Before I post my blog about finding bait, I wanted to go on a brief rant about the myths surrounding fishing. I personally am a fly fisherman, and Lord knows that I have spent some bucks on equipment, but what I have written below needs to be said, and I promise that once I have got it out of my system I will continue with my posts about primitive fishing.
There are a lot of myths floating around out there (no pun intended) about fish. One myth is that the fish is a wily creature that is cunning and nearly impossible to catch unless one is intimately familiar with the habits of the fish and knows exactly what equipment and bait to use. Another myth is that the fish is an extremely picky eater that will only eat certain things, and it will only eat them if they are presented in a precise and totally natural manner.
Fact: fish are stupid. They have a brain about the size of a pencil lead, and the most intelligent fish on the face of the Earth is only marginally smarter than most fishermen.
Fact: fish will eat about anything. If a fish is hungry, and if something looks even vaguely like it might be food, a fish will bite it. The fish may be stupid, but it knows enough to know that, “Hey, if its food I’ll swallow it; if it’s not food I can always spit it out.” I have caught fish with bugs, worms, shrimp, chicken livers, canned corn, bacon, spam; hell, I even caught a fish once with a piece of bubble gum. So don’t tell me the cunning fish will only take a number 20 caddis fly that is properly presented on a 5X tippet that is attached to the leader with a correctly tied surgeon’s knot. The fish doesn’t give a care. It just wants a meal.
So why do these myths about fish persist? Have you been into a sporting goods store lately? There is a whole industry that is depending on you to buy a $35,000 fishing boat, a $200.00 boron/graphite fishing rod, a $50.00 reel, a $200.00 pair of breathable waders, a thousand dollars worth of tackle boxes, lures, fish finders, electric filet knives, etc., etc., and etc. Where would these guys be if you went out and caught fish with $2.00 worth of equipment like I do? Answer: they’d be in line at the soup kitchen instead of having their own fishing shows on cable TV.
Here is my open challenge to “professional” fishermen everywhere. I can catch more pounds of fish per dollar spent than any of you guys. Does that sound crazy? Well put the pencil to it. Let’s say a pro catches 1000 pounds of fish using the equipment listed above. That would be $36,450 worth of equipment divided by 1000 pounds of fish, or 36 dollars and 45 cents per pound of fish. If I catch 10 pounds of fish with my $2.00 fishing rig, that works out to 20 cents per pound of fish. See what I mean.
So, sport fishermen, forgive me. I don’t mean to rag on you and demean your choice of a hobby. That’s fine. Spend the money and have a great day on the lake. But this is a blog about survival, and I just want people to understand that if you want to catch fish to eat it doesn’t really require a bunch of costly equipment. Just remember, fish are not that smart. If they were they’d be mounting humans on their walls.