Lakecaster Online

Of bass & gals
by SUE CROCHET

Thinking back, it occurred to me that some of you gals out there might like to know what kind of things youíll need when you head out fishing, especially those of you who might be considering tournament angling for the first time. Of course, some of this information wouldnít apply to those of you who are taking up the sport of fishing as a pastime or form of relaxation, but youíll be able to figure that part out for yourself.

When my husband took me on my first bass-fishing trip to Toledo Bend (boyfriend, at that time), I would have been very grateful if someone had prepared me for what was coming. His favorite time to fish Toledo was early spring. You know Ö when those inevitable cold fronts always pass through just in time to ruin your weekend fishing trip. I guess it didnít occur to him that I would be so unprepared and needless to say, I didnít have any of the essentials needed for the weather conditions.

For you guys who are trying to get your girlfriend or wife interested in bass fishing, I wouldnít recommend this method! Letís face it fellas Ö those of us who have never fished before are out there because we just want to be with you (at first anyway). What do you think I said when he asked me if I was cold? There was no way I was going to say ìyesî; I wanted to be as little trouble as possible!

I donít think I know anyone who was introduced to fishing properly and doesnít enjoy it to some degree for the remainder of his or her life. However, there is a very small percentage of us who actually take bass fishing to a competitive level. These skills do not come naturally to most of us, so it takes some time and a lot of patience to build the confidence needed for tournament angling. There are many bass clubs throughout the country whose members will be happy to teach you what they know. This is also a great way to become a diverse angler.

As for me, I fall into the categories of hardheaded and competitive. In spite of that initial bad experience, I was determined to learn more about this sport, mostly because I wanted to impress my man. However, the first important thing I learned that weekend many years ago is that I needed more CLOTHES! I needed to be comfortable if I was going to learn how to fish better. The first things I picked up were insulated underwear and socks, warm-ups, sweat shirts, and rain gear. As time went on, I also accumulated things like insulated coveralls, a warmer jacket with a hood, boots, an extra pair of fishing shoes, gloves, and something to cover my face.

Itís important to select boots that are insulated and waterproof, for those days when itís cold and raining. The type used for hunting is perfect. Insulated gloves are great for running from spot to spot, protecting your hands from the bitter cold and wind. There are also fishing gloves that can be worn all day, while fishing. These are generally made of some type of neoprene material and have some or all of the fingers cut out. Personally, I donít care for these because I canít ìfeelî as well. In any case, I canít tell you how many times Iíve forgotten my gloves and had to thaw my fingers out before I could begin fishing!

There are various types of face coverings for cold weather, some of which also cover the head. Youíll have to find one that suits you personally, but take it from someone whoís been there Ö donít wait until your face is raw and peeling before looking for one. If you decide to tournament fish, thereíll be lots of days youíll wish you had one of these!

During the warmer months, I think most people have to make (and live with) their own choices. Many people wouldnít think of wearing anything but shorts at this time of the year. Eventually, this kind of abuse is what keeps skin specialists in business. Not only does the sun dry and age the skin, but more and more people I know have been treated for skin cancers, including myself. Again, experience has taught me that those of us who will be spending more than a couple of hours in direct sunlight, should wear a long sleeve shirt and slacks of lightweight cotton. At the very least, sunscreen should be applied several times throughout the day.

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