My brother just bought a really nice boat, and I’m jealous. I shouldn’t be, because Joyce and I learned years ago that although we both like to fish and both enjoy eating fish, neither of us will ever grace the “fisherman hall of fame.” For starters, we are both lousy fishermen.
I have fished sitting 3 feet from someone, using the same bait, on the same tackle at the same depth and caught one fish to their ten. Once when we still had a boat, we fished over the same brush pile as some friends, again, using bait and tackle they gave us and caught one fish while they filled their cooler. I’ve named it the Gilliland fishing curse. Along with that, we both despise temperatures above 80 degrees, dramatically limiting summer fishing opportunities.
My dad was quite the opposite and hated temperatures below 80, often wearing long sleeved shirts in July and rarely ever running his air conditioner. So ever year when summer dawns, I expect those inherited genes to kick-in and my tolerance for heat to grow, but if anything, it only gets worse.
We have a walleye fishing trip to Glen Elder Lake planned, where we’ll attempt once again to overpower and vanquish the dreaded Gilliland fishing curse. Until then, here are some ways I’ve come up with to tell if fishing might not be your thing either.
When someone hollers “Quick, get the net,” and you dive for your smart phone to quickly pull up the internet, you probably shouldn’t be a fisherman.
If you worry more about whether your life jacket makes you look fat than whether it would save your life, you probably shouldn’t be a fisherman.
If you insist on scrubbing your hands like a surgeon each time you dip into your snack bag, you probably shouldn’t be a fisherman.
If choosing what to wear on the boat each day makes you more emotional than landing a five pound bass, you probably shouldn’t be a fisherman.
If it bothers you immensely when the color of the lure you’re casting doesn’t match the color of your reel, you probably shouldn’t be a fisherman.
If you feel the need to read a eulogy for each night crawler you thread onto a hook, you probably shouldn’t be a fisherman.
If you show up to clean fish wearing a full chemical suit complete with gas mask, you probably shouldn’t be a fisherman.
If you think “trolling” has something to do with ugly, wart-covered creatures that live under bridges you probably shouldn’t be a fisherman.
If a deep-seated concern for “night crawler rights” leads you to make midnight covert raids on fishermen’s cabins, emptying worm boxes and pillaging bait buckets you probably shouldn’t be a fisherman.
And finally, if bending or stretching the truth even slightly makes you break into a cold sweat, stutter or lose control of your bodily functions, you DEFINITELY should not be a fisherman!
Steve Gilliland, Inman, can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.