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Yeow! 17" Catfish by the Jefferson Memorial! Learn to Fish in 30 Seconds!

Learning to Fish in 30 Seconds!

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Travels in Fishing

- Oahu, HI -

Sharpen your hooks!

June 14, 2006

Of all the useless things to do for fishing, sharpening hooks hits the top of the list. I must lose one hook an hour, sometimes every thirty minutes, so I am using new hooks almost daily. What have I got to sharpen?

The proof came on a visit to the Polynesian Cultural Center on the North side of Oahu. First, going through the exhibits, one of the most awe-inspiring sights was the use of fishhooks from a pre-Iron Age society, made from wood, but also bone. The most surprising was that the latter were in fact carved as circle hooks, which we today are only again beginning to use with any frequency – some 5000 years later! I am a big fan of circle hooks and was transfixed by the cleverness of these “primitive” hooks.

Secondly, I try to fish any and everywhere I go – even the Polynesian Center – and sure enough, there was a little alcove in which one could try fishing like a native. Again, a simple stick with modern filament and, basically, an open paperclip, cut and shaped in the familiar J-shape hook. Sharpened? It would take effort to poke it through paper!

The idea was to form a small pea from a handful of bread dough available and press it on the hook. One could certainly see fish (minnows) which is a good sign, but I expected a fair amount of fishing pressure, making catching difficult. Apparently there are catfish in the pond/lagoon. I am not good at baiting hooks with dough or bread or cheese and today was no exception. Almost every “cast” resulted in lost bait.

But I stuck with it! Finally, after perhaps 10-15 minutes, I pulled in a 4-5 inch something. A something is a fish that no one within earshot can tell what it is with any authority – particularly if it is a young fish.

Again one of the highlights of the trip; not only was the 30-Second Fisherman not skunked, but also proved that sharp hooks are the last thing one needs to waste ones time on.

Contact: Buzz Andrews
Bluffton, SC

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