Shore Fishing!

Shore fishing 101!!!
Part One
By Don Lamont

How did you get your fishing start!  Was it out of a boat?  Chances are pretty good that it wasn’t but rather from shore. Did you know that the majority of anglers that fish in North America fish from shore? In a recent interview with James Lindner from the Angling Edge television show, he told me that 52 per cent of the angling effort in this hemisphere is indeed along the shoreline. Lindner is just developing a pilot series that will highlight this huge part of the industry. Brent Jakobson, who manages the Fishin Hole in Winnipeg, is one of those in the sport fishing industry who understands what drives sales in his store. He says the majority don’t own a boat and are constantly on the lookout for equipment and information that will help them be successful without the necessity of actually being out on the water.
As a youngster, one of my most memorable experiences came fishing for perch from a dock in the Turtle Mountains. I was mesmerized by the huge schools of small striped creatures that swam in the crystal clear water below. But it wasn't until 18 years later that I had the chance to again feel that excitement.
My next start in fishing came from shore near to the Diefenbaker Bridge in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. My apartment was situated on the south shore of this incredible river but the best fishing, with the least snags, was on the sandbar on the north side of the river, just east of the bridge. So every morning before I went to work, I would grab my pail and fishing rod to head across the bridge to try my luck. It was the second year in my stay in this northern Saskatchewan community that things changed for ever. I had read fishing magazines all winter, evening subscribing to Fishing Facts, an American publication. A weight, called a Gapen Bait Walker had arrived, and teamed up with a pickerel rig, it was to change my destiny. It was the opening day of fishing season, 1980, when my life changed for ever. On the third cast my pickerel rig stopped dead in the water as I tried to bring it back to shore. Suddenly this snag moved, and I knew I had something very large on the end of the line. As I waded into the water up to the top of my rubber boats, I suddenly saw the fish. It was a huge walleye!! I nearly had a heart attack and being by myself, I was not sure how I was going to land it. Luckily this fish was tired out and I was able to ease it to shore.
From that day forward, my goal in life was to make fishing a profession. So if you don’t own a boat, do not despair, there are a number of great angling opportunities out there for you.
EQUIPMENT:   Since the majority of customers for Brent Jakobson are shore anglers his inventory in the store reflects that. He has a number of different length rods in all price ranges. He says one of his best sellers is the Berkley Glow Stick that comes in lengths that range from seven to 12 feet in length. He says they are especially popular among shore anglers who fish at night. There are two lights inside the blank that can be turned on to illuminate during low light. They are also composite, which means they can handle heavy loads from big fish or heavy weights. Jakobson also recommends monofilament line for the shore angler. Mono is more abrasion resistant than braid, has more stretch to cushion the shock of big fish and is easier to get off of snags. He recommends Berkley Big Game in HI Vis Green as a top choice.  He also sells a number of combination rigs that already come spooled with line.  Last but not least, he still has one big spincast combo for those who prefer the push button.
Of course if you fish from shore you need rod holders. His store carries five different ones, the most expensive the Berkley Shore angler holder that retails for $21.

Jakobson also tries to get his customers to try slip bobber fishing. He says this is an extremely effective way to catch fish without getting snagged on the bottom. His top recommendation is one called:

“Bobber with a Brain”
Works Any Depth! *** Bobber automatically releases line until the sinker strikes bottom. Then the bobber pivots, locking the line. Baits above the sinker never touch bottom! Bait suspended perfectly for Catfish and Walleye!
Resets! *** As you reel in the bobber, your baits raise with the sinker toward the surface. Stop reeling and your baits are reset of the bottom.  

 Trolling Action! *** Just reeling the bobber in slowly allows your baits to glide along the bottom as if you are trolling from a boat! The faster you reel the further from the bottom you are trolling. Fun, with results when mastered! This method is fantastic for bank fishing, also when anchored or boat drift fishing!  
Vertical Jigging! *** Just a light whipping motion on the rod tip causes the bobber to pivot, thus giving a "dancing and jigging" motion to all baits near bottom. This can be done at any time from the original cat all the way back to shore! Baits will actually jig up and down several inches. Light jig head presentation gives quicker dropping and rising movement to all baits, making even plastic baits look livelier!  
No Line Stopper Needed! *** Only slip bobber that has patented magnetic locking mechanism inside it's chamber. Self pivoting, self locking, it's automatic! This also makes night fishing with a light stick a breeze!
Bonus: When reeling in this bobber, bait and sinker rise quickly toward the surface, this feature makes snags nearly obsolete.

In our next segment, we gather more information to to make you a better shore angler.