You’ve probably heard of spincasters and maybe even trolling rods, but have you ever heard of a cane pole? Cane poles are traditionally a large stalk of bamboo with a line and bait at the end. Cane poles have proven themselves to be a successful fishing tool dating back many generations. The modern version of the cane pole is made from fiberglass or graphite, and can collapse like a telescope for ease of storage. If you’re brand new to fishing, cane poles are a simple way to learn the basics!
Cane poles are different than your stereotypical fishing rod, but they’re easy to use! They are usually recommended at lengths between 10 and 15 feet, and the line should match the length of your rod or extend a little longer. Use the pole to drop your bait into ‘fishy’ spots where fish like to hang out, such as by submerged logs or in the reeds. When you feel a bite, gently pull up on your pole and set the hook, this secures the hook in the fish’s mouth so it doesn’t just eat your bait and swim away. Then slowly raise the rod into a vertical position until the fish is close enough to you that you’re able to flip it up on shore or into your boat. For a safer landing, and less jolting to the fish, scoop the fish into a net and be sure not to lose it! Make sure when you release the fish not to throw it back into the water, instead hold it in the water until it swims away on its own.
Cane poles are a fun and affordable way to get started fishing. Given the simplistic and traditional design, all you need is your pole, hook, line and bait, and you’re ready to catch some fish! This type of rod is great for catching small panfish like bluegill, perch and crappie, but you might get lucky and find a smallmouth bass on your line! Plus, the length of these poles helps you drop your bait exactly where you want it, and the reel-free set up makes tangled messes a thing of the past. The old-school bamboo rods are very durable and may even be tougher than regular fishing rods, so say goodbye to broken poles. Not to mention the modern telescopic cane poles are great for easy storage and travel.
Like all good things, nothing is ever perfect. There are a lot of benefits to using cane poles, but there are some downsides too depending on what type of fishing experience you are looking for. If you’re looking to catch some big fish like walleye and largemouth bass, the cane pole might not be the best choice. Cane poles are also limited in how deep they reach since the line can’t be reeled in or released, and with bigger fish it can be harder to fight them as they come out of the water.
Cane poles are a great option to try at least once, especially if you are looking for an inexpensive and easy way to get started fishing. It’s always a good idea to do your research and make sure you are using the proper equipment, for the safety of the fish and your own enjoyment, before you start fishing. If you don’t, make sure you have someone along to mentor you! Maybe you’ll be able to mentor someone in fishing someday!
For more tips and tricks, join Into the Outdoors Adventure Team member Ben and his friends on this latest episode as they try out cane pole fishing at their favorite local fishing spot! Learn alongside Ashten, Lucy and Antonio as Ben teaches them the fishing basics like bait types, safety tips and the best spots to drop your bait!
What’s your favorite animal? It’s hard to pick just one right? There are millions of different animal species on Earth, and thousands of breeds have been domesticated from those species. When it comes to the vast variety of animal species on our planet and our relationships with them, we cannot expect one person to learn all there is to know about caring for each and every one of them. That’s why there are multiple careers and pathways that specialize in helping different types of animals, all working together to help the animals that live on this planet.
The most well-known animal care provider is the veterinarian, but even this term is very ambiguous. While the term veterinarian informs that this is a person who is trained in caring for animals, there are many types of veterinarians, just like there are many types of animals! One thing most veterinarians have in common is that they only work with domesticated animals. Some common subgroups of veterinarians are: companion animal vets (primarily treat cats and dogs), exotic animal vets (primarily treat reptiles and amphibians) and livestock or large animal vets (primarily treat horses, cows, pigs, etc.).
So you might be wondering, if veterinarians only treat domesticated animals, then who takes care of injured or sick wildlife? Well, that would be the wildlife rehabilitators! Wildlife rehabilitators tend to be passionate volunteers, but they are professionally licensed in rehabilitation. They have the skills to nurse wildlife back to health, but they are not licensed to perform surgeries of any kind of wildlife, that’s where teamwork with veterinarians comes in. Many states actually require new wildlife rehabilitators to provide a letter of support from a veterinarian stating they will provide surgical help when needed in order to receive their certification.
Veterinarians are allowed to perform necessary surgeries on wild species, but they aren’t allowed to nurture the wildlife post-surgery. For example, a veterinarian might perform surgery on the broken leg of an injured bird, but once the surgery is done, the wildlife rehabilitators are responsible for feeding and caring for the bird until it is ready to be released back into the wild. If veterinarians want to participate in this rehabilitating work with wildlife, they would have to receive the same training and certification to work as rehabilitators.
Even with these certain certifications, there are different types of wildlife rehabilitators that specialize in helping different species of wildlife. Some wildlife rehabilitators specialize in prey species, such as rabbits, birds, squirrels and more, while others may specialize in predatory birds like hawks, eagles and owls. There are also specialists who work with larger animals such as deer, beavers and foxes. Wildlife hospitals work together to ensure animals that are brought to them by caring civilians find their way to the proper specialists.
Overall, the biggest difference between veterinarians and wildlife rehabilitators is the type of animals they have certification to treat. While they may not be working with the same species of animals, their love and respect for animals makes the world a better place.
Curious and want to know more about wildlife rehabilitation? Check out our Into the Outdoors episode “Into Wildlife Rehabilitation: First Responders” to join Zach and Sophie as they learn what they can do to help injured wildlife!