Rowboats and dinghies are ideal for a simple getaway. These aluminum or wooden boats can be powered by a pair of oars or a small outboard. Simplicity is the order of the day, and the kind of fishing that you do with them brings out the kid in each of us, every single time.
In the sweetwater, what’s better than digging a coffee can full of earthworms, threading them to a hook, attaching a bobber, and working the shoreline? Casting out along a weed bed, near some blow down, or along the edge of a drop off is as easy as it gets. When a bass, perch, or panfish tugs on the hook and makes the bobber dance we find ourselves smiling and laughing. It’s a refreshing way to fish for kids and
adults alike, and as many fish are landed as steal our bait. Most of the time the action is fast and furious, and the hoots and hollers are contagious. Pack some sandwiches and sodas, bring along a transistor radio and listen to a ballgame, and catch ‘em up. When you’ve caught enough for an evening fish fry, take a break and let the kids row the boat. They’ll enjoy learning how to work the oars as much as catching the fish.
Saltwater fishing out of a dinghy is equally as fun. Flat-bottomed boats don’t do as well in the brine as they do inland. V-hulls cut through the chop and bring fishermen to the sandy bottoms for fluke and the flounder. The fishing is nearly the same, just substitute a clam belly, sandeel, or cinderworm on a pyramid sinker and you’re good to go. If you get too warm just jump overboard.
Adding simplicity to our otherwise busy lives is always a good thing. Rowboats and dinghies with bait and bobbers is one of the best ways to go. The memories that you make are almost as sweet as the memories that you already have.
Tom Keer is a freelance writer who lives on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. He regularly writes for over a dozen magazines, and is the contributing editor of Fly Rod and Reel and Fly Fish America and a columnist for The Upland Almanac. His book a “Flyfisher’s Guide to the New England Coast” was published by Wilderness Adventures Press in 2010. Visit him at www.tomkeer.com or at www.thekeergroup.com.