Find time to take break from the real world

If you are feeling a little stressed out lately it is certainly understandable.

All you need do is watch the TV news and their wall-to-wall coverage of the coronavirus and the tanking stock market to make anyone wonder if it will ever end.

The virus is way above my medical knowledge and my stocks are not giving me any confidence in our financial future. So my advice for stress is to go fishing. It usually works for me and a half hour or so just sitting on the dock and feeling a few rays of sunshine gives me a more positive outlook on the present and the future. You might even catch a fish or two for supper.

Lucky for me the dock is close behind the house so it is easy for me to haul a lawn chair out on it and commune with nature. Communing is all I’ve been doing lately as the fish do not seem to be up our cove yet, but even so, it does me a world of good to watch the lake’s ripple wash away the problems we all face right now.

At least there are a few crappies being caught in deeper water, and I am confident that as the water warms there will be a school of crappies and maybe even some white bass up here soon.

Meanwhile I plan things I will to do before the Barbie J is launched. Every good skipper has a list of things that need done and I am compulsive about keeping my vessel shipshape.

Lucky for me the real Barbie in my life always insists that we clean our boats after haul out. This usually occurs in late October and with winter just around the corner it is hard to get enthusiastic about boat cleaning. But clean we do and when spring arrives I’m happy for a clean boat that is almost ready to launch.

I say almost because thankfully there is always something that needs done, or maybe a new gizmo that I need to install or at least hook up.

This year I need to install a rope and handle on the electric trolling motor. The Minn Kota trolling motor I use has no rope to help pull it up. The handle will make it easier for this old angler to raise and lower the electric motor. You young guys will eventually learn that as you put on the years you need items that make life a little less strenuous.

In addition to the boat’s needs I also thought about tackle, especially the rods I use. I have decided to explore using longer rods this year with 6-foot-6 being the minimum length. I also want some sensitive rods as they make a difference.

I once fished with a guide who also fished walleye tournaments and he told me how it improved his catch once he switched to better (read that more expensive) rods.

The guide is right and I can attest to the fact that more sensitive rods help bring success. One night I fished with a friend for crappies and for once I was doing the catching.

We both used minnows for bait and fished over the side of the boat. The crappies were biting very lightly and I could feel each tap through my sensitive rod. My friend with the sturdier rod caught fish, but I caught many more. He was a better angler so I honestly feel my more sensitive rod made the difference.

Even on cold or windy days fishing provides me an escape from the worries of the day. My mind drifts away from the TV news and fills with thoughts of crappies waiting for me near the deep hole where they spent their winter vacation. Soon the walleyes will be hungry and ready to attack the lure I will drag behind the Barbie J.

The sun will shine and we will realize that the corona virus was just a vicious bump in the road of life. In the meantime, let’s go fishing.