Everyone is on a budget. Going fishing is more expensive than ever; a fact that has not escaped notice by area fishermen. Lack of money and the horrendous heat that almost the whole country has experienced, has kept the bait and tackle stores around local rivers and lakes practically empty.
My own fishing outings have been neglected lately because it is just too expensive for the amount of fish I eat. This has led me to rethink what I plan to do when I take my next trip to the river. Here are a couple of things I plan on doing:
Don’t take the fishing boat! There was a time when I would hook the boat trailer to the back of the pickup truck and head off to the river without a thought of how much money I would be spending on gas. The last time I took the boat out I was astounded at how much it took to fill up the tank. Now I have decided not to take it to the water until the New Year begins, but that won’t stop my fishing.
I recall a couple of spots I have seen from my boat that look as if they would be a great place to fish from the bank. I marked the spots on the map of the lake and coordinated it with the county maps and at last I see a way into my own personal fishing spot.
Find your own bait! The cost of any kind of fishing bait is now exorbitant. It’s cheaper to find your own or get it with payday loans. In the last month we have had no rain, which makes it hard to find earth worms. If you are a bass fisherman and money is no object, bait worms are out of the question.
To solve that problem, I sprinkled a bag of cornmeal over a small section of my garden. Then I emptied a bag of dried leaves over the meal. After about a month I had all the worms I would need each time I looked for bait for pan fish.
The next stop in this budget fishing experiment would be to the lake or river where I’ve caught a lot bream in the past. Small bream is what I would be looking for because I want to use them as bait for larger fish. Big catfish that live on the bottom of the river gobble up a frenzied small fish on the end of a fishing line. Check the fishing regulations in your state because some make it illegal to use bream as bait for larger fish.
There is a spot on the Tennessee River where the shad go nuts over a small silver spoon. Shad are not good for much except to use them as bait for other fish. These fish, better known as Skipjacks in this part of the country, make ideal bait for catfish when cut in half and tossed out into the water and allowed to sit on the bottom. They can be cut in half and frozen until I need larger bait.
If you are going to use artificial bait, don’t be enticed to go to the tackle store and buy something new. Use what you have in your tackle box. Chances are it is packed tightly with fishing lures you have yet to tie on a line.
One way to lose the battle of the budget is to wander into a fishing tackle store, especially those mega fishing stores. If you walk through the front door, you can unbutton the flap on the pocket that holds your wallet, take out your money and throw it away. You have just drifted away from your budget.