Think back and try to remember the very first time you went fishing in your life. I can't recall for sure where my first fishing trip took place but I do know it took place somewhere in Wisconsin. As a young boy there was not a whole lot of fishing as my mechanic father spent most of his time working. He would on occasion take a few days here and there to take us kids fishing. I think one thing that discouraged my father from taking his children fishing more was the fact that he never learned how to swim and being around water scared him. I can remember several early childhood fishing trips with my father and most were either at E. Wolf River or the Eau Claire River. I can remember one trip where I stepped in the water over my new shoes and got a wet foot while landing a big carp. I think my father was more excited then I was over catching the big carp, as he wouldn't accept my apology for getting my new shoes wet. He kept saying, "Don't worry about those shoes. Look at that huge fish you caught!" I can also remember catching small panfish from the Wolf River never Stanley Wisconsin and it was perhaps my first favorite fishing hole. I'm not sure just where I caught the spark that created my tremendous love for fishing but I do know that throughout the years I have spent thousands of hours relaxing some place with a fishing pole in my hands. Very few things in life relax me any more then fishing and it really does not matter just what kind of fishing it is. I have been fortunate to be able to fish throughout the Midwest and as far south as Texas. I have caught such exotic fish or should I say rare fish as paddlefish and also sturgeon. It really does not matter to me what kind of fish I catch or where I go to fish or whether it is ice fishing or in open water.
This winter I'm working on putting together an alligator gar fishing trip in Texas. I have been reading and studying this huge fish for several years and have always wanted to go catch these toothy creatures often times compared to a giant pike. Imagine catching a fish that weighs more then 100 lbs. and could weigh as much as several hundred LBS! You can find many pictures of these huge fish on the Internet if you look up Alligator Gar fishing in Texas. They bite on most anything and put up a tremendous fight once they are hooked, snared or should I say entangled. You can catch them by making a loop out of piano wire with a small baitfish in the center of the loop. When the gar bites the baitfish you simply pull the loop tight around his pointed head and basically lasso the fish. Obviously this method was invented by some cowboy in Texas who fell off his horse by some stream or lake years ago! Another unique way of catching them is by removing the hook from your spinner bait and attaching about a 4-inch nylon rope securely to the rear of the lure. When the fish grabs the bait his teeth, which curl back, become entangled in the rope and as the fish spins or rolls in the water his teeth become so tightly entangled he can be reeled right in. You can also use a regular hook and fish them with live bait on top of the water either with a flating jug or your fishing pole and bobber. These fish can also be shot with a bow although most of this is done at night. They are not considered a real tasty fish on the table as one Texan once described them as being somewhere between carp and pig droppings! I am mainly interested in fishing for these huge fish for the fun of catching them not for their popularity on the table. In any event I am excited to finally being able to fish for an exotic fish that I have studied for over 20 years. If you’re interested in trying to eat one of these fish give me a call later this winter and perhaps I can help you out. If you can't remember your first fishing trip perhaps you can remember some of those people who took you on some of those first trips. Maybe today would be a good time to go thank some of these people for taking you along? Wouldn't it be neat to have several young men come back years later and thank you for being the one that took the time to get them out fishing as a young boy. You never know how that little spark may burn into such a raging passion for fishing that lasts a lifetime. If you don't have children to take out fishing borrow someone's kids. I have always said that a child out fishing is way better then a child left unattended on a street corner. Please do your part and take a few kids out with you the next time you go and really think about that Zebco bumper sticker "Don't let your kid be the one that got away!" See you next week!
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