Those of us of the angling persuasion take great pleasure in the sport. We eagerly await the opening of the various seasons, the heating up of panfishing and individual trips we have planned. That said, however, there is a bit of a dark side. Let’s take a little look at some of the frustrating, non-fun aspects of our sport.
One of the biggest is a boat motor that won’t start, especially if it is a pull rope model. I have experienced this aggravation many times over the course of my fishing life. There you are at the dock. The motor started on the first or second pull the last time out. This time is different. You pull and pull until your shoulder aches. Then, you switch hands and pull some more. If you’re lucky, the motor will eventually start. If not, home you go. On one occasion, I got home and discovered that I had failed to turn the fuel on. That added to the frustration.
Shore anglers have their share of nasty things, too. Perhaps the biggest one is getting snagged. Old Bub and I like to fish below the dam at lock 9. There are lots of fish, but even more snags. If you fish without any attached weight, you won’t get snagged, but the current will keep your bait from getting down to where the fish are. As soon as you add weight, it can hang up on the rocks. You spend as much time rigging up as you do fishing. If you are using lures, you can wind up losing a lot of money as well.
Then, there’s the old backlash, the nemesis of anglers who use a baitcasting reel. You don’t get them as often with modern baitcasting reels, because of the freespool feature. The old ones, like when I was a kid, were a different story. There was no freespool. When you made a cast, the reel handle spun right with the spool. When you combined that with the black cloth line that was the standard back then, it was a real nightmare. Your only real choice was to simply drop your bait into the water. Monofilament came in tiny spools, and you tied a length of it to your black line.
A frustration that still exists today comes with two piece rods. You make a cast, and half of your rod goes out with your bait. On one occasion, I super glued the two halves together, and made a one piece rod. I still use it, and it still works.
I hope you enjoyed this little look at the downside of fishing. Why do we still do it? My late father in law was an avid angler, but he would get extremely frustrated when some of the aforementioned things would happen. When asked why he still fished, his answer was, “because I love it.” I guess that is true of the rest of us as well.
On another front, the Game Commission is planning to expand the Mentored Youth Program to include bear and waterfuwl. I can see it now. There will be photos of seven year old kids posing with the bear they shot with their 300 magnum, or something even larger. You’ll also see them with geese they shot with a 12 gauge magnum, or maybe even a 10 gauge. I am totally in favor of kids hunting. That said, I believe that they should wait until they are twelve, have completed a hunter safety course and have a license. I know there are some who disagree with that, but there are many who agree, too.