Definition of Combat Fishing.
Combat : A fight or contest between individuals or groups.
Fishing : The sport or business of catching fish.
This is a situation every fisherman has run into at one time or another. In the winter, there are certain ponds that are stocked by the California Department of Fish and Game that fall into this category. To name a few of these places, Hagen Park Pond, Howe Avenue Pond, and Oak Grove Regional Park Pond.
To fish these ponds, one must be attired, in such a way, as to be able to fish and not suffer bodily harm. To do this safely one should always dress in the best SWAT body armor one can find. I would suggest, at a minimum, a tactical entry vest, or a bulletproof Special Forces vest. That will protect your upper body from unwanted lures slung in your direction with no regard to your whereabouts. One could always wear your fishing vest over this, but it just wouldn’t be fashionably correct.
A small addition you might want to add, instead of your normal ball cap or your favorite bucket hat is a Kevlar Helmet with a clear face cover. Helmets don’t have any place to hang your lures or flies, but we’ll cover that later.
The one thing that is a “must have” is the Sam Browne belt with all the cases that are attached. You’re not going to use them for the purposes they were intended, like hand cuffs, extra ammunition clips and stuff like that, but they do make handy holders for your lure and fly boxes.
Since you’re not carrying any extra ammunition clips, there won’t be a need for your standard armament (A .40 caliber Sig-Sauer handgun or an MP-5 submachine gun with noise suppressor. This is COMBAT fishing after all), but it has a space for a good 4 cell Maglite for those dark mornings and evenings and a nice extendable steel baton. They come in several sizes including 16”, 21”, and 26”, the 21” being the most popular size. One of these might come in handy when that one person decides they want to fish where you’re standing. The belts I looked at don’t come with a D-ring for your net, so you might have to fabricate (Necessity is the Mother of invention) something, so it’s handy when you start catching those planted Rainbows.
Now, if you’re one of those folks that bring your dog along when you go combat fishing, you might want to invest in a K-9 Body Armor Vest just to keep your pooch safe while he or she is lounging around and you’re fishing. Unfortunately they don’t have helmets for your pooch, so you’ll just have to wing it.
About the only other thing I can see that you might need are knee pads so you can sneak in between all those people and get a good spot, but those I would list as optional equipment.
Properly attired, you grab your fishing rod and off you go. You get to your favorite pond and push your way up to the shore. You note that as you are pushing your way in, there are lures bouncing off your new Kevlar helmet and you’re happy you spent those $$$$ for the protection.
You reach into a case on your Sam Browne belt, pull out a lure and fling it into the pond. Don’t fling too hard because the pond is only the size of an Olympic Swimming Pool. As you’re reeling in your lure, getting tangled with all the other “Combat Fishermen & Fisherwomen”, you notice all the yelling and shouting when others manage to land that 25th fish (Limit 5) because there isn’t a Game Warden closer than 100 miles.
After minutes of fishing and catching your limit or more of those planters, you decide to call it a day. Bull your way out of the maddening crowd, make it back to your vehicle, and when you get your sweaty, hot body out of all that armor, you wonder “What the hell is the matter with me”?
I’m so glad you could come along.