In today’s world, what you did a year ago or six months ago or even last week is not good enough.
We hear “what have you done for me lately” and “what did you do for me today” all too often. Relating that to fishing, I asked myself what has fishing done for me lately. I have finished in third place two years in a row in a major tournament in Shreveport/Bossier City. But is that good enough. The north Louisiana team has won both the First and Second Annual Ultimate Bass Club Shoot Out, but what will that mean next week. Then we have just those fishing trips that are not tournament related. There are those days when we have a really productive day on the water and catch a lot of fish. But that was yesterday so what does it matter. All of us have memories, some better than others, but does one’s memory fulfill today’s need. So, what does fishing do for you today?
Here is what it does for me, every time I get on the water:
1. It makes the world seem like a much better place. I find that everything going on in the world takes a back seat and fishing is the number one priority of the day.
2. Fishing allows me to clear my mind, and get lost so worries and problems can’t find me. Even if I do spend time thinking about non-fishing matters, I can do so very peacefully.
3. It takes me away from the normal, tiring routine. With spending 40 hours a week at work (at a minimum) and having to deal with yard work, plus everything else that comes up in everyday life; it gives me that time to “not” deal with those things.
4. I’m allowed to spend time in amazement at nature’s beauty. And I know that we get caught up in “fishing” at times, that we fail to look around and “smell the roses”. I do try to be in tune to the surroundings. Just think of the surroundings while on the water; such as, sunrise or sunset, trees and other things growing in the wild, animals and birds, and the different water “creatures” you might come across (even alligators).
5. While my mind is at rest from the things that go on everyday, it is still going at full speed. But the thoughts are totally different: making the cast, regulating the retrieve, concentrating for that bite, where to make the next cast, should I change baits, what is Mr. Bass telling me, and so much more. So, while restful, it still keeps my mind sharp. I honestly believe that my mind is working harder when I’m out fishing that it is any other time. But it is not a “tiring” thinking process, which allows you to return home rested.
6. Fishing allows me to practice the art of patience. I have seen a sign that says, “A woman doesn’t know how patient her husband is, until she goes fishing with him”. I am very “not” good at patience. But I find that while fishing I can wait all day for that first bite, not get frustrated when things are not going just as planned, and I can deal with uncooperative equipment without tossing it in the lake.
7. I have always been very competitive and played sports for most of my life. Fishing feeds that competitive spirit. Not only is there the competition of tournament fishing, but also every cast is the “kickoff” for a possible battle. The bass is a very capable competitor and seems to have the advantage most of the time. Getting Mr. Bass to bite and then working to get the fish in the boat keeps the competitive nature in me alive.
8. Fishing also enhances the feeling of being “free”. When I get on the water, even though I carry a cell phone, I know that the day is mine. I don’t have anyone that needs this or needs that, and I can just get lost on the water.
9. When on the water with someone else, it adds several other positive things to the day. I get to enjoy conversation, laughing, sharing ideas, and mostly, learning from whoever is in the boat with me.
10. And tournament fishing adds even more to what fishing does for me. It adds to the fulfillment of competitive spirit I have, and provides a time for visiting with fellow fisher people before and after the tournament. And on those “lucky” days, it can even add to the money in my pocket.
11. The last thing fishing does for me is when I am “not” fishing. It gives me good things to think about and plan for. I find myself thinking about what I should have done, the fish caught and the ones that got away, and when I get to go back.
We live in a world that moves way too fast. We are constantly on the go and hardly have time to enjoy life. I can fondly remember the time when life seemed slower, it was only hectic on rare occasions, and almost everyone took time to get the most enjoyment out of life that was available. Now it seems that we almost never have time to do hardly anything but deal with the daily routine. So why do we battle the clock and constantly try to squeeze in time for fishing. Because fishing gives us what life in general can’t. So, what has fishing done for you lately?
One last thought: What have you done for fishing lately?