Power pole: all-in-one tool useful for more than fishing

John Liechty

To be a successful fishing guide, one must be equipped with the right tools. And having the right tool for the job will make each day run just a little smoother. The truck, boat and engine are obvious necessities. And, of course, you must have rods, reels, line and lures if you are trying to catch a fish and not just taking a joy ride on the water. Then there are plenty of other obscure must-haves, but we don’t need to mention them all.

However, there is one tool that has saved thousands of dollars and seems to make an excellent impression on anyone who has seen it at work, and that is the “Lure Retriever,” which is an 18-foot telescoping pole with a sturdy corkscrew at the end. I get asked every once in a while, “Is there a golf course nearby?” as it holds a striking resemblance to a golf ball retriever.

So, this extension pole has been on my boat for the last six to eight years. It was purchased with a $50 Christmas gift card for Bass Pro Shop, and it’s become a gift that keeps on giving. Its primary use was, and still is, intended to reach down and save very large, pricy and sentimental lures. I smile every time we dredge one up off the bottom of the lake, or shake one from a submerged tree.

Another very handy use has been to reach up onto dry land for those casts where depth perception may have been lost. This is where I do a briefing on the fact that 100% of the fish we are trying to catch are not where the lure landed. I will also use it as a push pole in shallow water, as to not bang up my propeller or the hull of the boat. Oh, what a handy little tool it is.

Just the other day, I was getting ready for work and was rigging rods near the boat. I heard a faint buzzing in the distance, like a tiny little motor in the sky, so I paused and looked around for a moment. Then I noticed a four-bladed chopper hovering between the trees. It was my neighbor flying his drone, most likely practicing landing and navigation. So, I thought nothing of it and returned to my work.

Then suddenly, I heard some branches breaking in the opposite direction, turned to look, only to find a tractor crossing the field. He must have just run over something. When down the road comes my neighbors. I say to them, “Did you land your drone in a tree?” The answer was, “Yes,” and we began to look. It didn’t take long to locate it, but it was more than 30 feet up there. A second of ponder was had, followed by an, “Oh, man. How are we gonna get that?”

At that moment it crossed my mind, and I retrieved the most ideal tool imaginable: the lure retriever. With arms and pole extended, we fell just a couple feet short. It was time to back the truck under and stand on that for just the little more reach. It worked perfectly as the drone fell and tangled its way down. The final shake popped it free and I made the greatest catch of the week to save it from smashing on the ground.

Needless to say, I have grown fond of this out-of-the-ordinary tool and I believe I would be lost without it. Or without it, many things would be lost.

John Liechty is the owner of Xperience Fishing Guide Service in Angels Camp. Contact John at 743-9932.

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