to the other. It’s my second favorite fishing rig to use.

Spin-casting (closed face, under $50) are for anglers who want tangle free problems, or just learning to cast and fish. The line-spool is housed within a cover with line released through a button release system. It also is a good for pin-point casting once you’ve learned to use it properly. Kids who’re just learning to fish are usually exposed to the spin-cast rod and reels.

Spin-Cast rig (Closed Face)

Spin-Cast rig (Closed Face)

Rod and reel company’s such as Zebco have long sponsored and supported children’s fishing programs such as “Get Hooked on Fishing, NOT DRUGS” crusades or BASS Masters Kids Classic Tournaments. Although the Spin-cast is not one my favorite rigs to use, it is however a favorite rig for amateurs and Pro/Anglers alike. Such as a Pro/Angler who actually won a prestigious BASSMaster Classic event fishing his Zebco by skipping soft plastic craws up under a boat pier to reach a pocket of bass holding near the banks edge. The spin-cast was the right tool for him at the time. My reason for not choosing a spin-cast reel is due to the fact that they just don’t stand up to to my way of fishing.

My preference for the way I fish are the bait-casters, or level wind type reels (over $50). These rigs give me more control for working baits and lures and are best for fighting big fish. These reels have line spools centered from left to right releasing line through a moving port in front of the reel.

Bait Casting Rig (Level Wind)

Bait Casting Rig (Level Wind)

The bait-caster reels on the market now are a far cry from those “knuckle buster” direct drive reels of yore, but the better deigned bait reels will cost you more for the technology that goes into these professional angler type reels. I say this due to the fact that professional anglers who compete in the
saltwater or freshwater fishing tournaments mostly use level wind reels because of their reliability and control of lures and fish. To the Pros, a broken reel could mean the loss of 100s, or even 1,000s of dollars. These bass fishing type rod and reels may cost you from $50 to $500 per rig depending on what your fishing needs are. My recommendations on this is buy quality now for quality fishing later.

The level wind reel is usually more expensive than spinning or spin-cast reels due to it’s design which involves more moving parts and the expense of those parts. Brass gears with multiple ball bearings goes into the expense of these reels.

Even though I prefer bait-caster reels, I’m adept at fishing with spin-cast and spinning, my favorite being a Lews MCS Laser 6 ball bearing and Lews High Speed Special 10 ball bearing reels rigged to Lew’s IM6 Carbon Speed sticks. These combo rigs provide the smooth casts I seek, even in high wind conditions, as well as fast retrieves providing and sensitivity of feeling the slightest hit of a fish.

Bait-casters of yore required learning how to thumb-cast your reel when casting to avoid line over-ride known as a back-lash or birds nest. But on redesigning the reels with magnetic breaks and casting control systems this thumbing (lightly putting your thumb on the line-spool) when casting is no longer necessary. BUT!! I do, however, recommend thumbing your reel anyway. (Olde Habits)

It’s all in how you like to fish. No one fishes the same way, so it’s very important that you choose the right tool for the right job when enjoying your sport. Actually feel the fishing rod and reel in your hand when choosing one at your sporting goods store. Feel the balance and how it fits and feels in your hand before purchase.

Casting with any of these reel types requires practice, practice, and more practice, and you’ll soon experience your inexperience into a fine tuned confidence of an avid angler. And that’s the first step at becoming an experienced, or professional angler.

This can be achieved by just visiting Rollover Pass on a busy weekend when anglers are here fishing dozens of methods for their enjoyment of catching fish. Just watch, learn, and decide on what’s right for you on the what’s, when’s, and how’s of fishing.

(published 12/2/2014)

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2 Responses to “The Choices and Options of Fishing”

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  2. Jean Scurtu says:

    Thanks Ed,

    I like everything what you writhing about fishing,first because you are one very good fisherman,knowing all the type of fishing.In the same time i like your beautiful pictures.
    I am happy because i have the chance to meet you in the first my days fishing at ROLLOVER PASS in November 2003.
    I show you are surprise meeting me at ROLLOVER PASS ,because i was fishing with long rod(16’4″ graphite telescopic rod,bolognese model) using by me on my old country,ROMANIA and with tinny line and jigs.
    I was happy learning quick enough to catch on artificial salt water fish,because in Romania i was fishing just in fresh water for many fish you don’t find in Texas.

    I learn a lot looking to another good fisherman,at ROLLOVER PASS and so i was able to catch a lot of nice fish using my finesse fishing use by me in my ex-country.

    First day when i was fishing at ROLLOVER PASS some people tell me at ROLLOVER PASS you don’t fish with 4 lb. line,you must fish with line over 15 lb.,but when this people show i was catching more fish,this people don’t say nothing any more.

    I love ROLLOVER PASS and if somebody like to learn more to catch saltwater fish ,you right is better to go to ROLLOVER PASS because here you see many people fishing in different way ,with many type of reels ,rods and bait.If this people witch like to learn more about saltwater fishing are looking at better fisherman’s at ROLLOVER PASS can find ,how you say ,the best way for fishing for himself,knowing better how,when and what bait to use to fish.

    Regards and thank you for taking care about ROLLOVER PASS and the respect for the fish law from Texas.

    Jean Scurtu

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