A Bass Fishing Addict
I have always been around water. I grew up less than a thousand yards from Town Creek, a branch of the Clear Fork of the Trinity River (Texas).
I learned most of what I knew about fishing and hunting from my dad. I was about 10 when my Uncle Butch took me to a private lake and I used my first artificial lure. As I went through high school I fished every chance I got. I joined a local sportsman's club, the NRA, and BASS. It took me a long time to save enough money to buy a belly boat. But I was cruising. Total cost $25 including flippers.
I got married young, had kids, then divorced. Many things changed in my life. Not the least of which was I got married again and my new wife loves to fish. My brother had a 16-foot B.F.A. (Bass Fisherman of America) and we borrowed it to go fishing at Possum Kingdom. We borrowed that boat for a full week and went every day. We'd leave home at 5:00 a.m. and not come back until way after dark. We spent seven days in heaven.
During the boat shows, we arrive on opening night. We wander from dream boat to dream boat. We finally bought one. Well, Nanda sort of bought it. By the time I found her, she was signing papers for a Skeeter 175 DX. I tried to tell her we were just there to look.
We also met Jerry and Debra Dean that night. I found a magazine I have learned more from than any other source.
I am lucky to have a wife who loves to fish. Buying gifts and spending quality time together is easy. We joined a bass club and she took Lady Angler of the Year. We fished some of the Honey Hole Bass Club Affiliation events. We also bought a faster, bigger boat. We fish less now because I got hurt on the job. It's not that the mind doesn't want to do it, but the body can't take it sometimes. Fishing for two days can make me unable to move for a week. But it's worth it. I think I will have to die before I quit fishing and I hope there is fishing in heaven. Our Lord was a fisherman, so there is hope.
I get excited just getting out my tackle box the night before going to the lake. Spending time going over each rod and reel and checking to make sure I have all the lures I'll need is part of the ritual. Then, there's waiting to go. At 3:00 a.m. we load the boat. The closer we get to the lake, the greater the anticipation. Finally, we're backing down to launch and the adrenalin is peaking.
Just as you get past the no wake buoys and can feel the power of the big motor as it lunges up on plane, that's when the feel of the early morning hits your face. It's 20 degrees cooler than when you were standing in the yard at home. The feeling of the boat as it passes over the water, taking you to the first fishing hole, brings all your senses alive at once.
I was prompted to write this because someone asked me what I got out of fishing. This person wanted to understand why for my birthday or Christmas all I ever wanted was fishing gear or money to buy fishing gear. I figured there must be others out there who didn't understand either. There are certainly a lot of us with the addiction who do.
It takes many years to get this way. It doesn't happen overnight. It can't all be explained in one story by one fisherman. Some things have to be "lived" to be understood.
You arrive at the first spot and shut down the big engine. After making your first cast you can watch the first beam of light from the sun just breaking over the top of the trees on shore. This feeling is unmatched by any other experience I've ever had. If you do not believe in God, then you have not truly watched a sunrise from the water. The only thing as close in beauty is the sunset.
You're waiting for that first tap on your worm while all of this is going on. That tap is the ultimate end for the beginning that started with you loading the boat to go to the lake.
Size of the fish only matters if you're going to take it home or you're fishing a tournament. The catch is thrilling regardless of size. Personal bests, like your first 10-pound bass, first four-pound smallmouth, etc. are all special. But that just adds to the fun. You get the picture.
Deciding on what lure to use, then tricking a bass into hitting it creates a mystery to be solved. You make the best deduction of the situation, then put life into an inanimate object. Some days you catch fish, some days you don't. The act of responding to the strike is a big part of the excitement. The nice thing about fishing is you can catch a trophy and let it go, after taking pictures of course.
Stress is left behind with fishing. You leave it on shore. No phones, no troubles, just fun. Tournament fishing can be stressful if you let it, but it is a separate addiction which needs a story all its own.