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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Fishing is a boatload of fun

Published: August 31, 2007
Section: Features

Your muscles tense the second your line starts to reel itself out. Your rod bends sharply, threatening to break if action is not taken immediately. A giant shimmer in the water several feet under confirms that you have a monster on the other end of your line. How you react within the ensuing moments determines whether your future involves a giant finned sea creature flopping around in your boat or a broken tool. Do you have a net in the boat? What are you going to do once you have this beast in your grips? Lunch? Catch and release?

Whether the battle is won or lost, the thrill is over in under a minute, and it can take hours before a similar one occurs. Though there are thousands of fish in most sizable, habitable bodies of water, a few good bites during the course of several hours can be considered a successful day of fishing. In many ways, the sport shares certain characteristics with baseball and golf. A lot can happen in a very short period of time, followed by nothing in between. So what draws millions of Americans to the sport? Children and small-timers may simply drop a worm in the water and hope to catch some small game, but nothing compares to the experience of reeling in a fat, feisty behemoth on nothing but a flimsy pole and gossamer line.

Get in the know with fisherman lingo…

Lure- a small piece of metal or plastic that reflects light underwater, designed to fool potential catches into thinking theyve got a free meal (i.e., smaller creature) in their near future. In reality the piece is covered with small hooks to ensure that the fish stays on your line.

Flatfish- A small metal or plastic piece with a slight curve in the back that creates a jerky back-and-forth motion under the water. Oftentimes, they troll toward the surface, avoiding seaweed snags. Good for use when in a moving water vehicle.

Spoon- An ovular, concave piece of metal originally invented for casting and retrieving, whereby the fisherwo/man swings the rod over his shoulder or to his side in an attempt throw the lure on the end of his line into a prime fishing area, drawing the attention of a potential catch, then slowly reels in until the lure is back in the boat. However, the popularity of trolling, or allowing the lure to trail behind a moving boat, has risen so much that trolling versions of Spoon lures are now available. They, too, make a jerking motion in the water.

Artificial Fly-A tiny mesh of thread or feathers with a hook coming out the side, designed to appear as a fly floating on the surface of the water. Fly fishers swing their rods back and forth over their shoulder, allowing the lure to land on both sides in a rapid succession, in order to create the sensation of a fly landing on the waters surface.