Fishing is definitely not for the impatient, especially during winter. Have you ever tried ice fishing? It’s fun…if you enjoy sitting in a frosty shack while waiting for a nibble that may never come. Naturally, many fishermen have tried to take the tedium out of angling. The following three fishing techniques will certainly increase your chances of a big catch.
Phone-a-Fish. In the early ‘50s, an Alabama conservation worker spotted two elderly fishermen using a bizarre device to electrocute catfish out on the Tennessee River. It was homemade, constructed mostly out of parts from an old hand-cranked telephone. As one man turned the crank, catfish began popping up around their boat. Within a few minutes, the worker noticed, they had fifty pounds of catfish. This method has since become known as “telephoning” or “monkey fishing” and it only seems to work on catfish. Word soon spread and, according to a Sports Illustrated story from 1954, within a few years telephoners had nearly wiped out catfish populations in certain areas while sending the market price of the scaly critters to a record low. (The practice wasn’t new—it dates back to at least the early ‘30s.) These fishing techniques are now illegal in many states…unless you’re a licensed fish biologist.
Remote Control Fishing. This technique involves remote controlled boats. Here’s how it works: a fisherman connects a line to the boat and sends it out on the water. This allows the line to cover a much larger area, thus increasing the chances of a catch. Strangely enough, most states still allow this method provided the line disconnects when a fish is hooked, forcing the fisherman to reel it in with a conventional pole, so they kind of have to be onboard, thus negating the remote control aspect.
Good Ol’ Fashioned Explosives. This is definitely the one of the most illegal fishing techniques on this list and, without a doubt, not one you would ever want to attempt while ice fishing. It’s also the simplest. Just toss a stick of dynamite or a homemade bomb into the water, wait for it to kill every bit of aquatic life within the blast zone, and scoop up all the fish. Also known as “blast fishing,” this one has caused irreparable damage to coral reefs around the world and it’s still popular in parts of Indonesia and the Philippines. This has led to an outcry from marine conservationists as well as billionaire do-gooders Virgin founder Richard Branson.