Some anglers fish to put food on the table. Other anglers go for the excitement of reeling in a monster fish. Then there are still others who fish for the competition and the money. For the most part, I have always been in group number three. I always had the most fun when I was on the water trying to out fish other good anglers. While tournament fishing, whether big or small, is still my motivation to get up early and fish hard all day, this past Sunday gave me something else to look forward too.
Growing up I spent a great deal of time on the water with my grandparents. They took me to several different fishing locations from Northern Minnesota to Tennessee. We had a lot of fun catching a variety of fish. My dad passed away before I was even old enough to know him and I never had any brothers, so for the most part my grandpa was the only guy that I fished with as a kid.
This past Sunday I was heading to the lake to do a little pre-fishing for a tournament I have next week. Most of the time I do this alone so I can concentrate on the tasks at hand. This day however was going to be a little different. This time I was taking my father in-law and my ten year old brother in-law. These two anglers have fished a lot, but never strictly for bass with artificial bait. I figured that after an hour or two of non-stop casting, they would want me to go to the dock and buy some live bait. Boy was I wrong.
After being on the water only a short time my little brother in-law had caught the first bass of the day. While it was not a giant by a tournament angler’s standards, it was huge to him. It didn’t take long before we were trash talking and having a good old time. We made little wagers on who could get the next fish, hit turtles with jigs, cast lures through little holes in trees and just about anything else we could bet on. It was the most fun I have had on the water in a very long time. Even my father in-law, a guy that always works harder than two men combined but never bass fished, kept casting and reeling trying to catch a monster bass. I don’t think I saw him take a break from fishing all day. This is pretty hard to do on a lake where the fish are a far stretch from being considered active.
I know this isn’t a standard tips and tactics article, but it just might help you enjoy the sport a little more. Most bass anglers get so caught up in the fast boats, logo covered shirts, magazine articles and money that they forget about what it is that makes fishing really important. Fishing is a sport that can bring families together and tighten bonds between friends. If only for one or two days per year, forget about all of the commercialized aspects of fishing. Just grab your rods and reels and take a special person fishing. The rewards are greater than any tournament payout or sponsor’s stipend.