Monday, November 17, 2014

To Catch or Not to Catch?

That is the Question! 

Howard from "Windknots and Tangled Lines" made an interesting statement on my blog the other day that I thought I would dissect a little bit in order to examine my own motives.

The statement was, “numbers and size just really don't mean much. Enjoy the experience.”
 Am I really only after big fish and numbers? I would have to take apart the question a bit and I start with the word, “Only.”
Am I “only” after the big fish? The answer is no. This year most of the fish I have caught have been smaller. In fact I caught a lot of panfish and I’m one of the only guys in my fishing circles that still has a blast with a bobber, worm and good a panfish hole. I’m not only interested in big fish, but with that said, I definitely DO want to catch some big “trophy fish.” And the idea is that I want to excel at catching fish. It’s like getting a promotion at a job or increasing your max at the gym. I want to constantly improve and attempt to master anything that I do. I am a fisherman, I catch fish. 

Am I after numbers? This year, I would have to say the answer is yes. Just being honest. I was out to prove to myself that my research thus far has paid off. Last year I learned a lot and this year I was testing my research. I feel my research paid off. Now am I only after numbers, no. However at the very least I am after one! If I don’t beat the skunk I sometimes feel like I failed. A man once said, “There's a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot.” While Salmon fishing I remembered this quote… but then I realized I was on a boat and that made me feel better.

View from above (slip bobber at center of picture, close to top)
To be honest, it’s not always about catching fish but sometimes it is. If I went on 5 fishing trips and didn’t catch one, I would be concerned. Then again, It depends on the trip. Like there is a fishing trip that I forgot to mention a couple of Fridays ago. It was an impromptu Friday night trip to Lake Minden, the lake where my buddy Russell works. It had been a while since I had fished with him so I was looking forward to hanging with him and drinking some beers together with lines in the water. 

Two rods out in the darkness
I had a slip- bobber rig in and a bottom fishing rig in the other. I got nibbles on the slip bobber rig and nothing on the bottom feeding rig. That is until I got a big take down. I set my hook and must have pulled the hook out with the big set but that’s not the point. It would have been nice to catch a fatty catfish but I didn’t see that trip as a failure by any means. I drank beers and ate brats with my good buddy and we caught up on life. Whenever I have a trip like this one, the last thing on my mind is catching fish but catching fish is a nice little bonus! Same goes when I’m fishing with Mark or getting to know a new buddy like Jeremy or if I’m night fishing with the buddies or fishing while camping. 

Thoreau once said, “Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.” I know what I’m after, only sometimes is it big fish.

Total Fish: 0


  1. That was pretty philosophical. New Melones, I'm waiting on you.

    1. Sure was, Mark. interesting couple of weeks coming up so I will let you know.

  2. Each of us fish for our own personal reasons......................
    It is a combination, I am sure, of many of the thoughts you covered.........................
    As long as you are satisfied with fishing and still get that itch to go fins some water and chase a fish, then all is right with the world.

    1. I agree! Thanks for reading, mel!

  3. Of course, for the most part, we all fish to catch fish. (Kept or not) And of course I'm a bit older than you Juan, so I've caught my share of fish and had my share of fishless days. I guess it frustrates me that people talk more about numbers and size than the overall experience that fishing presents us. As I've gotten older and especially in the past year when I haven't been able to get out, it was the places I've been not the number or size of fish that flashed in my mind. I won't miss a fish but I'll certainly miss my fishing companions and the beautiful things I've seen. Relish those moments my friend and enjoy the good and even the not so good.

  4. As long as you're satisfied, that's all that matters. I'm with Howard on enjoying the whole experience, even though you got skunked. Of course when you're with friends you're having a good time enjoying ones company while fishing. I really enjoy those moments just like anyone else. I even enjoy my solo outings, when I get skunked, because, it was time well spent...enjoying what mother nature.

    Just know, even the Pro's get skunked. There are just so many things to factor other than skill and knowledge. Maybe someone fed all of the fish before you got to the lake or spot on a river. You never know :) ha