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Sticks and stones, or fishing education fees

Stones rained harmlessly on the embankment, clanging loudly from the rusty girders of the old green bridge.

Old Codger may have been a famous fisherman, but his skills were poor.

I could not hear his rants amid the gurgling of tires over the steel mesh of the drawbridge span, but I could certainly read his lips. I don’t know what he said, but it had nothing to do with asking for my address so he could send me a Christmas card.

On this occasion, my reconnaissance was worth all the trouble, as I was able to get a better view of his terminal tackle, albeit at a distance.

Like many of the surly bachelor Whitebeards of the time, old-timers considered children to be a nuisance, and many would never allow us to come within a stone’s throw of their respective lairs.

At the time, I reasoned that it was a matter of keeping protected fishing methodologies and locations a secret, or responding to how others had treated them.

In fact, that mean old goat had a weak throwing arm and consistently caught the biggest tautog I’ve ever seen coming out of the rock hole at the western end of the old green drawbridge. was

On the rare day I knocked him over to this place, I caught a few little puppies before he arrived and started a threatening ritual.

“If you know what’s good for you, you better move.”

Slowly and deliberately the old man made his way down the steep embankment, and if he dared to delay, even at occasional risks, the rocks fell and there was no shortage along the shoreline.

My nemesis used a tall split bamboo rod with guides attached to each side. An old Ocean City knucklebuster reel filled with dirty linen line was attached to that meatstick with a pair of recycled hose clamps.

Unlike most fishermen of the time who employed the standard high-low two-hook rig, this elder used a single black hand snell hook weighted with enough lead weights to adjust the bottom. rice field.

Let’s take a look at some of the tackle the author used as a boy. Charlie Soares started out fishing with a hand line that had tarred line wrapped around a round dowel. The line was pulled out, wrapped around the ground, and swung overhead to release.

I was familiar with his methodology when I went out early one morning and took a covert position on a utility pipe running under a bridge. The pipe was at least 25 feet above him from the old gaffer’s perch, and although he always glanced over his shoulder to see who was encroaching on his space, he never looked up. There was not.

After months of unsuccessful attempts, I was finally able to observe the method he used to hook the legendary “White Chiners”. He removed the hard shell to allow the juices to escape and attract the fish to the bait.

When he was satisfied that the bait had hooked correctly, he carefully turned it over on the low tide side of a large slab of granite that cracked the tide.

When fishing a taut line, he never let his thumb or left finger leave the line. I was surprised that when a fish took a bite, he didn’t back off and attack like anglers always did. He lowered his rod tip to let the line slack, and as the fish took more crab into its mouth, he deftly lifted his rod tip and set the barb into the thick flesh of the old leather lip.

That morning, I followed the cautious old man to school, and since that day imitated his tactics, and my Totog score improved dramatically.

Price difference: Morricone sold the building for $1.7 million. A week later, it was sold to the city for $6.4 million.

When I started fishing, there were no mentors and few older men who were tolerant enough to care for children. If your father or kind relative was a fisherman, you were lucky. Otherwise you were alone.

I’m blessed with a fairly fair memory, and can’t remember much about how to care for and nurture among old timers and children, at least along that portion of the coastline I called home waters .

My education was born out of a series of frustrating trials and errors, but they are lessons that still serve me today.

Learning to pay attention and knowing what to look for is as important today as it was 50 years ago.

I began to understand that fishing is not only about gaining experience and attention to detail, but also giving in to a curious nature.

Far more important than knowing that something worked was understanding why it worked. There were no videos or cable television programs to entertain and guide hopeful fishermen. The closest I got to outdoor instruction and entertainment was perusing the pages of dog-eared periodicals such as Field and Stream, Sports Afield, and Outdoor Life, discarded by members of the Weetamoe Yacht Club.

Many nights American history and geography textbooks had copies of those magazines hidden in the folds.

In those days, it was completely unthinkable to go fishing far away, so the means of travel was photographs and descriptions of authors who had actually been there and accurately conveyed their experiences. Nearly every story had information and hints about tactics and strategy. Especially since I was determined to read between the lines.

Reading and rereading those books has allowed me to amass a vast amount of knowledge and positive techniques.

Change hands: Old Grist Mill Tavern owner wants to retire. I hope Fall River restaurateurs take over.

You may see two people fishing side by side with similar looking approaches, but I can observe slight or big differences. There is always a difference, albeit subtle.

By comparison, we were able to detect subtle nuances in bait presentation, terminal tackle, and other techniques shown in individual success rates.

Luck certainly plays a small part in the overall equation, but anglers who consistently find and catch fish do so because of their time on the water and accumulated experience.

For the record, I’d rather be lucky.

Today, I own a collection of over 500 books on fishing, hunting, the outdoors, and natural history. These books contain a wealth of information from a lifelong pursuit of the outdoors, but without that theory they would be useless. is practiced.

If you’re serious about becoming a master angler, hone your skills and never ignore your natural curiosity.

Little did I know what was in store for me when I looked down at the secretive angler.

Is that ruse the one you recommend I implement today?

Oh my god!

With all the material available in the information age, there’s no reason to sneak around and hide to catch a glimpse of success.

Looking back, I’m not proud of what I did, but at the time there were no viable alternatives.

That old timer put his rocks down and went for his just reward.

But I must explain what seemed to be a general characteristic of fishermen at the time.

It was never my intention to portray all men of that era as rogues.

In fact, I eventually got to know and interact with some pretty fair and interesting older men over the years, but never tried to test their skill and accuracy of throwing rocks. .

Charley Soares writes a column on fishing and the outdoors for The Herald News in Fall River, Massachusetts.

This article originally appeared in The Herald News: Charley Soares Outdoors Learns to Fish Old and New