Bluegill - Big Bluegill

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When I was a kid growing up in the ‘50s and ‘60s very few people that I knew owned a boat. Being raised in one of the thousands of subdivisions that sprang up after WWII I don’t remember one person having a fishing boat. Families were larger it seems. I would be willing to bet that most of the families I grew up with had 4 or 5 kids. I was the oldest of 5 and my wife was the oldest of 7. Most of the mother’s didn’t work outside the home. I just don’t think there was the spare cash for a boat. However everyone, at least the boys, had a cane pole, a couple of hooks, a bobber and a can to put the worms you dug yourself in. With the TV of the day, no video games, etc. we spent a lot of time entertaining ourselves outdoors. The was a creek that ran behind the house and we spent countless hours fishing, without much catching between sandlot baseball, green apple fights and all the other things that 12 year old boys do to get in trouble.

A couple of times a year the family would go to one of the local lakes to fish and picnic. There were many local lakes that rented rowboats and life jackets for the day. My brother and I would get to go out with my Dad and fish, while my Mom and the girls occupied themselves on shore. I remember the boats being wood and very heavy.  We would take our cane poles and do our best.  I don’t remember catching a lot of fish, but I do remember getting out in the boat with my brother and Dad. There were a lot of these rental places then in my area. All are gone now. I wondered if anyone else had the same experience.

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NOPE AND YOU ARE RIGHT but now when you go up north on vacations lots of places have boats that come with the cabins when ya rent them.
  Went myself one time up to northern Wisconsin and we stayed on a lake called Amacoy . We had a cabin and boat came with the cabin and had to rent the motor on the boat. It was an old rig but it worked out ok and that was the only time I could remember renting anything ......

yes sir!!  we use to rent old woden flat bottom boats  use paddles  or go up front and scull the boat.  hahha  way before trolling motors!!

The phasing out must be a regional thing. I know of 5 places within a half hour of my house that still do this 3 seasons a year. One county park and 4 municipal parks (3 different cities). But then I live around Raleigh (where Barney goes to party :) )...

EDIT - Once it gets warm, you need to reserve at some places or get there early at others. It's still very much a thing.

2nd EDIT - I must qualify for this group cause I can't count - Wheeler, Benson, Johnson, Crabtree, Bass and Bond - that's 6 lakes and 4 municipalities plus the county. And I am not counting the city park (Pullen) where they rent paddle boats next to the merry go round. 

The state park still rents boats and canoes and paddle boats here, but I've never seen anyone fishing out of them. The places I was speaking of were all privately owned and the boats were pretty much always used for fishing. Some of the places sold bait as well. 

I can't say for sure that fishing is primary, but all the places I mentioned it is definitely one of the main reasons that people rent them. A couple also have sail boats and/or canoes. They sell bait and loan fishing equipment (yes, loan - this is not NYC) at some of them and take pictures of catches and pin them on the bulletin board. 

Actually, it turns out all 6 are on the list of "tackle loaner program" sites.
http://www.ncwildlife.org/Fishing/LearnResources/Programs/TLP.aspx

The NC WRC actively promotes fishing rather than just administering it. 

Well that's good. The ones I was speaking of were privately owned, usually by a farmer who's land bordered a lake. Maybe it was just a midwest thing. But they don't exist anymore for the most part.

I have seen some of those that are more rural and haven't seen as many in the last few years for a reason that might be part of the answer - they keep adding new bigger/better/faster highways here. So I am not sure if they are still there or not. I know I used to pass a couple on the old back way to the beach, but I haven't been that way in over 5 years because now I can go freeway and divided 4 lane nearly all the way. Just yesterday a friend was telling me how Pittsboro, a small town not far west of me, has been growing and I realized I had not been there in years. I used to drive right through downtown several times a year and then they built the bypass...

That may be. The last one that was near me when I lived in Indiana quit renting boats because the cost of liability insurance got too high and that's been a number of years ago.

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