A Few Thoughts from the Water

Those of us who dabble with tournament angling certainly enjoy the fun, camaraderie, and the occasional trophy or paycheck. I’m certainly no exception to this rule and will continue to participate as long as the first two remain at the top of the list. Recently, I considered the joy of fishing as never before. What is it that attracted each of us to the sport before tournament angling was so pervasive? Why is it some of us choose to pursue fishing as if it were a long lost lover and others around us can’t figure out why we spend so much time and money on the sport?

The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope. Every time we step onto a boat or take to foot beside a lake or river it is with great hope and anticipation. Our expectation is that not all our casts will go unanswered or without reward. We become eternal optimists and the weight of the world doesn’t seem so heavy. It clearly is a sport where one cast can make the entire outing one for the memory bank. The challenge of not only locating your quarry, but figuring out how to catch them consistently, and the time spent searching brings joy in the next bend or deep water hump.

The first principle of reading water is this: Fish are found at the edges of things. How many reports have you read that start with this…Found fish at the weed edges or at a 10 foot drop off main lake points? As a new angler to Bass fishing I am always amazed how predictable Bass are in relation to their location on a daily basis. Edges are simply predictable ambush points and if we are metaphorically reading our watery book you can eliminate a great deal of time by fishing only those areas where defined edges occur.

“Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience.” Ralph Waldo Emerson The operative word is timing. Whether we wait out the tides, moon phases, winds, blue-bird skies, or wrong bait selection, the only certainty is that we must be patient. In my short Bass fishing experience I’ve had tournaments where the bites never came, came in a short window, or waited to occur until just before weigh in. The key in each situation was to believe the next cast was going to garner a bite. Up to, and including, the cast just before you pull up your trolling motor and head for the barn. The problem most of us face is the drive through philosophy that permeates most of America. We want our fish now! The truth is patience is the greatest gift fishing offers to us and why many of us only find success on occasion while others stand atop the podium consistently.

It is my hope that each of us can find joy in the educational value of simply being on or near the water. Like you, I enjoy catching fish and will continue to do so until I am not able to do so. But, it is important that no matter how deep our involvement with the sport our focus should always be in learning and growing our sport so the next generation of anglers can pass along their knowledge to their kids.

Stay safe and take a kid fishing. TG.