Gone Turtling

25 07 2009

Previously: I tried to get hooked up with fishing gear, with mixed results.

Semantically, I assume “fishing” means “trying to catch a fish.” What’s the word for “there are no fish here, only turtles”?

Whatever that word is suits the pond in front of my apartment complex perfectly.

Using a 3/8 oz practice plug (and bobber for laughs), I have been practicing my casting technique without fear of hooking myself, other people, or unwanted quarry. I still managed to lose a couple plugs, but hey, they’re cheap.

Despite the unwelcome crowd of turtles in the pond, a side benefit is that they give me something to aim for when casting that gives instant feedback. The young turtles want to eat the plug and the bobber. Since there’s no hook involved, I can mess with their turtle heads without worrying about having to make turtle soup.

Like shooting candy stolen from a baby in a barrel.

Like shooting candy stolen from a baby in a barrel.

I’m still trying to figure out how many turtles are crammed into this pond. I’ve seen some quirky turtles emerge from the murky depths just when I thought I had them all accounted for. The old ones don’t go in for bobbers and plugs, so once they realize that there’s no actual food, down they go, never to return.

Where's the beef?

Where's the beef?

Once I got reasonably confident in my casting skills, I switched to a Rapala® crankbait that comes with two sets of treble hooks. I had to reel it in quickly so as not to accidentally hook any turtles. I liked the realistic action (it’s one thing to see these lures on fishing shows, and quite another to try them for real) and even attracted some minnow-looking fish that thought one of their buddies was onto some food. Nope.

I had a poop cleanup bag in my pocket, and at one point when I was fumbling around for the camera the wind took the bag out into the water. Another opportunity to practice casting! Not just casting, but getting a feel for where you want the lure to go and how to direct your catch back to you. It was silly to use a $6 fishing lure to catch a poop bag, but hey, take the learning experiences where you can, I say.

In Soviet Russia, poop bag catches YOU.

In Soviet Russia, poop bag catches YOU.

Great success!

I got a little too confident and tried to cast over to a stray turtle that was near the pond drain. Zing! Down the grating went my $6 lure. That’s like, a paycheck for me. No joke.

But when all seemed lost, I used the opportunity to “play the fish” and keep tugging the rod and move up and down the pond bank until the lure thankfully leapt back out into the water.

So I have yet to catch my first fish of the 2000s, but like they say, a bad day fishing is a better day than most.




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