What’s your version of my fishing?
Men have an innate need to go hunting; it’s our natural programming, the urge to hunt and test our skills against the wild, the elements, and the unknown. We take what lessons we’ve learned in the last weekend and apply it to the next one. It is a never-ending cycle of learning and application.
Each week, we wake up to an alarm clock, which we would normally want to put on snooze the second we hear it go off, in the weekends, they become our best friends. We all have our reasons to go fishing, we risk driving to remote places to find better spots, driving half asleep yet eager to start the day before the party animals go home to roost. We are anglers.
How many times have you gone home fishless, frustrated and even more determined to catch whatever fish you were chasing. We are the few that look at the moon, the tides, the barometric pressure, the air and water temperatures, wind, swell, water depth and go so far to get all the electronics like a fish finder, plotter and GPS to help us get the best spots, then go home without anything in the cooler, yet have the best time in the world without catching anything. We have seen more spectacular sunrises than a typical person would see in a lifetime and see the same number of sunsets that even the best cameras can’t capture.
We wake up in darkness and excitedly drive to our fishing holes even with the uncertainty of the day, even with the string of fishless days, weeks or months, we still go out each time we can knowing that the odds are against us. We still go, because we are Anglers.
Have you ever found yourself “shadow casting” while walking around in the mall? While others walk around in that concrete structure, in our minds we are transported somewhere else, in the shallows casting a soft plastic grub to a cruising fish or trolling for that monster near the deep-water ledges. Fly fishermen would be transported to a remote flat with tailing fish happily grubbing along the bottom.
How many times have you lost track of time because you were too busy concentrating on getting a bite, waiting patiently, almost willing the fish to take your baited hook, but they don’t, fishing isn’t like that and you know it. When they eventually bite, you miss the hook set and curse the high heavens, then restraining yourself because you know that if you make too much noise, you scare the fish away…then you ask yourself, what would Mom say if she heard me swear like that. You put more bait on your hook and cast again…because this is what an angler does.
It takes you half an hour to drive to the mall, choose a pair of pants, drive back home then go online and spend 2 hours on tackledirect.com, cabelas.com, basspro.com and ebay.com (all on different tabs) to check out the newest stuff for your type of fishing and spend double that time going through the tackle shop you visit almost every other day yet you know they get their stocks every 2 months.
We are those who travel halfway around the world to catch something we normally don’t in our local waters. It doesn’t matter if it’s a monster or just something a bit more challenging. We will travel by land, sea and air, just to have a chance in catching it, if successful, we are more than happy to let it slip back into it’s home, wiser and no doubt a bit more challenging when we return to catch it. Even when unsuccessful, we just want to catch a glimpse of whatever we are after, be happy to walk away wiser and already planning for the next visit.
We are those who wear suits and uniforms when we’re between fishing trips, then happily shed them for our comfortable fishing wear when the weekend comes, we wake up earlier than we normally do in those days of work, yet not a single grumble can be heard. Without a single shred of hesitation, we leave the comforts of our home for a sandy bank, a wet boat or a kayak. We endure heat from the sun in the summers and the biting cold of the winter dawns.
Our trips are remembered not by the number of fish we’ve caught, but the memories forged with the company we keep. Some people will wonder how a few absolute strangers from different countries could become good friends for life after going on a single fishing trip together.
We are accused of being obsessed with fishing by some around us and we feel sad that they don’t get to experience what we live each time we go out. We are blessed with this passion; we are a group of people with differing ideas and methods united only by a single drive – to outwit the fish, yet with that single commonality, we forge bonds that grows stronger as time passes.
Fishing empties my thoughts and makes me feel I exist in this world. Wherever I may be, it transports me to place of serenity and tranquility that exists only when I fish. Where all the thoughts in my mind grinds to a standstill and I have nothing else in mind but the act, the fish comes as a bonus.
Fishing is my escape from the man made reality we all live in, to commune with my peace. It gives me an inner sense of my existence not just for myself but for my family, it makes me appreciate everything around me even more.
It makes me appreciate nature not because I think it’s grand and pretty, but because of how it can influence an individual like myself to want to protect it’s wonders and generosity and preserve it for my daughter and her generation. To show her the same things I’ve experience and hopefully, hopefully, they would also get to experience the kind of peace and tranquility that I experience now.
I often ask people what their version of my fishing is – most draw a blank, not having the faintest clue of what the question really means. Even if they try to answer the question with something they are passionate about, I know deep down they don’t have the faintest idea. Maybe I should just keep it a secret so people don’t really get into it and find out. But then again, fishing is also about sharing and showing others its vast greatness…so here we are now.
For those of you that can relate to this, I didn’t have to commit a few pages of my words for it. For those that are just getting into fishing and those that are just reading this just because it’s in the magazine, let me ask you this – What is your version of my fishing? Email me your answers; I would love to hear them.
Till next tide change,