By Matt Reese
One of my very first memories of catching a fish was with my grandpa sitting on the bank of the family farm pond. I was using a simple cane pole with a hook, bobber and worm we’d found under a rock. I was very young, but I believe my first-ever catch was a bluegill I hauled in (likely with a fair amount of assistance) after my bobber bounced a couple of times before it “ran.”
Fast forward roughly 40 years to when my son and I were strolling through the hunting/fishing store to determine how to best spend the several gift cards he’d gotten last Christmas. The vast number of options for lures was overwhelming — divers, spinners, triple-hook rubber worms, surface lures, poppers, spoons, jigs, jitter-bugs, bass assassins, and so on. We picked out a few options to try out on and got a few other tacklebox staples.
We could hardly wait to try the new fancy lures on a trip to the family cottage in southern Michigan in June. The first evening we were there we tried most of the new lures and several older ones with fairly limited success. In fact, we only caught a handful of fish over the next couple of days of fishing using lures.
After a trip to the bait shop and some rummaging around in the cottage basement, I got an odd look from my son while walking out to join him at the end of the dock carrying an old, battered cane pole. I put a worm on the hook and plopped the line in the water just off the end of the dock. I then set the cane pole down and picked up my rod and reel to cast a fancy, new lure out into the deep. I didn’t have time to even reel it in, though, as I noticed the bouncing bobber on the old cane pole. I set down my rod and reel just as the bobber started to “run.” I yanked on the cane pole with flourish and pulled out a beautiful sunfish, the first “keeper” of the trip. My son looked over wide-eyed and opted to put another new lure on his pole.
From then on, the cane pole was pulling fish out of the lake just about as fast as we could get a new worm on the hook. A few fish in, my son decided he would give the old cane pole a whirl and the fish catching continued. I could imagine my grandpa smiling.
Today we have no shortage of fancy technology, gadgets and gizmos. And, don’t get me wrong, they absolutely have their place and have brought great value to society. This is certainly true in agriculture. The rate of these innovative changes only continues to increase.
I was on a recent video shoot with Kolt Buchenroth and we were discussing the new video editing technology and my inability to keep up with all the changes. It seems like by the time I figure out how to use and effectively implement new technology into my job, the new technology is already old. It was said in the discussion that my generation (40s and older) are immigrants into today’s technology and that Kolt’s generation (in their early 20s) are natives. They have grown up with it. It is intuitive and moving on to the next new thing comes naturally. Ask any of my co-workers or my family and they will confirm such things do not come so naturally for me.
So, with constantly changing media, rapidly evolving technology in every aspect of life, and a pandemic which changed pretty much everything, it is nice to see people going to the county fair, attendees not wearing masks, diners in restaurants, and other old-school (as in pre-March 2020) aspects of our society starting to show up again.
It was also really nice to do some fishing as a family together enjoying the handiwork of God’s creation. In a glitzy, face-paced world of bugs that jitter and the Yo-Zuri 3DB Jerkbait 110, it is uniquely comforting to know sometimes an old-school cane pole with a bobber and a worm still works just fine.