The day I caught no fish, yet I was able to get some great fun out of it.
On April 23rd, we went to the Skokie Botanic Garden for half a day. It was pretty fun, all the tulips were blossoming. And there are some small lakes and creeks in the garden, there were lots of fish, I saw blue gills, yellow sunfish, bass, and carps. The botanic garden prohibited fishing (of course), so the fish in those waters were overly abundant. The temperature is right around 60F, and water temperature is about 45F to 50F. So we saw lots of fish just hanging out in the water.
After getting home, I did some minor house chore, then I took my elder son straight to the lake. I figured I saw a lot of fish at one place, at a different place, the condition should be similar and I should be able to get some great fun catching some fish. So we went to the Belleau lake in Park Ridge, IL. The driving was about 15 minutes. It was the default lake I went (I wil explain more on why I go to this lake in another post).
It was quite a disappointment for us. We caught no fish. We went to this lake twice, and to Axehead lake once this year. I event bought a new 12 buck fishing pole for my son at the very beginning of 2017 fishing season. He was so excited about having his own fishing pole. But these three small trips has yield no fish. Right now, I am constantly worried about his interest in this is going to diminishing. I am always thinking how to improve my skills and pass on the knowledge to him. I want him to like out door adventures like I do, although he is free to choose what he like to do. Still, I like to bond with him on fishing and other outdoor activities
At 4:30PM, I was a little disappointed. We went around half circumference of the lake. We saw lots of fish, bass to be exact. Bass is the fish that I don't exactly know how to catch. I didn't see any blue gills or sunfish. These are the ones I can catch with some night crawlers. Yet, these are the fishes that were not found when lots of bass are around. Well, they are not near shore until late May to late August. I was looking for those pan fish, I didn't find them. Hence I didn't catch anything.
My son and I started walking back to our car. He was probably bored by the fact I didn't catch anything to show him. That is when we passed a guy who was using artificial jigs and catching bass every two minutes. He throws the line and jig in water near shore, then used his hand to drag and tap the line, the fish went for the jig like crazy. On the same shore there were several other people who were also fishing like I did. Those people got nothing. I got nothing. I looked at this guy one more time and noticed that he was the same guy on the first day my son and I went out for fishing. On that day, he got like 10 or so fish.
So I did something I guess no other guys would do. I came up to this guy and asked him plainly: "Execuse me. How did you do that?" This guy was very warm and explained to me that he used a jig, put on to a line, throw in the water, then pull and tap the line. It is very hard to explain with written words, but the way he did it is making the jig move like a panicking shiner. The jig swims like crazy, which draws the attention of the bass. And bass became crazy, chasing and biting the jig. He even handed me the rod so that I could experience it myself. To my surprise I was able to see the bass chasing the jig and almost bit the hook. He explain some more about making the line tight and making crazy jig moves. I didn't quite get all that in one take, but I could see that the technique (once mastered) is going to catch me some bass. Just before my son and I left, I accidentally broken the guy's fishing line. We didn't lose the jig but I felt bad about it.
Even though I didn't get any fish, I had some fun time in the afternoon of April 23rd. I learned something very important. For the past three years, I have went for fishing numerous times. I see a lot of people around the lakes, most of them standing there, and caught nothing. Well, I see some of them are pretty good. Every once a while, some caught fish, big ones and small ones. But most of them, stands on the same place and wait for hours and nothing. I guess most of them, took pride and never ask others how they landed on fish. Because of this, the learning of a new skill never took place. Learning from someone is the best way to acquire a new skill, and is fun. The worst can happen is the other party would refuse to tell you anything. That is not going to hurt us from trying. Most of the times, the other party would open up and let you in the secret they had to achieve success, as in my case. This is an important lesson I have learned.
I remembered the first time I brought a fishing pole to the lake, I didn't know how to use it and some one there showed me how to use the spinner. Also the time I was at the crystal pier in San Diego. People where pull up sardine one every 30 seconds, I had no idea how to catch them until I talked to an old man and he showed me how to use a sabiki rig and a sink to fish those little sardines. These kind of conversations that I have initiated from time to time helped me learn new things, and gain new experiences. I will continue doing this. I enjoy such a good random conversation and learn something for a better life.