When the dog days of summer descend on Duke Cannon country, you will most often find us wetting a line at the local lake, reservoir, quarry, river, or estuary. And while we see fishing as much-loved R&R, there are some who treat it more seriously, and spend accordingly. But for all the NASA-level tech out there, we’ve found that catching limits and reeling in lunkers can be accomplished, if not with a cane rod and some pluck, then with a smile and some fairly rudimentary equipment. Read on to find out how Sir Isaak Walton and your own Duke Cannon get the big ones in the boat.
Some might refer to bobbers as the training wheels of the fishing universe, but since when is ease, efficiency, and effectiveness in your pursuits to be frowned upon? So what if even a toddler can excel at bobber fishing; Duke Cannon has seen plenty of toddlers out there who could give most adults a run for their money on the cribbage board. Stop overthinking it and slip one of the round plastic ones to your fluoro and wait for the dance to begin.*
*Bonus: Bobber fishing is most conducive to beer drinking
If it fools ol’ Duke Cannon, it’s probably one of those new-fangled wigglers made from nanotech and Kevlar. But when is life-like too life-like? Have you ever been to a wax museum? There’s nothing more unsettling than being scowled at by a long-dead Margaret Thatcher. Which is why we prefer the classics when it comes to lures, Hula-Poppers and Lazy Ikes, Devil’s Horses and Zara Spooks, and the Original Floating Rapala, of course (quite possibly the only lure you’ll ever need, in this life and the next). They might not be “realistic,” but then again, we’ve “realistically” caught thousands of fish with them.
This is where the modern angler has perhaps taken things too far, turning his noble Pequod into an amphibious assault vehicle, and replacing his innate sense of direction and ability to sniff out honey holes with electronics. Sure, we use sonar (we are not cavemen brandishing spears, after all), but we are careful not to neglect our eyes and ears. And the only vessel we require goes by the name of Jon Boat. (A forty horse comes in handy, but we’re more than happy to tool around with the power of a single stern-mounted trolling motor.) All that said: if you happen to own a Ranger Z Comanche and wish to extend us an invitation for a day on the water, we will gladly accept and provide an adequate supply of very cold beer.
While we carry no good luck charms, per se, we do tend to require some very specific accessories for a successful day on the water. A cooler filled with light beer, venison, and red licorice is essential, as is a breast pocket flush with wood-tipped cigarillos (to keep the skeeters away, we tell the boy). And we never forget the pocket knife our grandpa gave us. But that’s all.
Let us cover this by suggesting who not to bring: bosses, unvetted neighbors, literal and figurative clowns, kooks, political junkies, hard seltzer drinkers, klutzes, accountants, golfers, communists, and chatterboxes. But leave the port side of the boat open to all other kinds of worthy mates.