10/18/2016

Catfishing in Sparta


Minimalism really appeals to me, although you'd never know it by paying attention to certain aspects of my life. For instance, I'm a huge believer in traveling light. And when I'm playing in a band, I like to assemble a "minimum viable rig" for the music were doing. More than anything I hate dead weight – stuff that takes more energy to deal with than value received. But I also just like the aesthetic of having exactly what is required and no more. 

For fishing at my neighborhood lake, I've put together my minimalist channel catfish tackle kit. It consists of:
  • A hydration pack to hold the tackle and drinking water
  • A tackle tray to organize the small things
  • #6 treble hooks
  • #6 sponge hooks
  • 7/0 circle hooks
  • Bobber stops
  • Ball bearing swivels
  • Plastic bead bumpers
  • Egg, split shot, and no roll sinkers
  • Slip floats
  • Fish stringer
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Sunglasses
  • Filet knife
  • Lip grip
  • Punch bait
Before a fishing trip, I also throw in a clean hand towel and table knife (to dip hooks into the punch bait) as well. With my little pack, a rod, and a 5 gallon paint bucket to hold fish when driving home, I have everything I need. And very little more. Stripping down to the essentials is wonderfully liberating because if I'm at home and the fishing urge hits me, I can be casting out onto the lake literally within 5 minutes. And still have on hand the tackle necessary to assemble any fishing rig I need for channel cats.

There are a couple refinements I have in mind. One, I'm going to start pre-assembling rigs to save time and effort when fishing, especially when I'm bring the family because they tend to lose rigs a lot. Also, I may start leaving the lip grip at home unless I'm targeting bigger fish with cut bait. The fish I catch on punch bait aren't big enough to warrant one. (On the other hand, if I'm using cut bait the tackle has to change up a bit anyway. In that case, I'm packing a small cutting board, a digital scale/tape measure, the lip grip, and of course the bait which I carry in a very small cooler. All of that will fit into the hydration pack, except for the cooler.)

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