It’s happening. This burst of warm weather last week and weekend has my gears shifting to spring.
I’m ready for grilling out, fishing, camping, gardening. I can just feel the warm sun on my face, see the fish rise out of the water on my hook. Smell the campfire wood smoke, taste the garden-grown veggies.
When I started the blog last September, I mentioned my love/hate relationship with the bait caster. I mentioned it again in Four-Uh-Oh. It’s almost time for the experiment to start again.
Here’s what it’s all about:
Some women want to fish, they just don’t want a man to teach them. Typically it goes like this. Here are some worms, and a hook with a bobber. Bait your hook. Cast the line. Sit and wait. BORING! The first steps to fishing do not have to be worm-gut fingernails and sitting with a tight-line. They really don’t.
So For a while now, every year, I try to gather more knowledge about fishing. I’ve learned a lot from Mr. Stew, but in an attempt to not stress him out I started teaching myself when I could. there’s a lot to this! Really. When you don’t depend on someone else to say, “in this water, you need to use a buzzbait, something bright, try this skirt, reel it quickly but steadily” or “dark plastics, let it sink before you reel it in, dance it around a bit while you reel slowly,” you have a lot to figure out for yourself. Like, what about this isn’t working? (is it the bait, is it where I’m fishing, is it just a bad day for the fish to bite? wrong weather, wrong time of day?) I think journaling those things will help me get a better understanding. (and will be quite laughable too. You know I’m sort of clumsy, right?)
First: learning the different types of lures. The trick to lures is knowing what types of fish, water conditions and weather call for which lure. I’m still not there yet. There’s a time and place for crank bait, spinner bait, plastics, jigs, buzzbaits, swimbaits, etc.
Second: each type of lure requires you to reel it in a bit differently, some need to drop to the bottom and you need to reel slowly, some require a bit faster reel, and in some cases, jerking the line to make the lure dance, some reel across the top of the water and need to move more quickly.
Third: different types of reels and different types of rods. I’m not good at this at all. I’d be perfectly happy to always use a little Zebco “33. And reels? Oh dear. That’s where the dreaded bait caster comes in.
I’ve spent more time casting and untangling a bird’s nest in the reel than I have fishing with a bait caster, though I have attempted it many times. I’ve never caught a fish on one because I have spent so much time untangling a bird’s nest in the reel that I’ve wasted a good portion of my fishing time with the line instead of with the fish. I’ve not had enough control in casting the bait caster and wound up losing a good lure in weeds and brush. (ssh….don’t tell Mr. Stew!) It’s my nemesis of fishing. It’s the DBC (Damn Bait Caster)!
I decided a long time ago, (a couple years) that not only would I attempt to teach myself all I don’t know about fishing (with key questions directed at dear husband when necessary), that I would journal about it. This spring starts the fishing journal. What I used, how it went, what I learned, etc.
This is the year I figure out the bait caster. This is the year the fishing journal becomes my writing project. Perhaps the four-uh-oh list item “write the guide book for women who want to fish but don’t want men to teach them” will take shape this spring, summer, and into the fall.
I’ll still write fiction and query and all that, of course, but I’m very excited to see how this goes. And I’ll be blogging about it, I’m sure.
Fair warning. Experimental Stew is going to be a lot about writing and a lot MORE about fishing over the next few months. It should be entertaining. I have a lot to learn.