I hate it when an “expert” tells me I can’t do or use something, especially when that something involves fishing. I was told I couldn’t catch big tuna on spinning gear; I was told I couldn’t tie my jig directly to braid without a shock leader; and I was told I couldn’t catch spring trophy stripers on bait in water under 45-degrees. Been there and done that, for all of the above. Why use the right tool for the job, when using the wrong one can be so much more fun?

castaway skelton fishing rod

Sure, the Castaway Skelton in my hands is a bit light for the fishing. But who cares?!

Recently, Castaway Rods sent me a Skelton medium-weight spinning rod to test out during a trip for calico bass in California. But when I arrived at the dock, the guide told me the rod was too light for the one-ounce jig heads we would be fishing with. I smiled, and picked out a half-ounce head. He said “you can’t do that.” I’m guessing you know what my reaction was.

The Skelton, a seven-foot one-piece multi-modulus graphite rod with a cork split-grip and Alconite guides, felt good in my hands. I had no intention of putting it down. So I tied on that “too light” jig head, threaded a root-beer colored swim-bait onto the hook, and proceeded to catch more fish than anyone else onboard that day.

Now, if I’d caught half as many fish as everyone else I’d still have been perfectly happy. Truth be told, I chalk up my high catch-rate that day to nothing but pure, dumb luck. But the important thing is, I wanted to fish with a lighter rod than the norm, I did so, and I had fun doing it. Here are a few other ways to fish that go against the grain—but are guaranteed to make you smile.

* Forget about the standard-issue chum bag. Instead, disburse your chum chunks with a potato gun (here’s how to make your own).

* The next time you spot a trigger-fish hiding under some flotsam, creep in and try to free-gaff it. Some may say this isn't sporting, but it’s actually a lot tougher than getting them to take a bait—and a lot more fun.

* Use a hot dog for a stick-bait. It actually works quite well (until the first strike, anyway) and it never fails to get everyone onboard hooting and hollering.

Want to check out some other unusual ways of having fun on your boat? See 7 Wacky Ways to Have Fun on a Boat: Don't Tell Mom, and Go Fast Boats Events of the Season: Five Summer Stunners.