People often ask me, “Why do you love fishing so much?” There are so many positive contributions to my life that I get out of fishing…
Food, fun, friendship is a quick way to describe it.
This is a topic that I often think about though, and I’ve been meaning to write about it for awhile.
Fishing Life Cycle
I think the motivations are different for different people. In my mind, a lot of it has to do with where you are in your fishing life cycle.
Looking back to when I first started fishing the sportboats here in Southern California, for a long time I was one of those once or twice a year guys. In contrast, I get out twice a month now and it doesn’t seem like enough. When I was a once or twice a year guy, I put a big emphasis on bringing home meat. Whatever it took to load the bag…bait, on the troll, it didn’t matter to me. I had plenty of freezer space back then. I wanted to fill it up. At this point, I fished mostly bait. My interest in fishing artificials (plastics, iron, etc.) was only because I noticed other anglers having success doing it that way.
As I became proficient at fishing bait, I noticed that sometimes I would get outfished by the guys fishing artificials. I wanted to add that capability to my arsenal in order to put more fish in the sack.
Bait was just the gateway drug to my fishing addiction.
What Drives Me Now?
Food is still a big part of fishing for me. I like to eat what I catch and cooking is a creative expression for me. I don’t need to limit out though to feel good about the day. All of it is still fun to me, but this is what makes it fun now…
The Mental Puzzle
Over the course of the week, I talk to a lot of anglers, crewmembers, and captains. I like to hear what they are seeing and doing on the water. I use that information to share with you all, but it also informs my preparation before going out. I like to envision the potential scenarios we might encounter on the water, then plan how I would want to respond to them. That process guides what I’ll bring on a trip. As conditions change throughout the day, you have to adapt to those changes. When I make a good decision, it gives me satisfaction in solving that puzzle.
The Competitive Aspect
For me, it’s not all about winning JP or being high stick for the trip. Don’t get me wrong, when I’m in the middle of it all, I get competitive and want to win too. After 2 knee surgeries, I don’t play sports anymore. Fishing has been a way to replace that part of my life. The competitive aspect is mostly against me. I’m constantly evaluating what I’m doing and cataloging the decisions I make on the water vs. the results. When it doesn’t work, I like to think of a different way that I’d respond the next time, or what is different now vs. the time that decision worked. The scorecard isn’t how much meat I bring home. It’s how I did vs. what I think I should’ve done. It’s challenging myself to get it done a certain way, or a quest to go big and it finally paying off.
Everyone Needs A Break
We all have the stresses in our daily lives. Most of us don’t get to go out as often as we might like to. So when I do go out, I’m very happy to enjoy the totality of the experience. The mental games I play with myself, the enjoyment of the natural environment, the time spent with friends, the foolishness when the fish don’t want to play…it gives me that needed mental break. Even when the fishing isn’t good, just being out and having laughs with friends and sharing the experience is worth the ride for me.
Then I get relive these experiences when I see my friends again…and when I write it up for you.
What keeps you coming out? Think about it when you’re on the water this weekend and let us know.