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JohnF

Sunday Meanderings

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What is it about fishing that we love? One day recently I met a feller working in a Dick's Sports fishing section who said "Hey, when you've got as many kids as me you are a meat fisherman." Okay. I buy that.

 

He also said "And I've got 2 1/2 ex-wives to support.

 

I looked askance at that one. I asked “What’s a half wife?”

 

He explained "The third one doesn't know she's an ex yet." That has nothing to do with my question but I got a kick out of it.

 

So why do we all fish? For me it's more about the fun of figuring out how to outsmart these pea-brained creatures. So far they're outsmarting me, and it’s humiliating frankly. But I'm getting better at it. I'll continue to throw money and time at them until I get it right.

 

But I also enjoy the thrill of the hunt. Tracking them down, analyzing their habit and habitat and trying to toss tempting tidbits for them to take. Then the real thrill is when I get one on and have to bring him in. At first I was convinced that UL was the way to go. 4 # test on a really flimsy rig was the true test of one's skill as a fisherman, at least the landing part. Then the subtleties of it came into play. Use a bigger hook so he doesn't inhale it and hurt hisself. Use barbless hooks so he can be released with the least angst and damage. Then I learned that playing him is traumatizing so I concede that stronger lines are better so I can get him to hand faster, and back to the water sooner. And so on, and so on, and so on.

 

I have no problem with fishing for meat. We’re hunter/gatherers by nature so we’re inclined to hunt, and sometimes it’s even economical if we can overcome the impulse to buy the very latest in gear and have redundant everythings for our fishing adventures. It’s the natural way of things. Hook him, haul him in, whack his little head and put him on ice. Throw the guts back for the crayfish to gobble so they'll grow bigger as bait for a later day, provided the seagulls let them sink.

 

But for me it's all about the fun of the hunt. Matching wits with the tiny brained critters. I have to be able to beat someone in this life or my ego will be reduced to the size of a bass brain. I want to find that happy medium between damage and conservation where I can just have fun. It’s me against the bass, and we’re in his element, at least when I’m wading. If either of us gets gored in the process so be it. Hopefully it's the bass with his teeny brain and unfeeling mouth skin. And hopefully I can return him intact to play another day.

 

Here’s where I’m gonna get in trouble. I don't get trolling unless it's strictly for meat. Odds are yer gonna induce serious barotrauma in the little (big) guys you haul up from the deeps so they're only good for meat either way. But I don't get the fun in trolling deep. I caught a few lakers last summer and knowing they were coming up fast from 100' I knew they were toast the minute they chomped the spoon. They were at that moment of biting nothing but food. But they weren't much fun to haul in. I was reeling them in with a rod/reel/line combo that could have lifted me from the bottom of the lake. It was pure mechanics at that point, not fun - unless of course it's just the thrill of the hunt. And that's not wrong to enjoy if yer after the meat. We're hunter/gatherers by nature and a successful hunt is good for the soul, and the tummy.

 

I'll take casting or jigging in shallow water every time over trolling deep, or trolling of any kind. Casting is more personal and leaves a few options for the little fishy critters. If I'm careful and considerate they'll be safely back in their element before too long and I'll have the thrill of succeeding in my quest.

 

To each his own. For me the most fun is casting for shallow fish, be they bass, pike or (heaven forfend) muskies. When I grow up I'll get more sophisticated and learn to outsmart trout with a fake bug.

 

Any thoughts on that, pro or con?

 

JF

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Yep ... that ... and theres something about a feed which you have hunted or gathered through you r own wits and perserverence that you can share with those who look to you for their well-being that takes the stench out of the city life we all (to one extent or another) are forced to endure ...

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A few outside points first...

 

Well long ago I watched an interview with Red Fisher who was trying to teach conservation about letting a few go and he brought a good point...Our ancestoral tribes held good hunters (Fishers) in admiration for providing thus giving a then type celebrity status.

 

This carried on where "Big" fish was the target and status went along.

 

I think the turning point in this mindset was declining fish stocks put pressure on the status quo and conservation was now the point allowing stocks for our children to "ENJOY OUR HERITAGE" (Back off P3TA)

 

Another view is I watched an interview with David Suzuki and actually heard him say that he does NOT believe in catch and release and fishing was and always should be for food.

 

Well now bout me...I started fishing to spend time outdoors with my family and as a kid it was always an adventure---times with my Dad I'll always remember.

 

Eating fish was a plus---it did become competitive in my life and I did at one time fish tourneys (NO more)

 

Now it's about time with my family--teaching all that I have learned (And still eating a few) and being outdoors cutting off this embilical to the internet fishing sites.

 

I do take up the challenge with fishing the same as figuring out a big buck---in trying to get one step ahead.

 

Bushart

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John when fishing for lakers if you take your time fighting them they survive being hauled up from the depths. They have the ability to adjust their air bladder. Walleye on the other hand are toast or should I say fried. I fish for sheer pleasure. I to fished tournaments for a couple of seasons but totally took the fun out of fishing. Fishing is meant to be fun. As far as meat fishing goes if I feel the fishery can handle it I will take a meal of fresh fish. NEVER any to freeze, if I wanted frozen fish Id go to the supermarket.

Edited by Musky or Specks

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For me there is something about being on a Shield lake, standing on the casting deck, throwing a bait to a Birch and Cedar shoreline that makes my heart glad. The odd bite just puts the cherry on top...

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