The First Step to Finding Better Places to Catch Bigger Fish

 It’s a typical Saturday morning.  You’re out running your errands for the week.  The grocery store, the hardware store, maybe your favorite greenhouse, right?  And you run into a friend you used to hang out with a lot.  You spend two minutes catching up with each other.  “How are the kids?”  Great!  Billy made the All-star team!  “How’s the wife?” She’s good.   Maybe even “How’s work been?”  Oh you know, same old same old.  

You wrap up with “We should really get together sometime soon.  Maybe dinner or just hang out with the families…”  Sound familiar?  But how often do you really get together?  It’s not that you don’t like them.  And your families have a lot in common.  So why is it that so often we don’t hang out with the people we really enjoy?

You know what – I can’t fully answer that, other than modern life has gotten so busy.  Just look at how many vacation days go UNUSED in America:  750 MILLION per year.  That’s almost a BILLION days off per year that aren’t used.  In hours we’re talking over 6 Billion hours of paid time off.  How many friends could find time to get together with that amount of time on their hands? 

For me, I did the same thing for years.  But I’m getting better.  We have friends we’re regularly seeing again just to get together, although we’re still horrible at that impromptu “let’s get together sometime” when we meet someone we haven’t seen.  But it’s a two-way street; sometimes getting the other party to “have the time” is difficult as well, because most of us seem to be in this cycle.

So what’s all this have to do with fishing, you might be thinking?  Well, one of the friends I had been neglecting was fishing.  I didn’t have unused vacation days, but the few times a year I went fishing were normally just squeezing in a few hours on a vacation or something.  And it usually meant fishing the same 4 or 5 spots once or twice a year.

So when I found myself ready to walk away from the corporate world I sat down and really tried to figure out what I wanted to do with my time.  Fishing was going to be a top priority.  Family first, health is important too. But fishing had to become part of “what I did”.

 And I was successful in making that happen.  I set the tone for this on the first Monday of “retirement” – although that was only temporary because we all knew I couldn’t just stop working.  It was just the phrase that stopped people from asking all the other questions other than “what are you going to do with all your time?”  Well, I’m going to do a lot of fishing….

And I did.  On that first Monday, a 20 Degree Monday in December, I went fishing.  And much to my surprise I caught 3 bass that day at one of my typical sites.  The first bass I’d caught that year, and the first bass I’d ever caught in winter.  

That was the true first step in finding better fishing spots:  Setting aside the time to go fishing.  And if I wasn’t fishing I was figuring out when and where to go fishing.  Not every spot has paid off – yet – but some have created magical days on water that basically feels like I’m out in the wilderness by myself.

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