After more reading though, I realized that Kelleher wrote a 145-page book about fishing with a cane pole. Despite details about hand-furled line and techniques that look a Karate Kid training session, it is basically the simple cane pole that I grew up using in Indiana. We used them to catch crappie and bluegill in tight spots near logs and weeds. It is an efficient way to fish tight water, which is just what I was looking to do this Saturday.
I stopped by Suds-n-Soda and picked up a 10 foot telescoping rod for $7.95. They had a nice selection of rods ranging from 10 to 12 feet that apparently ice-less smelt fishermen use in Rye Harbor off the docks. I bought a sleek one called ":Black Widow", an oddly aggressive name for a long fiberglass stick.
|Just a light, tapered 10' fiberglass rod - Black Widow!|
|I could gently drop the worm so it danced on the surface|
|And fish went crazy for it.|
|I could look at fish all day. Nice male bluegill.|
|About the size of an adult banded sunfish, but no such luck.|
|Small bluegill. Banded sunfish have a rounded tail, not forked.|
|Banded sunfish share habitat with golden shiners, so catching this one gave me more hope.|
|Dark male bluegills, probably cause the water is clear and the vegetation is dark.|
I bought some red worms and headed out to Ice Pond in Hampton, where banded sunfish have been collected by NH Fish and Game biologists. We have been trying to catch this small sunfish for months and I figured that cane pole fishing, I sorry - tenkara, would be an efficient way to catch tons of small sunfish, thus increasing my chances of catching the one we needed for the quest.
|Ice Pond is a nice little shallow pond in Hampton.|
The nice thing about fishing with a fiberglass cane pole is that they are wicked light. I could easily hold the butt of the rod and wave it like a conductor at the pond, dropping the hooked worm in every little nook and cranny in the weeds.
As expected, I caught many sunfish, mostly bluegills, but some pumpkinseeds too. All in all I probably caught 50 fish in about an hour. One after the other. My volume fishing theory failed though. If banded sunfish were there, they were getting out competed by the aggressive bluegill. I did enjoy the simplicity of tenkara and I will likely do it again for some of the small fish still remaining in the Quest.