After considering a lot of possible ways to open a post about “Passion Number Four”, it has been easy to settle on how fishing results in a rich store of memories. At least the kind of fishing I enjoy. Thus the picture you see above. Some of you may recognize it as the bridge across Spring Creek which is located in Lawrence county between Decatur and Wheeler Dam. I made this picture last October because of the flood of memories it stirred in my mind. As a matter of fact, it would take volumes to describe memories reaching all the way back to childhood which came rushing back just taking in a 360 degree panorama from this vantage point. I know better than to bore you with details, but hopefully you understand my point about fishing and memories. Oh, and the best part about fishing memories is that they get better and better with age! And, yes, the fish get bigger and more numerous in those memories as time goes by.
In fact, it would be difficult for me to recollect a really bad fishing trip. But there is a particularly funny incident which comes to mind. It occurred back before I was old enough to drive. My younger brother David and I accompanied my grandparents on a trip to north Florida with grand ideas of catching some huge bass using large minnows to attract bedding fish. No doubt we had heard enticing stories of full stringers of oversized largemouth bass being taken daily in this fashion. Well, to make a long story short, we were not successful at all. Should have included a local guide in our plans. But then, who among us wanted to admit that? I still get a hearty laugh as I imagine some unsuspecting man entering the gas station rest room after David and I were back in the car on our way north. You see, David came up with the hilarious idea of dumping our left over minnows into the men’s toilet to swim around and surprise the next customer. We laughed all the way home as we envisioned the reaction of whoever the lucky guy happened to be.
I love to fish. No doubt about it. For me, going fishing means enjoying the moment as well as the memories of past days on the water. A certain tree, a large rock or a boat dock along the water’s edge can trigger a flood of memories of fish I caught there, the person who was with me or, yes, “the one that got away”. I can close my eyes right now and almost experience the thrill of a bass exploding from nowhere to attack a topwater bait causing the familiar and exhilarating “jerk” instantly sensed all the way through the line, into the rod, my hands, and interpreted expectantly in my brain. The vast majority of those memorable bass were released after a few minutes of admiration and appreciation. Oh I do take some home from time to time to become table fare or to give a few fillets to my father-in-law. But eating fish is not the focus of the sport for me. Neither do I understand the attraction of fishing tournaments which have become so popular over the years. For me, the competition should remain between the fisherman and the fish. Not between fishermen. That’s just my opinion, of course. And perhaps a subject for a later post.
There is so much to be explored related to fishing. Click here for a wealth of practical areas to explore. Why, even the first disciples chosen by Jesus were fishermen. If you are hooked like I am, you certainly understand the lure of the next trip.