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RPreeb

Fishing just for fun?

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Does anyone here fish just for the fun of it?  No tournaments, with no particular interest in slogging hard every time out to catch more than the next guy?  Just hoping to catch a few fish, enjoy the time out on the water, and be happy that we have the privilege of living when and where such days are possible.

 

I don’t own a boat – I’m stuck on the shore currently, but soon to have a canoe which will be my only access to the water.  I’ve had one before as an adult, and I learned to fish growing up in Wisconsin fishing from a 50 year old Old Town mahogany canoe that my grandmother bought when she was a young woman.  I had friends who had small boats with 5-10 hp motors, and they were fine for a change, but we seemed to have more fun when we took the canoe out on the lake.  When the fish were being finicky, it was great for just exploring the swampy coves, paddling out to one of several islands to try new territory, catching frogs and turtles – it was even our swimming platform.  Just doing the sort of stuff that boys did growing up in the 50’s and early 60’s.

 

Back then nobody had ever heard of a fish finder – no side scanning sonar.  Your rod and lure were your fish finder.  There was a spot out in the middle of our part of the lake called sunken island.  It was a shallow – about 6 feet deep – weed bed that we fished mostly for crappie, but also caught some nice bluegills, an occasional walleye, and even a decent northern one time.  Never caught a bass out there.  To find it you triangulated from 2 spots on shore and 1 cabin out on an island, no GPS waypoint.

 

Most of the bass we caught were found by cruising the shore, casting under overhanging trees, fishing the edges of pads in the coves.  We never cast out into the pads, because we could no way afford to break off a lure down in those rubbery stems.  Never caught a lunker, just had fun times with one to three pounders caught most often on topwaters - my favorite was a Hula Popper.

 

Anyway, I’ve always been puzzled by the relatively foreign (to me) mindset of the competition angler.  I have never viewed fishing from that point of view.  For me, it’s not hurry and rush and drag in all the fish I can catch in 6 hours (or whatever the time limit may be).  I take at most 2 rods, neither is specialized for anything - one is actually a 3 piece BPS travel spinning rod that I bought for fishing the tidal channels when we lived in the Bahamas.  I may say that I’m going fishing, but really I’m out to relax and enjoy the day.  If the fish don’t cooperate, it’s no big deal.  I’ll paddle around and explore like I did when I was a kid.  I love taking my canoe back where the boats can’t go – sneaking up on wildlife, just getting away from the hurry out in the main lake.

 

I just wondered if anyone else takes the same sort of approach as I do.  I’m not trying to ruffle any feathers, but it seems like a lot of what I read here is about guys getting a bit overanxious when the fish don’t bite for a while, and coming here and trying to find that special secret bait or rod or technique.  I’ve learned a lot since joining Bass Resource, but this is the one thing that sort of goes right past me.  As I see it, sometimes I catch fish, other times I just go fishing, but it’s all good for me simply being there.  Maybe I’ve just gotten too old.

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I see the value of tournaments in growing you as an angler. It forces you to fish places and conditions you might normally shy away from, and you either learn to adapt or get left in the dust. But when I fish I am out there to fish and enjoy nature as long as possible. I don't want any additional pressure, I don't want a time limit. I just want to go and let the day and fish itself dictate what I'm going to do. 

 

And sorry to hijack a little here OP but I do have a question for tourny guys...have you ever SKIPPED weigh in to continue fishing because it was just that good? Obviously the tournament fee will play some sort of factor here. 

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I would guess that over 3/4 of us on here don't tournament fish. I look at fishing as a never ending puzzle. Even though I'll never complete the puzzel I'm going to try (if that makes sense). I love learning new things to make me a better angler. It's nice talking with fellow anglers as well.

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I fish for fun 100% of the time and will continue to do so.

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I fish just for the fun of it. I have no interest in tournaments. I try as hard as I can every time I go out to catch as much as I can but I understand there are times that just aren't productive and the fish just won't bite. I don't keep fishing secrets either. If I have good luck in certain spots I let my buddies know so they can go catch a few fish. If I try a technique that works, I will share that with my buddies as well. The sport should be fun for everyone.

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I would be shocked to hear one reply that fun wasn't at the core of why we spend time on the water, that said, I have never met a fisherman who didn't want to try and catch a bigger fish, which does tend to add an element of competition, even if it is with one's self.

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Catching is a lot more fun as far as I'm concerned. Catching more fish, bigger fish and bigger limits. It's hard work and I fail a lot. On the days I don't feel like working hard, I stay home and/ or pursue easier ways to have fun.

 

I get where you're coming from though. Last time I was out on the water, I met a dude back at the ramp. He fished all day in the heat, beating the banks, caught a few dinks, and had "fun". Apparently learning to fish structure and use electronics is too much work and- more importantly for him- would take away the fun part. That's what he told me anyway. Whatever floats his boat.

 

Bill Murphy put it very well IMO.

""

People who take fishing in stride generally don't do well. Fishing is fun,  but the real fun is the end result. It's like an artist who truly enjoys his work; once the painting is done, he can stand back and look what a beautiful thing he accomplished. He may call the whole event fun, but during the time when he's painting he's intent, he's thinking and he's working hard.

...

Successful bass fishing is hard work, thought, intensity, creativity, ability, intuition, and all the human elements, but it is really too busy for most people to call fun. If you took the casual angler and demanded everything out of him that you demand from yourself, then you would ruin his fun because you'd take away his ability to relax.""

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@RPreeb: Hear! Hear! Ya got me by a couple of years, but I completely agree with you. I have acquired a kayak, but still enjoy bank fishing when I don't have the motivation - or sometimes the energy - to go through the hassle of loading up my yak.  I can catch enough bass from shore to make me happy, but I gotta admit being on the water on a clear quiet morning or a serene evening is satisfying in itself.

 

I view tournament fishermen much as I view race car drivers. I respect them and admire their skill, knowledge and dedication to their respective sports, but I know I'm never gonna drive a Ferrari ... or a Ranger in a competitive event.

 

For me (and I've said it before on here) there is nothing quite as exciting as that next cast which might just yield that personal best largemouth or, as happened recently, that smallmouth that puts on an aerial display second only to a Blue Angels routine.

 

So, I'm gonna just plug away - enjoying every cast that doesn't backlash - and try to improve my fishing skills. I like to think it's why I'm not on medications or sitting in front of the TV drooling on my shirt.

 

Thanks for the perspective ... and reminding me why I love fishing!

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Absolutely no interest in competitive fishing for me.  

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Heck, as soon as I have one hooked, it's a competition.......me vs fish

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I fish for fun. Which is not to say I don't take it seriously. I try to learn what I can and apply that knowledge to be successful. I won't however, use lures or tactics that I don't enjoy using. I adjust where and when I fish so I can fish the way I like. If I can't catch them, or I lose a big fish, it's no big deal. I never get angry, or frustrated about fishing. Getting upset about a fish? Takes the fun out of it. 

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I do all of my fishing from the seat of a kayak.  I bought it so I could expand my potential as an angler.  Fishing from a kayak adds a challenge in itself.  Being limited on storage, it forces you to actually think about the conditions and what will/won't work on the water.   I've fished a couple of local kayak tournaments, but most guys do it for the same reason...it's fun. 

 

Catching a bass, be it a dink or a giant, is fun.  Of course, I'm a competitive guy, so Im always challenging myself to learn and evolve, but it's a hobby, not a means to make a living to me.  Fishing is an escape from everything that bogs me down in life. 

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The only one I compete with is myself! I have spent a TON of money this year because I bought my first Bass boat and I am having a blast. I just relocated to NC so everywhere is new water to me. That makes it even more fun.

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If I could catch fish I might compete!  But....I don't catch fish.  So I float around on my cool boat and throw stuff into the water and reel it back in and float a little more and throw more stuff.  And I chat with my wife or son because one of them is always with me.  And I usually have a sandwich at some point.  And I think we've been out for two hours and I look at my watch and it's been six hours.  And it's always just about the best day ever.  

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I fish mainly for fun but I'm going to fish the Big Bass Tour tournament this fall. I really like the "one fish" format and hourly weigh ins. I would be ecstatic to cash a check! 

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I don't fish tourneys. I only fish for fun, relaxation and most importantly, therapy. 

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1 hour ago, deep said:

Catching is a lot more fun as far as I'm concerned. Catching more fish, bigger fish and bigger limits. It's hard work and I fail a lot. On the days I don't feel like working hard, I stay home and/ or pursue easier ways to have fun.

 

I get where you're coming from though. Last time I was out on the water, I met a dude back at the ramp. He fished all day in the heat, beating the banks, caught a few dinks, and had "fun". Apparently learning to fish structure and use electronics is too much work and- more importantly for him- would take away the fun part. That's what he told me anyway. Whatever floats his boat.

 

Bill Murphy put it very well IMO.

""

People who take fishing in stride generally don't do well. Fishing is fun,  but the real fun is the end result. It's like an artist who truly enjoys his work; once the painting is done, he can stand back and look what a beautiful thing he accomplished. He may call the whole event fun, but during the time when he's painting he's intent, he's thinking and he's working hard.

...

Successful bass fishing is hard work, thought, intensity, creativity, ability, intuition, and all the human elements, but it is really too busy for most people to call fun. If you took the casual angler and demanded everything out of him that you demand from yourself, then you would ruin his fun because you'd take away his ability to relax.""

 

That last sentence mostly summarizes my philosophy.  I want to just be able to put my canoe in the water, toss in some tackle, a rod or 2, a cooler and PFD and head out.  5 minutes from arrival to paddling away.  

 

Would I enjoy using electronic assistance?  Sure, but the cost is hard to swallow (even harder for my wife to swallow).  I could get a cheap Garmin for peanuts, but I know myself too well.  I'd want to see how much more I could do with something better, and onward and upward, all the way to divorce court.  And then I'd have to hassle with securing a battery in the canoe and keeping it charged up.  I have enough difficulty keeping up with my golf GPS.  Half the time it's either in my bag dead, or fully charged at home as I arrive at the golf course. :rolleyes:

 

As others have mentioned, I am very grateful for the wealth of advice and information that is provided here by so many avid tournament anglers, and I enjoy watching some of it on TV, but I get my competition on the golf course, so I'll probably just keep on fishing for fun.

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I fish for fish.

Sometimes I catch them and other times, well, I catch them then too. 

:smiley:

A-Jay

 

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It was once a time to catch every fish In the lake. It was work and It was fun. The trial and error, the drive to catch said fish was a thrill. One day a few years ago I was fishing with my son and realized the simple was appealing. He had a blast catching bream and was quite content to fish, talk, eat, and generally couldn't have cared less about running from spot to spot, patterns, high dollar gear, or looking the part. 

 

Today Is different In that of course I want to catch fish but If I have a day I don't, so be it. I am still a tackle junkie but through the years I have found what works for me. There are days the deck of the boat has 6 rods and others 2. I very much enjoy being on the water; the sights, sounds, and the ability to see things that can only be seen If you're looking. Today I fun fish most of the time sans two times a year I fish charity tournaments.  So, fun fishing Is my thing now and I have no desire to go back to a time and place that didn't allow me to see. :)

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I fish 2 tourneys a year. I love every moment of it. The pressure, the competition between anglers and also the competition within myself. I do fish for "fun" sometime, but I Still am competitive every outing. Growing up in a family full of athletes and raising my own little family of competitors, competition and winning is in my blood. I don't care what anyone says. "Win or lose, as long as you had fun." well I'm here to tell you It's a lot more fun to win than to lose. 

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Yeah that's all I do is fish for fun, I don't own a boat myself and I use just a canoe, I get into a lot of creeks and areas boats actually can't go and seem to catch lots of fish.  Honestly I don't even keep the fish I catch, I always catch and release and hate seeing people keep fish. Unless it's walleye or trout I never keep a fish. I always think to myself, awe man if I put him back he can eat and grow and get bigger then I can get him again.  It's always just to relax and enjoy the day.  And I do like the gambling of never knowing what ya might get

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I haven't fished a tournament in about 40 years, I fish now because I enjoy the entire process from setting up gear to wrapping up for the morning or day.  I also notice "nature" things that one would not expect to be occurring in the urban environment of my home lake.

 

This point was reinforced for me last week while on vacation at a small desert lake.  In the mornings, I would take my pond prowler out for a few hours until the temperatures started reaching triple digits.  Mid-day, I would get in my bathing suit on a small kayak and go out to catch some catfish from under docks, drenching myself with water every few minutes to stay cool.  In the evening, I would walk a portion of the western shore, fishing for bass as the day drew to an end.

 

Different methods, different species, just enjoying the experience...

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I only fish for fun. The time spent fishing with my family whether it be on land or on the water is what I really enjoy. Catching a fish or two is the bonus of the day for me

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I do a lot of fun fishing with the grand kids and son and by myself.  I also like the new friendships,competition with small tourneys.  I just plain like about everything about fishing...from watching the dawns early light to the sunsets.  Even fishing from the bank...it's all a blessing.  What I don't care for in bass fishing is rudeness, it's my water, it's my boat ramp, rude skiers and jet ski's....also rude boaters period...me,me,me attitudes.....water sports has it all as does probably most other sports......but I love the water and the closeness it brings with family and friends....no mater how we approach it.

Tight Lines

P.S.  Now I'm off to take a couple friends of my wife from France white bass fishing....not my first choice but they will enjoy.  And it will be a good day.

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Bass fishing is a privilege for me so I try to make the best out of it each time I head out on the water.Everyday fishing is fun for me but I enjoy our state and local tournaments too.I respect the sport and the anglers who call it fun wether they're fishing in a boat or dropping a line off a bridge.Time to respool,Semper fi

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