Cane pole fishing hearkens back to the good ole days before reels became a thing. Well, maybe not the good old days. More like ancient times as far as modern-day anglers are concerned. However, cane pole fishing has survived to the modern day and is still a popular form of fishing.
Even as the world of fishing moved into the age of the rod and reel, cane poles remained extremely popular for simple fishing, like bluegill. Bluegill are still more than happy to hook themselves over a rolled-up piece of bread on a hook, with nothing more than a cane pole to haul them in.
You can still order cane poles on Amazon, find them at your local bait and tackle shops, or grab one at Walmart.
What is Cane Pole Fishing
Can pole fishing is quite literally just what it sounds like. You have a standard cane pole, made out of bamboo more often than not, with a length of line attached (usually as long or slightly longer than your pole) and a hook and bobber.
You typically set the hook the same way, but since there is no reel, you raise the fish out of the water, relying on the strength of your cane pole and line to handle the weight of the fish. However, you can also throw a net in there, especially if you’re worried the fish might be too much for the pole.
Bluegill are one of the most popular fish to go after with a cane pole. But it’s also effective at catching largemouth and smallmouth bass. Panfish are another fish that some anglers go after with a cane pole.
While most are made out of bamboo, you can also find cane poles made from fiberglass, carbon, and a combination of the two.
How do you Fish with a Cane Pole
You fish with it the same way you would with a simple hook and bobber rig. Since the line is only as long as the cane pole, deepwater fishing is out of the question. Fishing off the pier or the bank, in shallower water is perfectly reasonable, however.
You need to have a strong enough cane pole to handle larger fish if you want to go after largemouth or smallmouth bass. You’ll also need a line equal to or stronger than 10lb test.
Split shot is perfectly fine if you want your bait to hang directly under the bobber, but they aren’t necessary for fish like bluegill, who will happily snatch at your bait on the surface. The bobber is essential for detecting a strike since cane poles don’t transfer a strike to the angler as well. It’s also essential for keeping your bait in the right strike zone.
When you feel a strike simply pull up, which sets the hook and pulls the fish out of the water. If the fish is too big, have a net ready to scoop it up.
How Long should your Line be
Since there is no reel involved in cane pole fishing, you want your line to be as long as the cane pole—perhaps a tad bit longer at most. It has to be short enough to raise the fish out of the water.
If it’s too long, you’ll end up dragging the fish around to no avail, as it will remain out of reach. You can use any type of line you would use on a normal rig, such as fluorocarbon, monofilament, or braided, depending on the type of fish.
Can you Catch Big Fish
If you’re thinking about bass, both smallmouth and largemouth, you certainly can. If you’re thinking about beluga sturgeon then you’re just out of luck. Have fun catching one of those with a regular rod and reel.
Of course, that’s exaggerating just a bit. But you are limited to fish in the range of crappie, bluegill, bass, and other comparable fish. Largemouth bass are probably pushing it to a degree, but it’s still more than doable.
Catfish are often caught on cane poles, including channel cats, which can get pretty sizeable. Panfish and bluegill are the most common though, and they are well worth the effort once you get them home and cleaned.
Cane pole fishing is a bit old school, but everyone needs a little old school from time to time if just to keep us honest. Remembering the way our ancestors did things is both fun and challenging.
When it comes to fish like bluegill, fishing with a cane pole is incredibly convenient, especially when you get into a whole mess of them. A couple of cane poles in the water can net you an entire cooler full of flopping bluegill.
Panfish is another excellent choice to fish for with a cane pole. They’re small, tasty, and you can bring them in all day long if you choose to do so. Last but not least, a cane pole is a very affordable option and a great way to introduce a new generation of anglers to the world of fishing.
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