Sometimes, you need to just go fishing.
You just need a hook, line, bait and a good friend to go along. Okay, maybe you need cheese crackers and some Dr. Pepper 10, too, for drinking.
I had a chance to do that last week with an old friend, Will Morgan, “Dub” to those who know him best and aren’t afraid of repercussions for calling him that. The good crappie bite on the trees was winding down a bit and it was a bit warm – well, let’s call it hot.There was an East wind, 12 mph, to be exact. For you novices, when the wind is from the east, the fish bite the least. And fishing pressure had been terrible. People had been lined up at every cypress tree since Easter on my side of the lake like shoppers waiting in line for a checker at Wally World.
So, there. Excuses. You need some of those when you fish, too. We did catch a few fish, but more importantly had a great time just catching up. We were just chillin’ and pondering the meaning of Thoreau’s aforementioned deep philosophical approach to fishing. The only pressure was barometric, and it was on the rise (again for you novices, rising pressure shuts down the urge for fish to bite, just in case I needed another excuse).
Bottom line — we had fun. Isn’t that what fishing is supposed to be? No 20 fish stringers. No three pounders. But enough for supper. And a picture. And for financial balance.
“I got my $7.50 worth,” Dub said. “Been a long time since I got to go fishing like this. And this is a beautiful lake.”
Five dollars of that $7.50 (cost of a one-day out of state fishing permit) went to the state of Louisiana, what I call the license tax for the right to fish in the water owned by the public in your own backyard). And $2.50 went to the on-line third party company that tacks on a buy-on-line tax for the convenience of you not having to be in-line at Wally World.
The trip was not without learning experiences. Will is a professional safety man by trade and has traveled the country helping manufacturing facilities keep people safe. So it should be no surprise that before we left land, I got a safety orientation into proper handling of fish (gotta watch those fins and gill plates); lessons like “make sure the point of the hook is away from your finger when you put a shiner on.”… that kind of stuff. I didn’t even mind that Will made me leave my life jacket on while cleaning the fish, even though I was standing on the dock. And did I mention, it was hot.
Oh yes, we would have caught more, but I didn’t notice that Dub was wearing a Razorback red sunglasses strap sitting there in the back of my boat. Really? How did an LSU fan miss that? It wasn’t much, but that red….That may work on Arkansas crappie, but it was apparently not appealing to the Louisiana sacalait.
But hey, I’m not one to make excuses.