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John Gillio

Carry a Big Stick.

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This photo is from the early 1900s. These folks are fishing just below the wildcats on the Vermilion River. 

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I have no idea who they are. I just thought it was a cool photo.

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I thought they were pole vaulters but no one wants to go first.

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20 hours ago, Rob G said:

Tenkara 

My first thought too

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Pole vaulting to get across the river may be possible in spots when the river is low. I grew up using a cane pole. We also used them to do the limbo 😁. This one below belonged to my wife's gandfather. It is 11-12 ft long.

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John, my grandfather told me that they used to use long cane poles to swing large pieces of chicken like a leg and thigh below the dam which formed Lake Decatur.  They would allow the under current to tow that bait back up underneath the dam in search of 4 ft flat heads.   Though I had never seen their poles, I'm betting that the cane pole above is what they were using.   Thanks for sharing.   

Btw, my father told me that when my grandmother would fry up one of those huge flat heads that it would smell up the house for a week, Ha

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1 hour ago, Rob G said:

John, my grandfather told me that they used to use long cane poles to swing large pieces of chicken like a leg and thigh below the dam which formed Lake Decatur.  They would allow the under current to tow that bait back up underneath the dam in search of 4 ft flat heads.   Though I had never seen their poles, I'm betting that the cane pole above is what they were using.   Thanks for sharing.   

Btw, my father told me that when my grandmother would fry up one of those huge flat heads that it would smell up the house for a week, Ha

I'll bet that was quite a fight on a cane pole. Those catfish were treated right, being fed chicken legs and thighs and such. I can't say I've ever eaten a huge flathead. I've been told they taste good even on the larger side unlike a channel cat. I do like a young channel cat on the dish on occasion, and I like a young flathead even better.  My lovely wife says any fried fish stinks up the house for too long, but when she married me she knew she would have to deal with that smell on occasion. Funny you should mention catfishing as she wanted me to take her fishing for them this weekend. Looks like we are going to be out of luck as they are calling for a large spike in the river level and possible flooding due to the rains.  Too bad, because the river was beautiful.

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I have a photo somewhere of my father from the early 30's as a young boy holding up one of those  huge flat heads.  Of course now, that area  where they used to be able to stand so close to the dam and swing those large cane poles is all fenced off.

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All my consistent flathead spots are off limits now too, sadly. If you find that photo of your father with the fish, I would love to see it. I like old photos like that.

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I've seen historical photos like this of long rods like these being used to catch Tuna in the Pacific Ocean and Salmon on the Columbia River in Oregon/Washington around the same time frame.

However, everyone looks at photos differently. My first thought when I saw this had nothing to do with the size of the rod, or the type of fishing they were doing but the formal APPAREL people were fishing in. Guys were wearing coats and ties, and women were wearing dresses and hats - something everyone does these days when heading out for a day on the water, don't they?! lol  

 

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1 hour ago, Dan Draz said:

I've seen historical photos like this of long rods like these being used to catch Tuna in the Pacific Ocean and Salmon on the Columbia River in Oregon/Washington around the same time frame.

However, everyone looks at photos differently. My first thought when I saw this had nothing to do with the size of the rod, or the type of fishing they were doing but the formal APPAREL people were fishing in. Guys were wearing coats and ties, and women were wearing dresses and hats - something everyone does these days when heading out for a day on the water, don't they?! lol  

 

Dan, that is what always strikes me when I see many of the fishing photos of that era. All the old photos I have of people standing on and around Bailey Falls, which was on the left just down stream from this photo, were always dressed to the hilt.                                                                 20200427_115851.thumb.jpg.d74cc87b67727b6da4c5585d79846e68.jpg

 

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Times have certainly changed in that regards... Were I to ask my wife to put on a dress to go fishing... it would be smart to stand farther away from her than "arms length" as a black eye, or worse, is likely forthcoming! 😂 

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I am going to guess that people back then had less clothing and that was standard attire.  They did not change clothes to go fishing.

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