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Why We Fish

Why We Fish You may be a veteran basser or a newbie: it’s all the same. The allure of bass fishing will never die.

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Fishing

What makes you get up before dark to hit the lake? Why won’t you get up to work out or do things around the house when you’ll hit the lake at six sharp?

   If you’re like me, there’s no easy answer. Maybe it’s the early-morning caffeine rush of coffee, or the quiet road at 4 a.m. Maybe it’s the beautiful sunrise on the water, the pink clouds and the warm gold sun. For me, a bank fisherman, it’s the birds caroling from the trees and the frogs croaking from the bank, the dewy grass waiting to be explored. It might be the love of a favorite combo, or the water spraying forth from your reel on each cast. Is it an explosive topwater bite or the strong thump on your jig? The constant, shifting puzzle of offering wary bass what they want to eat?

   Or maybe you focus on the memories you’ve made over the years. Your bucketmouth of a lifetime. The fishing trip where you forgot the boat plug, or stepped on a cottonmouth on the banks of a pond. The hooks impaled in your arm, or the hopeless tangle of a baitcast reel. Those awards you’ve received and tournaments won. Past fishing trips with your friends and family. Taking a kid fishing. Acquiring a collection of tackle which rivals those of professional bass fishermen. Those memories will last a dozen lifetimes.

   2014 was a year of many of these great adventures for me. There was the time when my friend managed to embed a large hook in my head. I was thankful the hook did not go deep into my scalp. And, the time when I sank up to my knee in mud on the bank. And, I’ll never forget the look of my baitcast reel when my jig hit a bush behind me. One major headache and multiple scissor snips later that backlash was gone. That exercise ball I hooked and landed is still sitting on the bank of my pond.

   The time I attempted to pinch a split shot onto my line with my teeth and managed to get it stuck onto my tongue. And, of course, some adventures with a more positive ending. Catching a bass over three pounds was crossed off my bucket list. Many lures I’d never caught fish on got to see some action. In particular, I recently discovered the magic of jigs and buzzbaits. I had some amazing times in ponds and lakes across the country, from a large lake to a miniature urban pond. I really enjoyed taking my little sister fishing, seeing her joy over a quarter dollar-sized bluegill arch her $10 rod into a bow. I had a laugh watching her trying to teach a friend how to cast, or imitating my constant pitching practice. My new baitcast combo is performing flawlessly, and I can’t wait to land some giant bass on it.

   And then there are the memories I have yet to make, the trips on my bucket list, and the 23-pound bass still lurking out there somewhere. I have yet to catch a fish on a jerkbait, chatterbait, or a frog. I’d love to double my personal best weight to seven pounds. Catching a limit over 20 pounds would be an awesome experience. I’d really enjoy organizing a bank fishing tournament at my favorite pond.

   You may be a veteran basser or a newbie like me: it’s all the same. The allure of bass fishing will never die. I always want one more cast, one more tackle order, one more adventure. It’s the way I am.

   Here’s to 2015, and the season ahead of us. To the records shattered and tournaments won. To friendly landowners and new ponds, early morning adventures, stunning sunrises, and cold mornings. It’s what we do. It’s who we are.

  

Fishing

Kyle Bumgardner is a 13-year-old avid bank fisherman from North Carolina who loves to share his passion about the outdoors. 

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