My first fishing pole was a bamboo pole. It had a string attached with a hook. We fished with worms we dug ourselves. If you were lucky you had a bobber, and if not, a stick worked fine. When I was 6, I received a brand new fishing rig for my birthday — a short steel rod with a tip and one guide. The reel was a Shakespeare, and tha line was black silk. No mono in those days, much less Fluorocarbon. But I clearly remember my first fish on it — a pickerel that aggressively ate my red and white minnow lure. It devoured that lure right after I started the retrieve. It jumped, ran, but I got it. Then, later on that day, I got a fine bass on that same lure. We also used red and white Daredevil spoons a lot.
Later, I progressed to salt water with my grandfather and caught a rockfish and striped bass — that was special too. As a kid in St. Petersburg, I went to the rec center on Saturday’s because my folks worked. I saved up my milk money and went to Eckerd‘s Drug Store tackle center. I bought a spool of mono and two bags of hooks — small ones for baitfish, the other big ones for bass. You would have been amazed at the fish I caught. First blue gills for bait, and then bass and catfish, even a gar once in awhile. I sat in a big dark storm drain pipe so no one could see me. These are fond memories.
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