Entries Tagged as 'weird fishing techniques'

Using a wheel to catch fish

This ingenious device, assumed to be invented in China, catches fish as its wheel resolves in the current. This is passive fishing at its finest, the fish are not harmed and caught in holding pens so they can be easily sorted and stored until being processed. Fish wheels are set in strategic locations and are kept in place with anchors or posts. The trick of getting a very effective fish wheel is figuring the perfect number of rotations per minute for the location it is set up in.
Fish wheels were first used in the United States in 1829 and have been distributed mostly in the West to catch up to 30 million tons of fish. Because of this and their apparent destructive powers they were outlawed in 1929 in Washington and Oregon. Commercially, fish wheels are not used anymore but fish wheels are used by researchers to catch, sort, tag and release fish. Since fish are not harmed this makes a researchers job much easier. Slowly but surely fish wheels are making a comeback in commercial fishing since most alternative gears harm fish when catching them. The quantity of the harvest fish is first class since they are not damaged by netting and can be kept alive.
Fish wheels can be used for any type of fish and do not discriminate when catching fish. They became very popular in Alaska since they were introduced in 1900 and are still used today to catch fish. They are most popular in the winter when fishers are catching fish to feed their dogs. If you are interested in seeing a fish wheel there is one at the Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center and you can buy toy replicas in most tourist shops in Alaska.

A shocking way to catch fish

Electrofishing is a way to catch fish using electric current usually used by either researchers or poachers where netting fish is difficult. Salt water is very conductive so when a shock wave is run through the water, the electric current will surround and stun the fish. Electrofishing is also surprisingly effective in fresh water as well; it has been documented many times that researchers have found fish in what was ‘fished out’ water.
Electrofishing can be done with backpack units in streams or in deeper waters with specialty rigged boats. Either way, someone besides the operator is needed to scoop out the stunned fish before they recover. Since you do not want to be shocked when scooping out the stunned fish, it is best to wear rubber waders and other safety gear.
How effective electrofishing is depends on the equipment used and the circumstances. The mineral content and size of the electrodes affects how much the fish will be stunned. Also if the fish is bony they will conduct electricity better then a cartilaginous fish. Also depending on the currents of electricity there will be different reactions in the fish.
There are three things that happen when fish get shocked. When the fish first enters the electric field it will feel slightly agitated and try to run away. The second stage is where the fish is actually drawn to the power source. In the third stage where the fish actually approaches the electric source the fish will sink and needs to be caught.
Electrofishing is illegal in some parts of the world although some states have actually legalized it. But as with anything that becomes legal, it seems electrofishing loses its appeal once the law accepts it in that particular state. It is not suggested you try this technique without proper training or guidance though as the results can be shocking.

That really works?

Ever since the fishing Industry was started was back in the late 1800s, the industry has been dominated by big fishing lure companies like Rapala, Storm, and Strike King. Then there were those small miscellaneous companies that sold unusual lures with questionable value. Perhaps that is why these miscellaneous companies stayed miscellaneous.
In the 1920s three of these miscellaneous companies produced a lure to look like a wounded baitfish, leeching blood. Abbey and Imbrie sold the Glowboy Minnow which was filled with a luminous liquid. Big State Bait Company offered the Survivor which offered a trapdoor in its belly where blood tablets could be inserted to leak fake blood into the water. Finally the Bleeding Bait Company offered The Bleeder which was also equipped with blood tablets to give the look of a bleeding fish.
Other odd fishing lures included a type that worked to preserve the bait instead of having to re-buy new bait over and over. The Detroit Glass Minnow Tube from about 1914 was a cylindrical glass aquarium like structure with hooks. The live minnow could be placed inside with water but it would be protected from strikes and could be reused over and over. An alternative was the Detroit Minnow Bait Cage, a two hook lure made out of wire where the minnow was caged inside.
Because of all these odd ideas, today’s fishing industry has come up with many different attractors to work on catching fish. It is estimated that about $300 million is spent per year on today’s higher-tech lures. The director of a single research facility has overseen 40 thousand experiments done to better catch fish.
Even though all these odd old day lures are being overtaken by the new fancy lures of today, their value has increased to remarkably high value. John Waldman reports in 100 Weird Ways to Catch Fish that a 1909 Chautauqua Minnow in its original box started at 99 cents and after one week and 44 bids, the winner of the auction paid $45,855 for the lure in its original case.
A bit of advice, if you have one of these extremely old fishing lures, do not just through them out. You never know how much some of them can actually be worth even if they do not catch fish.