The Pocket Fishing Kit
The Pocket Fishing Kit by Sergio Lamboy
Whenever I pass a stream, river, or lake the first thing I think of is pulling a fish out of that body of water for a good meal. The second thing I usually think of is an old comedian by the name of Steven Wright. He had a joke that he would say in some of his stand-up routines and that was, "There is a thin line between fishing and standing on the shore like an idiot." The first time I heard it I was very young, and it took me a while to understand what he was saying, but as I am older now, I chuckle each time I reach for my fishing equipment no matter if it's a pocket kit like we are talking about in this article or more tackle than I should dare bring.
That being said, let's talk about fishing and the equipment that is needed to get it done. When it comes to fishing in and of itself, I could go on and on about the joy of pulling a fish out of the water and getting it to shore. If we are planning on enjoying it for meal, I could go over the grim details of dispatching and cleaning the fish we’ve caught. When it comes to preparing it in the most amazing way, I will refer you to Jodi Klocko, our resident chef. Who, by-the-way, will be teaching how to prepare some amazing dishes at this fall's Camp Cooking Class.
As bushcrafters we have a tendency to use traditional gear; mostly canvas, wool, and cast iron on many of our adventures. Now, I know most of us don't trek miles into the woods to enjoy our time outdoors. I mean, we are not backpackers cutting toothbrushes to save on weight. We are bushcrafters with the ability to make most of the things we may need in the wild. With that being said, it can be extremely hard to recreate most of the accoutrements needed to land a fish. So, if I may make a recommendation -- take a bit of kit with you in a small tin. All we really need to get started is a few hooks, some sinkers, a bobber or two, and some line. The rod itself can be fashioned from a long sapling. Basically, we are making a hobo fishing pole. There is no need to have the whole tackle box with you when enjoying some bush time. Going down the aisle of any big box store's fishing department, you can get the basics for your kit in a pinch.
Let's get into the pocket fishing kit and what should be in it.
100 yds of 4 to 10lb monofilament line (this will allow you to make quite a few fishing set ups)
20 hooks in sizes 6 and 8 (remember big hooks catch big fish and small hooks catch most fish)
20 sz 3/0 split-shot sinkers
4 small foam bobbers
This list is the bare minimum one should need to get started catching a few fish for the frying pan, or to enjoy some time next to your favorite pond or creek. I know I've built upon this kit myself over the years. I tend to keep scraps of paracord in different colors, a few old bottle caps, and the occasional small feather found while walking about the woods. With a little imagination we could make a few lures out of the junk that would normally be tossed away. As you can see below I caught this Bluegill after my second cast using a simple paracord lure.
When setting up our hobo fishing pole, the pole itself should be no shorter than 6 feet and no more than10 feet long; allowing your surroundings to dictate pole length. We want to fish without continuously trying to untangle the line. Now once we have our rod, we want to measure out twelve to twenty four inches beyond the length of our pole. This line will be attached to the thinner end of our rod, and the thicker end will be our handle. Once we get our line attached, we place our bobber and sinker on the line and tie our hook at the end. We now have our completed hobo fishing pole all set. All we need now is to start digging around for some bait. Once you've found your bait, place it on the hook and give it a swim. If you've picked a good spot, or found the bait / lure the fish are hungry for, you're all set. So the next time you're out in the woods near your favorite creek or pond, have a thin line between you and the fish.