The shifting blues of the water reflect the dawning sun, setting the lake around you in an orange glow. Morning birds begin their daily song. Small waves ripple in a hush against the side of the boat. The air smells of kelp and distant pine trees. You sit back with a prepared rod and reel, ready to feel that subtle tug that means a fish has taken the bait. The yen to reel in a large adversary stirs in your bones. It could be moments or hours, but you will be ready for that satisfying struggle against your quarry.
For both first time fishers or experienced anglers, the thrill of the pursuit is the same. You might choose the tried and true rod and reel method of casting a worm on a hook and sitting back. This method is called still-fishing. You can still-fish from anywhere: shore, dock or boat. You can add sinkers or floaters/bobbers to seek out fish at different water levels. If you utilize bait that is alive, such as a worm, the rod and reel method is also called live-lining.
Alternatively, you may pick one of several other techniques, depending on the your fishing goal. Typically, the technique is carefully strategized to match the behavior and food preference of the fish you are after. A few things to consider when choosing your rod and reel method are the fish’s preferred diet, the way it catches its next meal, and at what level of water it feeds. The following is a list of rod and reel techniques and the proper occasions to use them:
- Casting is a rod and reel technique for fish that chase food or that are commonly found in a specific place. A line is thrown out with bait and reeled back in. This is done repetitively to coax the fish into thinking the bait is both alive and free-moving so that the fish will bite. Lures such as spinners, wobbling spoons, plugs, and spinnerbaits are used to further attract the fish.
- Trolling is similar to the rod and reel technique of casting in that it is meant to mimic the movement of a fish’s prey. However, it is accomplished by dragging a lure, bait, or both behind a slowly moving boat. Because the movement of the boat can cause the bait to rise to the surface, a weight can be added to the line to keep it submerged.
- Bottom Fishing can be thought of as still-fishing for fish that feed toward the lake or ocean bed. In this rod and reel technique, a weight is also utilized.
- Drifting combines bottom fishing and trolling. A weighted line is cast to the lower water depths and dragged along behind a boat to simulate bait movement.
- Bottom-Bouncing is very similar to drifting, except that the bait is allowed to drag on the lake or ocean bed. Here, it bounces along rocks and sand, stirring up debris that further attracts fish to the bait’s movement. This rod and reel technique can be more difficult because the line more often gets caught and the bait more often gets lost.
- Jigging is a rod and reel method that requires arm endurance. The bait is moved up and down in the water by lifting and lowering the rod. Jigging uses specialized lures called “jigs,” commonly leadheads or slabs of metal shaped like a baitfish.
- Fly-Fishing, while not complicated, requires more specified equipment. For this rod and reel technique, it’s best to use a weighted fishing line, more flexible rod, and a hand reel. A light-weight “fly” is attached to the line as the bait. The line is then tugged through jittery forward and backward casting motions to simulate insect movement near the water surface.
Knowing the target fish helps an angler select the proper rod and reel technique and greatly enhances the fishing experience. But none of these methods is guaranteed to catch the specific type of fish you want, so it is best to be prepared catch and release. A circle hook helps ensure the smooth catch and release process. Having an expert guide can also make the fishing experience smoother and more enjoyable. If you are interested in fishing rod and reel in the beautiful Prince Edward Island area of Canada, Scott Bruce Tuna Charters can provide the equipment and expertise necessary for your adventure.