The angler who knows everthing

Have you ever met an angler who knew everything there was to know about fishing?

I’ve met a couple over the years and I find it sad, because if you know everything about fishing why even go fishing? Believe me dear readers I do not know everything about fishing. In fact after decades of trying to understand my finny quarry I have barely scratched the surface of possible fishing knowledge.

If I ever feel I know everything about fishing I will reel in my lines and give my tackle to some young boy or girl who is just beginning their quest for fishing knowledge. I’m afraid that will never happen because each time I go out I learn something new. I even learn from the bad days.

When I am not fishing I still try to learn. There are fishing magazines and books on the stand next to my chair and I often refer to them when I become bored watching wall-to-wall TV commercials.

That’s when I leaf through my magazines and books searching for information on fishing. If I find an interesting article I click the TV off and do some reading.

Everything about fishing is a learning experience for me; from choosing the right rod and reel or even to operating my boat. Each boat has its personality. Not everything about a fishing boat is positive, but I have learned to deal with the bad and enjoy the good of each boat.

I bought my new Lund Fury back in mid July and so far my experience has all been good. If the Lund has a fault for me it is just that I can’t find anything to buy for her. I did add an onboard battery charger for the trolling motor battery so I can easily plug in and begin charging as soon as I reach the dock.

Much of this year’s fishing education has involved improving my homemade nightcrawler harnesses, and using them to catch fish. As I mentioned in a previous column I needed to change from an improved clinch knot to a Palomar knot. I have changed and the last time I was hopelessly snagged the line broke and not the knot. That is a lesson learned from a failure.

My experience with Berkley Gulp! has not been a roaring success for walleyes, but I just used their small Gulp! wax worms and have done well on big bluegills and a few channel catfish. Not sure what the lesson is, but I will have time to ponder it during the winter.

As I ponder during the snowy days of February I will refer often to my summer’s fishing log. While my usual procrastination keeps me from logging everything I have been faithful in recording each fishing day’s barometric pressure and water temperature.

I also include the hours fished and my success, or lack thereof. I could get even more specific in my log, but that old bugaboo procrastination, or maybe laziness always rears its ugly head.

One thing I always learn is that I do not know everything there is to know about fishing. I hope it stays that way.

Happy birthday!

Today is Scooter’s birthday and she will be 11 years old. That translates to 77 human years. Like me she has slowed down some and there is plenty of gray around her muzzle. But also like me she keeps going and even chases squirrels in our backyard.

Scooter was born in the wilds of West Virginia and it wasn’t easy for me to find a Mountain Cur. There are not many here in the flatlands, so it was a long trip to find my special puppy. Scooter was 5 weeks old when I looked at a litter of nine new puppies and said “I’ll take this one.”

I keep telling her that she hit the lotto of life that day. I paid the $150 fee and said “Scooter I’ll be back in two weeks.” The litter’s owner was surprised I had already named her, but Scooter seemed to fit this ornery little girl.

Barb and I picked Scooter up during a snowstorm and the little girl shivered in a blanket on Barb’s lap. I’m sure that her shivering was nervousness at leaving her mother and siblings, but she became family with us and will be family as long as we and she live.

That’s the way it is with a special dog and the family who love her.