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Center Pin Fishing with Ontario's Angling_Art
We were honored to get a chance to interview Arthur Jeco Reinoso aka @Angling_Art on Instagram. He describes his Instagram page as where "angling & artistry meet at the water." We couldn't agree more. Not only does he catch a lot of big fish but he also provides amazing photography. We were particularly interested in his Centerpin fishing and asked his advice on this special style of fishing.
GFN: Will you describe Centerpin fishing for those that may not be familiar?
Without having to write a novel and diving deep into the history of Centerpin float fishing I will try to answer this. Centerpin fishing originated in the UK for carp. Then made its way across the ocean to the west coast of North America. Mooching reels are a slight variation of the Centerpin but shore anglers used it for their big water. Then it made its way east towards Ontario, where it just blew up on the scene. Within a couple of years it has become the most popular and effective way to catch steelhead or salmon in lakes, rivers and streams. Since then, the method has trickled its way south of the border and more and more Americans are realizing that Centerpin fishing is the way to go.
As for best describing it, I always use this classic example. Think of a spinning reel as a automatic car and think of a Centerpin as a manual car. When you're driving a manual you have more control and really have to work the car. But with automatic you just press the gas and go. Same concept with spinning and Centerpin. Centerpin the gear ratio is 1 to 1. You fight the fish head to head. And with spinning your drag does all the work. A Centerpin's mechanics is fairly straight forward. It consists of a hub and shaft. The hub holds your line and spins on the shaft. Your drag is the palm of your hand, acting like a disc brake, putting pressure when needed to fight a fish or to let go when it wants to go for a run.
GFN: How did you get into Centerpin fishing?
I got into Centerpin fishing through my uncle. He's been a veteran in the float fishing scene for a while. I learned a lot from him and his friends throughout the years while growing up. He sold me my first Centerpin when I was 13, and I haven't looked back since.
GFN: What is your favorite Rod/Reel combination?
I've tried a lot of reels and rods over the years and GLoomis and Sage definitely are on top of the list. Along with so many new manufacturers in Centerpins that weren't available when the sport just started. But my favorite setup would have to be my go to rig, a 13'6 Sage GIISH 1136 paired with my Milner Kingfisher. Between the amazing action on the rod and the durability of the Milner its served me well these past years.
What advice do you have for anyone who wants to get started in Centerpin fishing?
First, BUY USED! Never buy new. Save your money for other things. The market for Centerpin is massive now. There is Facebook, Instagram, Kijiji and other float fishing forums where people buy and trade. So definitely buy used. Because the way I think of it is that if someone is gonna spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on new fishing gear they are gonna take care of it, so in most cases when you buy 'used' its basically new condition.
Second, learn to cast and don't be discouraged. Casting with a Centerpin can be difficult so if at first you don't get it, keep at it. You wont regret it.
Third, expensive gear doesn't make you a good fishermen, Don't buy into the hype that you need the top of the line gear. Because a 1000 dollar Centerpin does the same thing a 300 dollar Centerpin does.
GFN: What waters do you mostly fish?
I live in Toronto, Ontario, so I have many rivers and streams in all directions. But I fish a lot of eastern tributaries.
GFN: Which is your favorite water to fish and why?
Saugeen River & Ganaraska River are probably my 2 favorite rivers I like to fish. Saugeen River is off of Lake Huron and is probably the best steelhead river in Ontario. Hundreds of Centerpin anglers are fishing this amazing river. Its about 3 hours away from where I live so its nice to get out of the city and just drive up north. Between the challenge of catching a steelhead in the mighty river and the amazing scenery it is definitely a favorite of mine.
Ganaraska River is located in Port Hope Ontario, about 45 minutes away from Toronto. I love this river because I have so many fond memories here. Besides the fact it gets a monster return of salmon in the fall and a huge run of trout in the spring, it is the first place my dad took me when we got into fishing.
GFN: There is quite the diversity of fish on your Instagram feed. What is your favorite species of fish to target and why?
I like to keep my feed different. I try to give everyone something that they would like, not just your typical grip and grin. My favorite species would definitely have to be trout or steelhead. I like to fish for panfish, and catfish is definitely on that list. But I am 100% a steelheader. Live and breathe it.
GFN: According to Instagram, you just had your 5 year anniversary with your "better half". Congratulations! Looks like she fishes with you a lot. Who is better at fishing?
LOL. Thank you. When we first started dating I told her fishing was a huge part of my life. And I wanted to share it with her. So every year I'd take her out more and more and eventually I bought her a set of waders and boots and a rig. She has caught on very well and can hold her own. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't impressed. She is the type of girl who is stubborn and wants to learn and do things for herself without help. Who is better at fishing, obviously me, LOL. But you would be surprised at the trophy catches she has landed on her own, and I am there with the net asking how the hell is she doing this.
GFN: Your photography is really good. What camera are you using?
Thank you for the kind words. I've really been honing my skills these past 2 years of shooting. I get that question a lot. I rotate between 3 cameras. A basic Canon T3i Rebel, Go Pro 3 and a Fuji underwater camera. I'm looking to upgrade my DSLR this summer so I can take more unique photos and portraits of angler and the fish.
GFN: The picture on the right with a steelhead just ready to break the surface is one of my favorite pics on Instagram. I can just feel the action. How did you get that shot?
That photo is definitely one of my favorites as well. My dad was fighting the fish and I had my camera out taking action shots of him as I was getting ready for him to swing the fish to me. When I looked, the fish was coming straight towards me. The lighting was perfect and I had a polarized lens on so it helped cut right through the water to see it. When I uploaded to the computer, I saw it turned out better than I expected.
GFN: I have to ask about the Mekong Catfish. What was it like fishing for them?
Imagine attaching your line to the back of a bulldozer. Not very fast moving but there's no stopping them from where they want to go. That fish took me 35 minutes to reel in with heavy tackle. Did i mention it was 40 °C [104 °F] in the jungle. It definitely was an unforgettable experience that i will never forget. I caught 15 that day. A very hard fighting fish.
GFN: Lastly, what fishing trip destinations are on your bucket list?
1. Skeena River for trophy steelhead
2. Tarpon Springs, Florida for Tarpon
3. Red River for Monster Catfish
4. Amazon River, Peacock bass, piranhas and any other river monsters it holds
All of the photos with the interview are provided courtesy of Arthur. To follow him and check out all of his great photos, visit his Instagram page at Angling_Art. Thank you Arthur for taking the time to teach all of us about your fishing style and adventures.