HOW I LEARNED TO LOVE FISHING
Welcome to this page About Me as I briefly explain how I fell in love with fishing at an early age, and has led me to produce this web site. Practical Fishing Tips highlights tips I have learned from family, friends, guides, searching on line, and fishing shop employees. I cannot remember a time when I did not fish - as my dad took me fishing with my brother, grandfather, uncle and cousin at a very young age. I am not sure if my memories are based more on actual experiences or more by the photos and stories we have shared through the years. Both are vivid, and cause me to remember these good times with lots of smiles. Here I am with my Grandpa Jacobs in the early 1960's.
I grew up in central Indiana in the 1950's and 60's before most of the large man made flood control lakes/reservoirs. So my fishing outings tended to be at city parks and small lakes in southern Indiana. I also remember vividly the Seeleyville Conservation Club, a small strip pit lake near Seeleyville, Indiana. I started fishing with worms and cane poles. Dad allowed me to dig the worms myself - note I was given the privilege of digging them.
Dedicated to Dad
My father was a minister for 42 years and passed away in 2003. In case you can't tell I cherish the time I spent with him and honor his memory and service as a minister. The Bible has many stories of fish and fishing. Of Course, a minister is a "Fisher of Men" professionally. It should come as no surprise that we spent so much time fishing and teaching me to fish.
Dad had a 3 seat wooden row boat that he kept in our garage, via a pulley system that raised the boat to the rafters. As I got older I got to go with him on that boat. It seemed big at the time, looking back it was not more than 12 feet long. He would place top carriers on the car where we would tie down the boat. We used row power, no electric motors, and dad taught me how to row. In fact I got to row a lot. I thought that was a privilege. He taught me to cast and later to use a fly rod. I still remember the first fish I caught while fly fishing - a blue gill - I thought I would never get it to the boat. We always had a great time catching bass and blue gill at the Seeleyville Conservation Club.
Two Fish Stories
Row Boat Story: On a trip to the conservation club, we took the boat off the car, loaded our fishing gear into the boat, and then both looked at each other as we could not find the oars. We started laughing as we realized we left the oars at home. We put the boat back on top of the car, grabbed our poles and fished the evening from the bank. One of the beauties of fishing is that you don't need a boat, and you don't need a lot of equipment. I used a Johnson push button casting reel, a discount pole, and I had one bait, a red plastic worm with spinner. The result? I caught the biggest bass I had ever caught up to that time that night - putting on a jumping show for me, with several jumps before I brought it to land.
Farm Pond Story: At a farm pond near Corydon, Indiana dad and I were fishing. Dad caught a huge largemouth bass (Over 5 pounds) and I caught a huge blue gill. (6 or 7 inches most likely) We brought them both up to the house in a 5 gallon bucket to show them off. My Aunt was excited and couldn't stop talking about how big these fish were. Then she did the unthinkable: she picked up my blue gill and held it over the open mouth of the bass saying: "Look how big that bass's mouth is." when suddenly the blue gill slipped from her hand and the bass began to swallow my fish, and before long it disappeared. While at the time I was not happy, all I can do now is chuckle when I think about it.
Both of my daughters on occasion would accompany me to fish. As they grew older I found more time to fish. I was excited when my daughters got married, to learn that my son-in-laws loved to fish as well. Now with grandchildren, I have the chance to share fishing with the entire family. My grandson, age 6 caught a 4 pound bass in a farm pond when he was 4 on a push button Zebco rod and reel using a silver Nungesser spoon.
SonInLaw and Grandson With his 4 Pound Bass
While I had always wanted a fishing boat, I was not certain that I would use one often enough to justify having my own boat. Then my wife found a used boat being sold by a friend. And it was at the right price - a price that if I really never put this boat on the water I would not regret the purchase.
This used boat was nicknamed "The Rocket." Not because of its speed, but because it sounded like a rocket taking off. "The Rocket" was not particularly fast but sure sounded loud! It was not your typical fishing boat. What kind was it? It was a 21 foot 1971 Fiberglass Jet Boat. It had a long hood, with a car like steering wheel on the left side and a foot pedal for the gas. The engine was a 455 cu in V8 Oldsmobile Engine. Though not made for fishing, we enjoyed it for nearly a decade - and we caught a lot of fish from it and it made several trips to Canada. The fishing camp owner loved "The Rocket" as he got to know her well because at the end of each day he got a chance to fill up the gas tank.
I first learned about 12 volt electronics outfitting this boat. I added a depth finder, an Ice chest live well with external water intake and outlet, a float triggered bilge pump, an electric trolling motor, and replaced the blower exhaust fan. I was able to perform most normal forms of maintenance including replacing seals and spark plugs. I had a ski rope and a small stick get lodged in the intake of the jet drive which afforded me the chance to work on the jet drive as well.
Driving a boat is not like driving a car, you don't have rubber that meets the road! Driving a jet boat is even more difficult than a propellor driven boat. After nearly a decade, it was time to replace or rebuild the engine. I used this as an excuse to purchase my second fishing boat, this time a new one. 2001 LUND Pro V Magnum IFS Aluminum "V" Bottom Fishing Boat.