How to Catch Fish – Learning from Indiana Folks: Yahel Delgado-Diaz

The day started as many other days as possible, I headed to Marquette Lagoon where I would guide participants through a kayak program. My colleague, Ranger Jordan decided I would not fish with a “spin cast” fishing pole today and he leant me his fishing gear. I stayed back on the dock to fish Bluegill sunfish for our education center. There I was, alone on the dock, fishing for Bluegills. A local resident who I had seen before, approached me and started talking to me about his favorite pastime, fishing! This is where it got interesting; this is where I learned “How to fish in Indiana”.

I had thrown my line, and it hit the floor, not even close to the water and he said, “nice cast” and smiled. He came over and continued to say “Wanna learn how to fish?”. “Of course!”, I replied! He inspected my fishing pole and said, “you can tell a lot about the person, just by looking at his fishing pole.” My line was crooked, and it needed to be changed. He offered to change the line for me and in the same conversation went on to explain the history of Marquette Lagoon, and where I could find the fish.

Things to consider when fishing are, fish will be under big tree shadows because any little insect or worm that fall down will be fish food. Algae are fish cities; you can always count on algae to have a lot of fish because they like the cool temperature and the protection. Speaking of temperature, certain temperatures permit insects to develop better and one day you can have a spot and get 2-3 fish and the next day with a hotter temperature, you can catch more than 10 fish because insects are present in larger quantities.

You can’t just bomb the line! You need to throw a “silent cast” that won’t scare the fish. This I learned practicing with a Lily pad as my target. I wish I could say different, but out of 10 throws, 2 were good. My friend told me to keep practicing because at around my number 10,000 cast, I would get the hang of it. So here I am…

If I’m in an area where fish are small, the bobber cannot be bigger than the fish. He compared the bobber to a beach ball analogy. He said “if you’re at the beach and you try to swim with a beach ball, it will pull you to the surface. So, if a small fish tries to catch the bait in a big bobber, it will pull back and it will just let go. I don’t know how yyou caught any fish with that big bobber of yours.”

To be a good fisher, you need to know more about the environment than the fish. Plants in the area, other animals and climate are key to fishing anywhere. But since I’m learning how to fish here, at Marquette, the most important thing is to have a good attitude while not catching anything.

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