How to Fish for Fun
Updated: Dec 8, 2020
No matter how serious of a fisherman or women you are, you need to allow yourself to experience some fun fishing periodically. Fishing is a vital tradition that can supply you with naturally sourced food and a life skill that you can teach others to survive, but it can also be a great source of stress reduction and entertainment. The best part of “chum-by-ya” fishing is that the species doesn’t matter anymore, and the experience is focused on the surrounding vibes. The best of these “good time” memories were some of my first fishing trips with my dad, uncle, brother, and sister out on Sandusky Bay and Lake Erie.
Growing up, my dad had some experience fishing but generally fished because it was something his kids enjoyed. He did really enjoy the boating part, so we ended up bringing fishing gear on a boating trip (instead of using a boat for a fishing trip). Just as my grandpa taught my dad and his siblings, we learned all about drifting live bait while “targeting” walleye. The term "targeting" is looser in this sense than a hula hoop sized ball cap, but we did manage to catch a couple of walleyes using this method. What drifting really was at that time, was looking at a paper map and approximating a wind line relative to a rough idea of the fishing structure while simultaneously avoiding the smattering of other boats meandering around us in the water.
No trip was complete without stories of chumming the water with chewing tobacco spit, asking for more shade, and seeing just how much screwing around instead of fishing we could accomplish. The superlative tactic, reserved for only an elite few of prestigious family anglers, was usually suggested if the fishing was slow. The key to catching more fish was trying less, sleeping more, and if you were of legal drinking age, you cracked a beer before you nodded off. The real next level fishing moves came out just before you opened your eyes from your midday doze. As you drifted through an absolute abyss of a lake stretch and managed to muster reflexes considered in some circles as “dad-like”, you then snagged your fishing rig just before the only fish in five nautical miles dragged it to the bottom. If you missed the fish it was absolutely a world record walleye and if you landed the fish it was almost always a freshwater drum.
It didn’t take long during summer fishing trips home from college for my brother and I to try and practice this fabled technique. In addition to mastering the crack a beer and dump your cares method, we started specifically targeting monster sheep head (freshwater drum). We figured out that if you drifted a cheap $0.99 red and white spoon across the bottom and left your pole unattended and leaning in the corner of the boat you were almost guaranteed to hook a monster. Due to the red stripes and the ridiculous effectiveness of this tactic, we dubbed it “fishing with dynamite”. We had several double and triple headers with this method.
Looking back these were some of the least serious, fun-focused, and relaxing times on the water in my entire life. I have nothing but smiles for the pictures and memories in that old bathtub of a 1970’s boat and the slimy barn-door slabs that crapped all over its back seats. Next time you want to hit the water, crack a cold one, take a nap, or read a book. Stop caring and you will be thankful for the laughs and crazy bonus fish you caught that were oblivious enough to be duped by the set it and forget it fishing method.