The Primary Objective

With the high amount of stress incurred on a daily basis while bass fishing, everyone needs his or her own method of getting away from it all to relax. The primary objective for me, a short day of fishing is like a mini-vacation. A time to forget about the stress and worries of everyday life. Sometimes, I will go bass fishing, while other times I will go cat fishing. The gear, the bait, and the type of relaxation are very different, but the result is always the same.


For example, the gear used for bass fishing is very different from the gear used for cat fishing. While bass fishing, I will use medium to lightweight tackle with longer, more flexible rods and twelve to seventeen pound fishing line. On the other hand, when I go cat fishing, I use heavier duty tackle. For example, the rods are shorter and stiffer, almost like a broomstick. My fishing line ranges from twenty to sixty pounds. The lighter tackle used for bass fishing is better suited to the lightweight baits I will be throwing. In contrast, my heavy cat fishing tackle is best for the large weights I will be throwing, sometimes as heavy as two ounces.


Next, there is a major difference in the type of bait I use. The baits used for bass fishing are strictly artificial lures. For instance, I use plastic baits that resemble frogs and lizards, as well as hard baits that mimic anything from baitfish to some odd creations that do not closely match anything in the marine world. However, when I choose to go cat fishing, I only use live bait like shad, crawfish, night crawlers, and baitfish. While bass will generally hit some of the wildest looking artificial lures, catfish prefer only live bait.


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Finally, the form of relaxation varies greatly between the two types of fishing. While bass fishing, my mind is constantly working. I am continuously trying to determine where the fish should be holding, what lures they should be biting, as well as trying to figure out what to try next when the bass just do not seem to be biting. Cat fishing is by far the more relaxing of the two. Once I catch all the live bait I will need, the hooks are baited up and the lines are dropped to the bottom. My mind is left free to wander, and my body can rest while the boat drifts slowly with the wind, eventually dragging my bait in front of a large hungry catfish.


Although the gear and bait I use as well as the type of relaxation experienced vary greatly, the outcome is the same. I always return home feeling like I am ready to take on the world. Even though my mind may seem to be working overtime while bass fishing, as compared to the quiet relaxed atmosphere of cat fishing, my thoughts are strictly on the game; trying to outsmart the elusive Largemouth Bass. The everyday stress and worries in life are totally forgotten, even if only for a brief period of time.


James Teer is a staff member on and he can be reached at

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