Rhythm permeates everything in nature. Especially when there is a human involved. It was Bill Monroe in this case, while drifting along a line of lily pads on a pond in Independence, Texas that synchronized the landscape with my easy cadence of cast and tug. I have been to places where the drums drown out any other sound in the vicinity, as well as to clubs where the bass is so loud it shakes the worms up from the ground (not a bad idea to test before heading to the bait shop). But on this day it was my mental stereo that was blaring the fiddle tune to which I tried to imagine my swim bait was dancing. It was not long before senior bass joined in the dance, imparting his own accent to the line, backed by the falsetto of my reel drag. I like to think of myself on such occasions as a mufician, a sweeter tune I do not know.
Besides (and pardon) the inevitable puns, I think the idea could be a beneficial one to an angler with two left feet. Changing rhythms during your presentation is a good way to locate the depth and mood of the fish you are after – I heard that from Mr. Bill Dance, who ought to know a thing or two about musical environments.
Obviously song choice is a matter of personal taste, but I also think that certain settings call for different tunes. Water temperature and depth is the overt factor to think about when deciding the speed of a jig, but I think there is more to it. Red Drum up in the flats are partial to the staccato tail twitch of Ledhead Zeppelin, while Bass along the Colorado might prefer a good slow Muddy Waters tune.
Paddling definitely has its own rhythms and cadences, imagine Ben Hur’s crew attaining ramming speed without the help of a big kettle drum. If one is not careful, a big plastic kayak can turn into a pretty effective tom, but most of the time it is futile to think about scupper noise and the occasional paddle hit. I have caught plenty of fish while blasting a portable speaker, which are so easy to take along these days. I usually have one on hand just in case a band aid or box of goldfish triggers a particularly annoying mental song loop. Mostly, though I like to make sure and end the drive out with a song that will set a good tone for the day, and go from there.
Cheers, and happy fishing,
Randy @ACK San Marcos