weather icon Clear

Teen angler’s patience, persistence rewarded

When it comes to fishing, youthful anglers generally are long on expectation and short on the patience that often is required to catch a fish.

My guess is that most of us have heard someone say, “You can’t catch a fish if you keep reeling in your line!”

If you haven’t had that experience, just go to one of the local urban ponds on a Saturday morning and wait five or 10 minutes. If you have been there and done that, you know what I mean.

Young kids naturally are inquisitive and active. In order to hold their fishing interest, catching usually needs to be part of the equation. If it isn’t, the young anglers-in-training quickly will lose interest and find something else to do.

The same is true for many teenagers, especially those who are relatively new to fishing. They like the excitement and the rush of adrenaline that comes when fish smack their lures or take off with their bait, but they don’t like waiting when fish aren’t biting.

Every once in a while, however, I come across a young angler who demonstrates patience far beyond that exhibited by most adults and eventually is rewarded for his diligence.

Cordon Lee is a 14-year-old Boy Scout from Henderson.

Lee started fishing when he was 10. He has spent many days during the past four years with his fishing rod in hand and his bait in the water, but the fish had refused to take his bait.

“You have to hold your mouth just right,” I once told Lee while on a fishing trip to Lake Mead. He stared at me with a look that said, “I am not amused.”

Through the years I have seen many teen anglers give up when things didn’t go their way, but not Lee. He kept baiting his hook and throwing it out there for the fish to consider. Last week his persistence finally was rewarded while on an ice-fishing excursion with his fellow scouts at Utah’s Panguitch Lake.

While the others became sidetracked with the recreational opportunities provided by the snow, Lee faithfully tended his fishing rod. Then suddenly his line went taut, his rod bowed toward the hole in the ice, and the drought was over. I only can imagine how Lee felt when he finally pulled the fat Panguitch rainbow trout through the ice, a fitting end to his four-year pursuit.

With the jinx gone, Lee went on to catch three more plump rainbows.

I suppose you can say that Lee now is a bona fide angler with a bright future on the water ahead. The patience he has learned from the business end of his fishing rod no doubt will help in other areas of his life.

Other members of Lee’s group found success as well. The group was using rainbow-colored PowerBait fished on a size-18 treble hook. The key was not fishing too deep, maybe 10 to 15 feet deep, said Mitch Stoker, an adult leader for the group. “We also had some bites on salmon eggs combined with a small, green plastic worm,” he added.

Freelance writer Doug Nielsen is a conservation educator for the Nevada Department of Wildlife. His “In the Outdoors” column, published Thursday in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, is not affiliated with or endorsed by the NDOW. Any opinions he states in his column are his own. He can be reached at intheoutdoorslv@gmail.com.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Remembering ‘The Wild Man,’ who lived life to the fullest

Some of you will remember Hyrum Nielsen as the young boy whose outdoor exploits were documented in this column as he grew from boy to man and eventually left home.

Extra caution should be observed when fishing from kayaks

According to a U.S. Coast Guard 2017 report on recreational boating accidents, the second largest number of deaths occurred while people were using a kayak.

Book offers tips on uses for Swiss Army knife

The book focuses on using the Swiss Army knife in various survival situations, but the tips can be tailored to just about any quality knife or multitool.

Big game hunting options still abound in nearby states

That audible groan of disappointment you heard Friday morning came from folks like me who woke up to the disappointing news that they had failed to draw a 2019 Nevada big game tag.

Courtesy goes a long way among Southern Nevada campers

Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of camping season for many Las Vegas area residents and roads will be packed with folks looking to escape for a few days.

A look at Lake Mead water levels leads to other adventures

A lucky wrong turn on the internet resulted in a gold mine of outdoor data beginning with research on the impacts of our wet winter on water levels at Lake Mead.

Ammunition company introduces newest cartridge for hunters

The 350 Legend is a straight-walled cartridge designed for deer-sized game and sport shooting, and Winchester Ammunition says it’s the fastest such cartridge in the world.

Illegal stocking causes trout havoc at Utah reservoir

The trout fishery many Southern Nevada anglers have enjoyed through the years is gone. For the time being anyway. In fact, you won’t even find it listed on the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources digital fishing planner.

Here are some tips if you’re looking to buy a tent

Tents have remained relatively affordable and provide camping flexibility. They can be easily stored in a garage or storage shed and transported in a car or pickup truck bed.