I fish almost exclusively with artificial baits for bass and other game fish.
But once a year, I dig some worms, clean the dust off my catfish gear, pack some hotdogs and marshmallows, and spend the night tightlining for catfish on a lake or river. In recent years, mostly I go down to the little lake behind my house. No chance of catching flatheads there, but, in my mature years, watching moonlight dance on the still water more than makes up for that. It doesn’t hurt either that the channel catfish usually are cooperative.
I never thought much about why I was doing this until this latest trip. I was alone for a change and watching the yellow flames of my campfire burn into blue when, suddenly, I was transported.
Mostly, we fish to be in the “now,” to fully engage in an always pleasant and sometimes exciting pastime that takes us away from the 9 to 5 world.
Once in awhile, though, fishing takes us to “then.” Something --- the weather, a bait, the day’s success, an idle comment --- flips a synaptic switch and suddenly we are reliving a pleasant day of fishing from our past.
(Excerpt from my new book, Why We Fish. Also, I'll be doing some real traveling to fish with friends during the next two weeks. As a result, posts will be more infrequent, but I should have some productive "field research" to share with followers of Activist Angler. First up will be Lake Okeechobee. Stay tuned! And, meanwhile, please check out Why We Fish. It's a great gift for friends and family members who fish.)