3 Fishing Lessons for Your Life

December 22, 2015: 
By Bryan May,

I am Bryan and I am addicted to fishing.  I'd say I'm joking but people who know me are probably planning an intervention as I write this post.  There are so many hobbies that I enjoy but fishing, especially bass fishing, is my favorite.  If the kind folks at The Art of an Outdoorsman allow me to, I hope to write some articles about fishing techniques.  But this one is about fishing lessons that apply to living life.

Lesson #1: Have a short memory

Whenever I undertake a pursuit on the water in search of my favorite quarry (Largemouth and Smallmouth bass) I naturally gravitate to the spots on the lake or river where I caught them last time.  Fighting that 5# bass off that log on that one point.  You remember.  Well that kind of memory is very often counter-productive on the water.  You see the bass move around quite a bit.  They chase chad or hunt for cray fish.  They go deep to avoid the sun.  They head for the shallows to spawn.  You see they are always changing their position and their habits based on the conditions at the moment.  Bass are relatively stupid creatures.  They have tiny brains.  But they know when the sun is in their eyes (remember they don't have eye lids and lashes...).  They know when it's time to mate.  When it's time to feed up for the long winter.  They know when the water is too hot for their comfort. They know when the cool water at 25' doesn't have enough oxygen to survive.  So a good angler adjust his fishing to the conditions presented at the moment.  After all that's what the fish do.  The same hold true for your life.  Let the past go and live every moment in the present.  So and so called you lazy or fat or stupid or passed you up for a promotion or cut you off in traffic.  Let it go already.  The rest of your life starts over every single second.

Lesson #2: Sometimes you have to grind it out

Everyone loves fishing when the fish are biting really well.  I mean every cast is answered by a nice fish.  There are days like that and they are special.  But they are few and far between.  More often than not you have to try your best to figure out a pattern (perhaps a post for another time?) and then execute it over and over.  This is especially true in tournament fishing.  You have to pay attention to every detail of every bite.  Was it deep?  Were you moving the baits fast or slow?  No detail is too small.  It is tempting sometimes to chase the aggressive fish.  Many times they are difficult to find and your better option is to apply what you've learned and just grind it out until the buzzer goes off.  Isn't life that way too?  The get-rich-schemes, the pyramid marketing scams, the lottery... So many people search so hard for the easy way to the top.  You have to apply the lessons you learned from your parents, mentors, from your own experiences and from other people as well.  You have to consistently do the right thing.  Until the buzzer goes off.  Work while it is day... John 9:4

Lesson #3: They call it fishing, not catching

One of my good buddies says this all the time.  This is why they call it fishing and not catching...  Of course he says this when our livewell is empty (which is way too common a problem than I'd like to admit).  But it's true.  I love fishing so much that I go back even after I struggle to catch fish.  There's something about being on the water, in the middle of God's beautiful creation, that makes me happy.  Ok, alright, I do love catching fish.  But you know what I mean, right?  Why else do we freeze our butts off in the cold, rainy conditions?  Life is a little like that too.  If you focus too much on arriving then you will be disappointed in the end.  It's about the process of living.  Choose to love life and live it to the fullest.

Tight line everyone...
~Bryan May
  Cincy Fisher Baits