Sunday, May 27, 2012

1 Fish, 2 Fish, Big Fish.. Huge Fish!

 When I was around 11 years old, I listened in awe as my step-brother recounted the story of how he caught a 4lb largemouth bass while fishing with his uncle on Jacks lake in Apsley Ontario. For years, that fish was the standard that I set for myself, a 4lb fish was a monster in my eyes, possibly a world record even, and that made Jacks lake the Holy grail of bass lakes and one day I knew I just had to fish there...  it's funny how times change, and fish that once seemed huge, are downsized to ordinary or average even.

It was not to long after my brother taunted me with his fish tale, that I made it my goal to surpass him, you might even say he was the driving force behind my current competitive nature. I took every opportunity I could get to go fishing, I forgot about panfish, forgot about trout, and focused on Bass. Whether it was with my grandfathers mepps, or with a bobber and worm, I was out to catch a mythical 4lb fish.

Like any die hard fisherman I can remember every "personal best" no matter how often I have beaten it since. So I can tell you that it was not three years after my brother fish began to haunt my dreams, that I topped it. I can still clearly see that orange and yellow bobber, dive below the water, and the rush I got as the fish spin me around in the little paddle boat I was fishing from. I was so excited that  when I finally landed the fish, I placed it in the seat next to me and paddled quickly to shore to make sure I could get proof of my catch.. parents called, picture taken, the fish was released and I could again sleep... but not for long, as we all know big fish are like Lays potato chips.. you cant just catch one!

Flashing forward to 2012.. that 11 year old boy is now 33, and no longer do I live in the shadow of my brothers fish, and Jacks lake although still a great fishery, has been reduce to "just another Bass lake", in my ever changing rotation of lakes. And although I may not be haunted by a fish from my past, I do still continue to dream of that next catch, the next "personal best" the next fish that will put me in the money. Big fish may come more often as you hone your craft, but huge fish, they are the stuff that dreams are made of, and what makes fishing great is that no matter how big your personal best is, there is always the chance to surpass it. It may take years of learning, or it may take a trip to a secrete lake tucked quietly away from the swarm of anglers that engulf the waterways each and every weekend. But whatever it takes, as anglers we are willing to do it, he live for that one big bite, and when we no longer do.. it's time to hang up the rods (or the rods have been hung up for us!)

I have started a poll at the left side of this page asking how often you catch "big fish", vote, and see where you stand.

PS: I started to think about writing this article a few weeks back while on a fishing trip with some buddies. After a long day on the water we were all sitting around the kitchen table discussing the days catch and reliving some past glory, when out of the blue one member of our group spat out.. "I have never caught a 5lb fish" he then quickly added that he had in fact netted a 5lb (or larger) fish for every angler currently sitting at the table, but had never actually caught one himself.. This really blew my mind, as this man is a top notch angler, with years and years of fishing experience under his belt (trying not to call him old). It really goes to show that no matter if your 11 or 75, you just never know if that 5lb fish in your net will be your last (or your first).

Fish life to the fullest!


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