When my brother was about 10 years old he was fishing at Schoharie Creek and came crying back to the house. He had been fishing for carp, found it boring and set his fishing pole down on a rock while he played nearby. With his attention diverted a large fish took his bait and dragged his pole into the river.
My mom asked me to help him retrieve his pole, so as the dutiful older brother I donned a mask and flippers and went swimming. I remember the river being so muddy I couldn’t see past my outstretched arms. Through blind luck I came across the fishing line and we were able to recover the fishing pole. The line had snapped and any fish was long gone.
What recalls that moment, you ask? Last night Eric and I went fishing. Specifically we wanted to catch a couple of the larger catfish and clean them for eating – to date all our fishing has been catch & release. I caught a large catfish and was cleaning it when Eric caught a bass. We returned the bass, replaced the worm and Eric cast back in. He was intrigued by the fish cleaning and set his pole down on the ground about 6-8′ from the water’s edge. (You can predict where this is going, right?) With his attention diverted a large fish took his bait and dragged his pole into the pond.
Eric let out a holler, but couldn’t grab it in time. I thought it would get snagged in the mud and so took the time to shed my work boots before going in the pond. That delay permitted the pole to get dragged out deeper than wading depth.
Eric and I went to the barn and got my solo canoe, a garden rake and the 17′ roof rake used to scrape snow off a house roof. After four passes with the canoe dragging the roof rake I snagged the line, retrieved the fishing pole and handed it to Eric who reeled in a large catfish, still attached who benefitted from our regained catch & release philosophy.
I can confirm that much of our pond is 16-17′ deep and the water is getting cold.