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Stew21
01-23-2008, 11:48 PM
(I could ask my husband, but thought I'd get a wider choice of response here and he might not have a response for the dates in question.)

Here's the scene - hot day - on a small boat. it's a very large deep lake - well-shaded in some areas, water is muddy and potentially grassy-bottomed (midwestern most likely). I imagine there are trees and grass around the banks - too thick for bank fishing, but nice occasional fallen trees good for bass beds - cool hideouts around the edges for fish to hang out.

timeframe: I'd have to date the story back to the early to mid 1970's. the story set up. An older experienced fisherman takes his grandson out on the boat. It's afternoon on a hot day - I can't imagine they'll catch much anyway(??) He ties a lure to the line for him after the first one is snapped off. (they are at odds, he was probably reeling when he shouldn't have been - overly anxious - trying to muscle it into the boat. the old man gets mad at him for snapping the line.) It has to be a simple rod/reel set up for the young guy to use - nothing too complicated, and something that would have been used in the 70's.

What's the bait/lure he ties on for this type of fishing environment? what is the most likely fish they are trying to catch? what rod/reel set up would he be using?

And: if the old man is experienced enough, he has to know that on a day this hot they can't catch much (except maybe in the shaded areas - but especially right in the middle of the day) - so is the set up not very feasible to begin with? too contrived?

Thanks fishermen!

Haggis
01-24-2008, 12:06 AM
How old is the boy and does he have any experience in fishing?

Stew21
01-24-2008, 12:07 AM
not much experience fishing. he's done it before but it's not his favorite thing to do. He rejects it more because he rejects his grandfather. So he knows basics, but does it grudgingly. The kid is probably 12 or so.

Tiger
01-24-2008, 12:11 AM
Bass fishing. Using a sonic sound lure. I used to love those things. Don't forget the pull tabs on the soda cans :D

Stew21
01-24-2008, 12:14 AM
I already have a chain of pull tabs going in this story. :)

Stew21
01-24-2008, 12:17 AM
ok, now the important question...if I start rattling on in this story and give the set up (obviously in prose rather than just blurting it out like I did here), do I pull it off ok, or do I sound like an inexperienced person talking about fishing and pretending to know more than she does?

Haggis
01-24-2008, 12:21 AM
Okay. Probably using a spincasting outfit.

On a midwestern lake like you describe they could either be going for bass or panfish--bluegill, crappie or perch. If bass, they could be using a sonic lure (if they were around then--I don't remember) or something like a Rapala. Perhaps a spinner.

For the panfish, they might be using a popper or a small spinner (Mepps spinner, perhaps). Maybe just a hook and worm.

As to whether or not the experienced guy would be out there on such a day--probably, yeah. Sometimes folks fish when they can, not when they'd rather. Any day spent fishing is a good day.

Hope this helps.

But when in doubt, ask Frank.

WendyNYC
01-24-2008, 12:23 AM
Midwestern? Catfish, for sure. Bluegill maybe too. We used live bait: worms, sometimes those colorful fish eggs.
Maybe bass--I think you use artificial lures.

My dad would know ALL of this stuff. He used to tie his own lures. He'd be happy to help. PM me if you want his email address.

Don Allen
01-24-2008, 12:23 AM
Bass fishing in the 70's was worms.. Night Crawlers in weeds during a hot day. I'm thinking Daredevils, spoon lures with tri-hooks, they are red on each side with a white strip down the middle.. Lots of action to the lure, and we used to let them sink to the bottom then yank them up and let them fall back down as we reeled them in looking for Walleye, perch, an occassional striped bass. An older guy in the seventies would have used a metal spin cast reel, zebco was cheap and looked down upon back then, but I think Shakespeare reels were around and ther is one that I can picture in my head always green and the easiest longest lasting reel you could buy and I can't think of the name off the top of my head. If I remember I'll post again...

tallus83
01-24-2008, 12:29 AM
A deep lake will have a muddy, rocky bottom.

On a hot midday, you won't catch many fish at all. An experienced older fisdherman wouldn't even bother going out. Why go out and bake in the hot sun? During the hottest part of the day, the fish are deep and not active at all. The best times are early mornings, late evenings, also overcast days.

Stew21
01-24-2008, 12:29 AM
My husband does a lot of fishing. He just wouldn't know anything about what they used in the 70's (he's a tad younger than I am - he was born in '75) I do know that he will rarely go out on a hot afternoon in summer for bass. more early evening right before dusk or first thing in the morning. I'd like it to be bass fishing because it is more challenging than crappie and bluegill (which are the panfish we go for in this area - Southern IL), just seems like bad timing weather-wise for them to be out there.

Mostly, I just don't want to sound like a doofus who doesn't know what she's talking about.
thanks so much for all the input!

Stew21
01-24-2008, 12:31 AM
*asking opinions about fishing is sort of like talking about religion and politics in a bar, isn't it?*

:D



eta: I could always tweak the scene to accomodate the things that make no sense also.


I'm here to learn.

thanks.

tallus83
01-24-2008, 12:33 AM
Actually, you would not want to discuss religion in a bar.

Politics maybe.

Fishing won't get you a beer bottle over the head. :-)

Stew21
01-24-2008, 12:35 AM
I think that depends on if your buddy was able to net your fish when you were on the lake earlier, tallus.

;)

johnnysannie
01-24-2008, 12:39 AM
If it's fishing for bass, a spinner with a skirt would have been a popular bait then.

Haggis
01-24-2008, 12:43 AM
One more important detail is the type of knot the experienced guy would use to attach the lure. As I recall, I used a bowline then, but I haven't used it now for years. Nor does anybody else as far as I know.

Stew21
01-24-2008, 12:45 AM
you guys are awesome!

Haggis
01-24-2008, 12:54 AM
you guys are awesome!

Thanks, but you should see the one that got away.

Stew21
01-24-2008, 12:58 AM
My favorite hometown tavern has a sign behind the bar that says "Hunters, Fishermen and other liars gather here."

FinbarReilly
01-24-2008, 01:01 AM
Going with the stereotypical old grandpa/young kid: Odds are it's perch (or some equivalent; I like bluegill myself), given that the kid just lost his tackle due to overmuscling. Odds are good that it's not a lure, but a hook, sinker, and bobber, especially if the kid is really inexperienced (the lure would do him no good, as he doesn't know what a fish feels like yet, and he still needs the bobber to help him).

Also, I'd lay odds that they would be using salmon eggs (less expensive than worms, and not as wriggly, so it would be easier to hook them, and if he's there that late with that much sun, he's doing it for the kid's experience more than anything else).

Yeahyeah, I was actually just learning to fish myself, and I'm decent at it, and I have nieces/nephews...so :tongue! Sorry if I rambled....

FR

Stew21
01-24-2008, 01:03 AM
oh boy.

I have more to think about than I realized.
You all have been great with the info, now I suppose I have some decisions to make.

FRANK? DINO? HELP!

KTC
01-24-2008, 01:31 AM
I'd go with fin, myself. I know we used salmon eggs in pink netting back then...but we fished on the Miramichi and always had salmon eggs. And I'd agree about the perch too...they seem to hit whatever the time of day and weather too. I'd also agree with fin on it not being a lure, but a hook, sinker and bobber. I didn't always have a bobber, though. In fact, as I think back...I rarely had a bobber. Also, my Poppy often pulled branches on the way down to the river to use as fishing rods, if he had too many gran kiddies with him. They worked wonders...

Haggis
01-24-2008, 01:41 AM
I don't recall salmon eggs being all that available in the upper midwest back then--at least in the early 70s. By the later 70s, sure. And worms? They're free. Water your lawn the afternoon before you go fishing and reap the night crawler harvest after dark.

KTC
01-24-2008, 01:43 AM
Yes...you may have a point. For me, it was a geographical bonus. And, yes, here in Ontario...we dew worm hunted. No watering, though. We'd tent outback and just wait for around 2amish. The dew would call those puppies to the surface and we'd just walk around plucking. So, yes...probably worms, Trish.

Stew21
01-24-2008, 01:44 AM
worms - yes, I can see this just because it's more things for the kid to really hate about it.

Gary
01-24-2008, 01:44 AM
A Zebco closed-face spinning reel(they were usually black) and a Mepps spinner (silver was my favorite)for a lure. Kids seldom have patience to fish with bobbers, and the cheap Zebco was something they could cast with and not get a backlash.

For small fish, I used a 0, or #1 Mepps, and the number went up with the size of the fish expected. I used that setup for bass, perch, Walleye, trout, steelhead, Crappies, and most anything else that wasn't a bottom feeder. The spinners were sort of expensive, so losing one to a snag was traumatic. If catching a fish was secondary, an adult might tie on a cheap replica of a Mepps, of which there were many.

Stew21
01-24-2008, 01:49 AM
This is what I posted to Kevin in another thread. Maybe it will shed more light on this.

I know not to fish in the heat of a day. My husband would NOT go out on the water at that time of day on a scorcher like that for anything. The granddad is doing it for the kid - they are making their own breeze on the lake. They are grouchy with each other.
I also think that the granddad isn't going to make it easy on him. He's not going to have him catch easy fish. None of that. he's not going to have him use an easy lure (or bait) though he may have him use cheaper ones. It's his way- the old man's way of fishing. He won't start him out easy. The boy finds it absolutely torturous. I wanted challenging conditions and challenging fish. while some are thinking the grandfather might make it as easy as possible for his grandson, this is not an affectionate fishing trip. I want the kid pissed off.
does that change any answers?

Tiger
01-24-2008, 01:49 AM
There were salmon eggs alright. In CA they didn't seem good for much. Nightcrawlers were sold in these flimsey blue cottage cheese-type cartons. Great for catfish.

For bluegill we used mealworms to great effect.

Spoons didn't work for me with bass, but the old sonic sound worked every time.

Hah, I remember once out on the Delta I had what must have been a 20-pound smallmouth on the line and....

Gary
01-24-2008, 01:51 AM
Here's the kind I used.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Zebco-Model-808-Spincast-Reel_W0QQitemZ370015732533QQihZ024QQcategoryZ10815 4QQcmdZViewItem

Stew21
01-24-2008, 01:53 AM
There were salmon eggs alright. In CA they didn't seem good for much. Nightcrawlers were sold in these flimsey blue cottage cheese-type cartons. Great for catfish.

For bluegill we used mealworms to great effect.

Spoons didn't work for me with bass, but the old sonic sound worked every time.

Hah, I remember once out on the Delta I had what must have been a 20-pound smallmouth on the line and....

:D

Fern
01-24-2008, 02:31 AM
Maybe Gramps is making the boy angry by taking too long getting to the fishing hole by being too tight to stop at the bait shop and buy bait and making the boy find enough bait to last awhile before they go. About that age (in the 70's) we fished like Finbar said with a hook, line and sinker, and a bobber. Usually had a cane pole since some grandpas don't want the kids fishing with their rod and reels.

Digging for worms and catching grasshoppers and turning over cowpiles in search of grub worms might be torture for some kids.

HeronW
01-24-2008, 02:52 AM
Fishing midday usualy don't catch much--the water's too warm. Bugs are hopping the water surface in dusk--natural prey so tiny hand-tied blackflies would work. I've used shiners and nightcrawlers too though if you snap the rod too hard the shiner will fall off.

Tsu Dho Nimh
01-24-2008, 03:48 AM
Where are they?

Your choice of bait depends on what you are fishing for, and that depends on your geography.

Soccer Mom
01-24-2008, 03:50 AM
Getting up at the crack of dawn was torture. Untangling the lines was torture. Catfish that always grabbed your line and made for the fallen branches were torture.

Stew21
01-24-2008, 03:55 AM
Where are they?

Your choice of bait depends on what you are fishing for, and that depends on your geography.


Yes. I know. All that info is in my first post.
It's midwest, big lake, mostly sun, some shade, fallen branches perfect for beds. But it's too hot and the wrong time of day. (on purpose). The condition of the lake can change if need be.
I was thinking bass, but panfish might work better. I want the kid to be challenged, to not know what he's doing so the grandfather gets frustrated. They are already at odds.
It's too hot and they aren't going to catch anything. The kid doesn't want to be there at all. This is not an affectionate, "take the grandson fishing" kind of day. It's Lesson time.

Stew21
01-24-2008, 03:58 AM
Getting up at the crack of dawn was torture. Untangling the lines was torture. Catfish that always grabbed your line and made for the fallen branches were torture.


oh, I hated catfish. They'd grab it, and start pulling in a spiral to the bottom of the lake. They fought like hell. And then you get it to the surface and instead of a gorgeous bass, it's a big ugly-skinned whiskered freaking catfish - blech.

Tiger
01-24-2008, 03:59 AM
"blech," maybe; but mighty tasty.

Stew21
01-24-2008, 04:02 AM
oh, i like to eat them. I just hated catching them.

KTC
01-24-2008, 04:03 AM
if it's lesson time, sense be damned. The grandfather is getting him out there to lecture him or something...he might even absentmindedly grab nonsensical fishing tackle just to get the boy out there.

Stew21
01-24-2008, 04:20 AM
I think he might be too meticulous for that, but he very likely isn't going to bring along special provisions for the kid. (though I doubt he would give him anything very expensive.) then again, maybe randomness confuses and frustrates the grandfather even more. Not a bad thing.


I have so much to think about. Holy smokes.

thanks all for fabulous input!

hell. I don't know what i want now.

Haggis
01-24-2008, 05:45 AM
In the upper midwest, Catfish? Yeah, but not often. More likely bass. In the southern midwest, you bet. Probably more if you're near the Mississippi or an associated river.

I guess I have a problem thinking gramps would potentially waste an expensive lure on a 12 year old, knowing full well the kid doesn't have a clue about casting alongside weed beds, stumps, etc, and would likely snag and lose the lure. Plus, I would expect a father to be more frustrated than a grandparent. See, we grandfathers are calm, kind and nurturing, while fathers lost their patience about a day after the kid was born. (I never did throw my 6 year old daughter to the fishes that day she dumped the full can of worms into the river, but I came close). Of course, I don't know the grandfather, so that might make a difference.

Does he want the kid to fail, or is there some other agenda?

Stew21
01-24-2008, 05:49 AM
not fail, but learn "the hard way". He wants to challenge him.
I don't think he would waste good lures either...so something the kid could manage, but not too easy.
The kid's dad is not around. Grandfather takes on father role quite a bit.
The point of the scene is the frustration and it also sets the scene for "the fish story".
Just your basic run of the mill tacklebox items.


Oh, and the catfish, we are very near the Mississippi River and I grew up in a town right on the Illinois River - there are definitely catfish - though doubtful in this lake. It's either panfish or bass.

Stew21
01-24-2008, 05:52 AM
ok, how about this...

what about my scenario needs to change?

Haggis
01-24-2008, 05:58 AM
not fail, but learn "the hard way". He wants to challenge him.
I don't think he would waste good lures either...so something the kid could manage, but not too easy.
The kid's dad is not around. Grandfather takes on father role quite a bit.
The point of the scene is the frustration and it also sets the scene for "the fish story".
Just your basic run of the mill tacklebox items.


Oh, and the catfish, we are very near the Mississippi River and I grew up in a town right on the Illinois River - there are definitely catfish - though doubtful in this lake. It's either panfish or bass.

That explains a lot.

How about an underhand toss of a floating Rapala lure alongside a weed bed? Gramps says "You see that clump of weeds? Pitch it four feet to the right. Not too deep," and kid sticks it three feet inside and gets snagged.

FRANK? FRANK? GET IN HERE!

KTC
01-24-2008, 06:00 AM
You are possibly overthinking. Wouldn't it help you to know more by pushing through and adding the research details later when you have a better picture of what you want to happen in the scene?

Stew21
01-24-2008, 06:03 AM
I thought the shaded banks would help with at least the slim hope of a fish on such a "non-fishing' sort of day.
Would they still rise on the bank in a shaded ratnest of a weedbed?

gramps isn't going to give him anything too good but he will not make it easy on him.
so a simple rod/reel arrangement. Cheap, but effective bass lure - the man is not going to go against what he knows is the right way to fish. His integrity rests there.
I need him to know what he is doing and not compromise, but not throw away a good set on a kid that's going to most likely screw it up. He won't want to make accomodations easy for the kid either. It'll be the right set up. But cheap.

Stew21
01-24-2008, 06:04 AM
You are possibly overthinking. Wouldn't it help you to know more by pushing through and adding the research details later when you have a better picture of what you want to happen in the scene?


yes! I didn't realize the question would turn out so complicated, and I didn't realize how much weight I was putting on the one scene.

*sigh* I'm about as frustrated as the kid and the gramps put together by now. But now I've gone this far and asked for and received so much advice, I figure I might as well just get it.

guh...

KTC
01-24-2008, 06:11 AM
This happened to me a couple months ago when I asked a question re: Sebastian. It's a great place here, but you ask a question and you get as many answers as you have people answering...even more. It's great, but hard when you want one answer. (-;

Stew21
01-24-2008, 06:14 AM
Well and instead of just have a simple answer he tied a such and such this color onto the line answer, I have to consider the motive, the relationship, the season, the purpose of the scene - all different ways that vary the possible best outcome.
who knew??

KTC
01-24-2008, 06:16 AM
you knew, silly. it's a wide open world until you narrow it down and make it yours.

Silver King
01-24-2008, 06:18 AM
The best time to fish is when you can. The middle of the day, even during a scorcher, doesn't sound like it would be an unusual time. Fish often feed when they "shouldn't," and others don't when they "should." Some of the best fishing I've ever done occurred between noon and four o'clock. Certain conditions, such as moon phase and water clarity and all that other jazz, plays a big part. But the main thing is, your characters should be at the right place at the right time with the right bait. Which can happen anywhere at any time with any type of bait.

I write a fair amount of fishing stuff, but unless it's a how-to, step by step manual, I never feel the need to give away too much information. For example, the boy's rig can simply be "a light rod that wasn't much taller than the boy. The reel, wound with light line, would fit neatly in his palm."

I usually try to work with suggestion, rather than fact. Say the boy casts his bait with a half-hearted attempt. His granddad would notice it landed a foot or two from the boat, and require the boy to reel in his line and try again. The boy might make the same cast, several times, with increasing heat in dialog between him and the old man to better show their feelings.

I agree, as has been mentioned, that a worm, whether artificial or live, should be used as bait. And the game of choice should be bass (large or small mouth), or perhaps even pike, if they are native to that area.

I posted this recently in another thread, and even though I swore I'd never do so again, I'll include it here simply as a way to describe the size of a fish merely through suggestion. It's a short passage about a young angler who has caught the fish of his life. His friend (me) is across a narrow channel looking on:

Ducky saw me approaching and waved. He held up the fish by its gills to show me. The head came up to his chest while the tail lay flat in the mud. He let it back down. The fish moved a little.

I reached the edge where the channel started. Ducky was on the other side. The tide was flooding and the current rushed by.

I said, “Your mom told me not to go across. She said you’d better be careful coming over.”

He looked past me. “Wait till she sees this.”

I asked what kind of fish it was. He said, “You don’t know? Gawd, man, come on. It’s a snook. Look at him. Just look at him!”

I could not help but look at it. The mouth was open. I was sure my entire leg would fit down its throat. The lateral line was thick, starting from the top of the neck like a black cord that ran the length of the body in a slow curve.

I wondered how Ducky would ever manage to bring the fish across the channel.

Haggis
01-24-2008, 06:19 AM
you knew, silly. it's a wide open world until you narrow it down and make it yours.

:Hail:

And that hurts, 'cause I got caught up in it myself.

Well done, Kevin.

Stew21
01-24-2008, 06:20 AM
yes. I guess I should just write through it and the correct fish will rise to the occasion. I PM'd SK to stop by and see if he could help out, too.
The more the merrier. Everyone has been awesome.

The more words I put down the more clear it will become.

I guess I just didn't realize how much rested on the right tackle. (famous fisherman's last words) ;)

Stew21
01-24-2008, 06:23 AM
You are truly the KING, SK! thank you for the insight.

Kevin - I appreciate the sense you talked into me - perspective - yes. My world. yes.

Stew21
01-24-2008, 06:32 AM
heh, now all i have to worry about is sounding like I know what I'm talking about instead of like the novice I really am.


:roll:


no. you can't help me with that, can you?

KTC
01-24-2008, 06:33 AM
don't forget. i'm reading your last novel right now. you're not a novice.

Silver King
01-24-2008, 07:13 PM
I was thinking of some ways that might create discord between the old man and the boy.

These have all happened to me, at one time or another, while fishing with children. And adults who act like children.

The boy could foul his line by casting into overhanging brush. Repeatedly.

He might complain about the fish not biting, or the weather, or whatever, which gets on the man's nerves.

He could spill his soda in the old man's tackle box. That would outrage any fisherman.

The boy falls off the boat. The man falls in himself while trying to help the kid.

While the old man is reeling in a fish, the boy gets too close and cuts the line with his shirt button.

Anyway, you get the idea.

Stew21
01-24-2008, 07:17 PM
I was thinking of some ways that might create discord between the old man and the boy.

These have all happened to me, at one time or another, while fishing with children. And adults who act like children.

The boy could foul his line by casting into overhanging brush. Repeatedly.

He might complain about the fish not biting, or the weather, or whatever, which gets on the man's nerves.

He could spill his soda in the old man's tackle box. That would outrage any fisherman.

The boy falls off the boat. The man falls in himself while trying to help the kid.

While the old man is reeling in a fish, the boy gets too close and cuts the line with his shirt button.

Anyway, you get the idea.


Yes! :)Having been an annoying kid who dropped the fishing pole in the water, snagged on logs, in brush, snapped lines and lost good lures, etc...yea, I can attest to the aggravation of adults with me. All of those things. Thanks, SK!

Stew21
01-24-2008, 07:57 PM
just for fun I thought I'd show you a bit of the story:

“Too hot to move? Isn’t that what you told you mother? Moving is the only way to get breeze. We want a breeze we have to make our own.”

He kicked the heel of the young one’s shoe and gave a satisfactory grunt as the foot thudded onto the floor of the porch. The man walked toward the lake, and without touching the boy or even looking back, he dragged his grandson behind him. Sweat clung to Charlie's skin and stung his eyes. The hot sun scorched him while he watched it dance on the water, clinging to the peak of each ripple and wave.

The duality of the torture the sun played on him versus the gentle playfulness it had on the water made Charlie think that some things just go better together than others. The sun on the water goes better together than the sun on his pale freckled skin. His grandfather goes better with the water than he does with Charlie.

He left the empty blue cup on the dock and watched the old man load the boat.