And do you know what heightens anticipation even more? A big blowup and a near-miss from a bass that looks to weigh more than 10 pounds.
One extraordinary morning, that happened to me on consecutive casts to the same spot. Always the optimist, I put the lure there a third time, and this time I hooked the fish that just wouldn’t quit. It weighed 12 pounds.
What pleases me the most about that memory, though, isn’t that I caught --- and released --- that big bass. It’s vicariously enjoying again the anticipation and how it intensified with each cast and each near-miss.
I also can remember feeling almost unbearable anticipation as a child. Mostly it manifested as sleepless nights, with me thinking about going fishing the next day with my friends. But the mystery? Not so much. Kids live more in the moment and eagerly take what comes instead of pondering what might follow. That’s why it’s so important for adults to allow them to pursue distractions --- chase frogs, dig worms, skip rocks --- when the fish aren’t biting.
Excerpt from "Mystery and More" in Why We Fish--- Reel Wisdom From Real Fishermen.