Monday, November 2, 2009

Fishn’ in Circles

I started fishing with the same equipment most young kids did in the late 1940s. I had a tin can wrapped with line, and a few hooks, some sinkers and a bobber in my pocket. We’d ride our bikes to a nearby river or lake and dig worms when we got there. To cast the rig all you did was swing the bobber, weight and baited hook around your head a few times and let’r go while pointing the can in the direction you wanted. If you were good you could land that rig in a 12” space among the lily pads some 20 feet out. Sometimes we’d cut about a 4’ branch and wrap the line around the tip a few turns after we threw the rig to give us extra leverage to set the hook, but mostly we didn’t bother. Then all you did was wait for the bobber to start jerkin’. If you were in a good spot, before too long you’d have enough bluegills, sunfish and perch to take home, and sometimes even a bonus bass or northern.

I think I was 11 when my dad gave me my first rod and reel. It was a hand-me-down steel rod with an old Sears reel. It still worked pretty well but didn’t last long so before I knew it I was back to the tin can. When I turned 12 I began to have a little money in my pocket and started buying some real equipment, but the ultimate was out of my reach at that time. More than anything else I dreamed of owning a Pflueger Supreme casting reel. In those days every year just before spring the big tackle manufactures would mail their new catalogs. I would open mine to the picture of the Supreme and just stare at it. Honestly, I would look at it for a few minutes, put it down and walk away only to return and stare again. That catalog would go to bed with me. The Supreme was the last thing I saw at night. I would take it to school with me and sneak a peek every chance I had. Sometimes I’d get caught and the teacher would take it but I always got it back at day’s end. Then one day I had saved up enough money from my $1.50 weekly allowance to buy it. It had taken me many months because it cost $23, but it was a genuine Pflueger Supreme and worth it! And you know the neat thing? I was able to team that reel with a Gep fiberglass rod I won in a contest one month earlier at my dad’s fishing and hunting club. I caught a 13 5/8” perch out of Crooked Lake to win first place in that category. I was 13 years old at the time.

Years later I would occasionally think about the days of the tin cans and that Supreme reel while driving a new SUV and pulling a boat loaded with thousands of dollars worth of rods, reels, tackle boxes, electronic depth finders and GPS units, trolling motor and everything else under the sun. Had I progressed? Did I enjoy fishing more?

I don’t remember what happened to that Supreme. The SUV and the boat were sold. The Gep rod still exists and is in the States with my son and grandson, as is the rest of the fishing equipment accumulated over some 55 years.

I still enjoy fishing, even though the tranquil, tree lined lakes and rivers of Wisconsin are behind me now. These days in Peru Maribel and I like to fish off the pier at Puerto Eten or Pimentel. We don’t usually catch many and those we do catch are far different than what I’m accustomed to, but it’s the equipment we have and the method we use that brings a smile to my face. We use tin cans with line wrapped around them. At the end of the line are hooks and a sinker. To cast the rig all you do is swing the weight and baited hooks around your head a few times and let’r go while pointing the can in the direction you want.



  1. Great blog !! you really know how to make a person feel at home, I want to move NOW!!! Bob

  2. Hi Bob...Peru has a way of making a person feel at home. You'd be welcome NOW!:)