Ultralight verses Lunker
As a fisherman I have a game plan before I go. What type of fish am I pursuing? How big are they? What lures should I bring? The usual stuff for fishing.
What we are after is what determines what we bring. It’s how most things in the world work. You don’t hire ballerinas to build brick houses. So, they say.
As a fisherman I also know my plans are more like suggestions for best case scenarios. There’s no real guarantee they will work. There’s a lot going on under the water's surface I don’t know about. I gave up trying to figure it all out a long time ago.
Sometimes we get a bite from a fish way above the weight limit for the tackle we are using.
Ultra-light versus the Lunker.
If anybody asks
When I’m fishing for the little guys, I use lightweight tackle. It’s just how it works. Smaller fish need smaller hooks. Unfortunately, there are not any rules about the bigger ones biting it too. I know this from experience.
You’re all set to catch some little trout or bluegills or whatever and then all of the sudden. WHAM!
It either breaks off really quick or your drag starts screaming and your line starts running off. Then the pause happens.
There is a moment when you are stuck trying to figure out what to do because your plan just went out the window.
- . .I . . . .I . .. .need to.
You are correct! You need to do something, but what.
A better plan and bigger tackle would have been a great idea but that's not what you have. You have a light tackle and a big fish. Common sense would say you’re going to lose. I don’t have that much faith in what most people consider common sense anyway.
So, you have two choices: Loosen the drag and hope the fish isn’t too big or tighten it and keep your line.
Most of the time in that pause it’s decided for us Regrettably and the line breaks.
Then the rest of the day we are stuck on the one that got away. If only I had done this or that or this. Not that any of it matters now. The fish are gone, and they don’t always come back. It “CAN” happen but I wouldn’t plan on it.
So, I started fishing for the ones above my tackle on purpose. I started using ultra-light all the time. Didn’t matter what I was going after, all I brought was ultralight and very low expectations.
I was thinking of it as a learning experience instead of a day of fishing.
If anybody asked me what I was doing I would politely answer “Learning”
That way they didn’t think I knew how to fish already and think I had snapped from the ones that got away. Some people do, I’ve heard. Fishermen have a lot of stories, and amazingly a lot of time to tell them. Maybe they are smarter than me. They do it like they are told instead of trying something new like I do and instead of trying to figure it out they are off telling funny stories that may or may not be true. They say the only difference in insanity and genius is the end result. Like people said Edison was, till he made a lightbulb that worked.
Time will tell. I’m confident.
What to do when it happens
When I started my little experiment, it went exactly like you think it would.
I lost a lot of fish.
Then I lost more.
My confidence quickly became spiteful, but I kept trying. “I know this can work. It’s fishing not rocket science”
The rules of fishing aren’t as fixed as they are in rocket science. I guess.
Who knows? I don’t actually know anything about rocket science. They do seem to have a better success rate than I do.
Maybe Rocket Fishing should be a thing.
See what happens when we lose too many fish. Our mind starts to wander in directions we don’t need to go for answers. Good thing I didn’t tell anybody I knew what I was doing.
“Learning” was probably the best statement I have ever uttered and also one of the truest.
So instead of admitting defeat like a smart person probably would think they should do, I kept going. Who knows, if I try long enough maybe I’ll figure out rocket fishing. It does sound pretty cool. HMMMM.
There are things that I can be extremely patient with. Fishing is one, I struggle with people sometimes. Well, I struggle with people purposely testing my patience with things they know I am not interested in. I will keep praying for guidance on how best to handle them. In the meantime:
Fish aren’t exactly testing my patience anyway. This is all on me. The fish are doing exactly what they are supposed to: exactly what I want “THEM” to do. So, I have to change what I am doing. My approach and execution are what’s off, not the fishes.
Loosening the drag worked to a degree. But occasionally I would hook into one that would take all my line, or if I was lucky just break it off.
So, I tried a few other things, but that didn’t seem to work either. I changed reels, hooks, and how I hold it: rod up, rod down. A lot of other things till I changed rods.
Then I caught one.
It took a while, but I did manage to get one in.
When I say while I’m not talking for a couple of hours. This went on for weeks.
I was determined. I was “LEARNING!” and it worked.
When I got the first one in, I was as shocked as anybody. A few people even witnessed it and didn’t believe it.
Until I did it again.
Then I lost the next one. It’s still fishing after all, but it can be done.
It might not be the best approach all the time but if the need arises, I’m not stuck in limbo going UUUUUUU.
I know what to do now. Which was the point of the experiment, or class, anyway: To see if it could be done and if so, how to do it. But it wasn’t one thing that made the difference, it was a combination of things that allowed it to work, the rod was only the last piece of the puzzle.
I could tell you about levers and fulcrums and science, but I’m not. Mainly because I didn’t do any science when I learned how to do this. I just kept trying till I found a way. Now I can show others how. The only thing I can teach is fishing, and maybe writing.
I can say this: "It is extremely exciting and a whole lot of fun, but the learning curve is horrible.” I left a lot of days wanting to quit, but I didn’t, for whatever reason. Now, I have the confidence that no matter what tackle I’m using I’m prepared for whatever comes my way.
It wasn’t what I started out to do but it is what happened. I just didn’t like losing fish. I still don’t but I know I will. It’s fishing not catching.
That's the thing about the really big lessons in life and faith, we don’t usually understand it until after we learn it. For some of us anyway. Some people learn in other ways, some are like me. They don’t have a lot of faith in what people say or think. I don’t really need a lot of people anyway, mainly just one but that’s in God’s hands not mine or anybody else's. I have faith in that too.
Usually when someone tells you “You can’t” what they are really saying is “They couldn't”. Maybe it’s up to us to show them that anybody can, if you are willing to try, have enough faith to keep going, and listen to that little voice telling them to keep trying. God works in mysterious ways, and he does not have limits to what he can do or how he does it. Then maybe more people will start saying “Yes we can.” Sometimes it is as simple as just choosing to try. Like fishing.
I’m also a writer. People will come out of the woodwork to tell you that you can’t do that too.
Till you do.
But that is another story.
Most of what I understand about the way God works comes from the way I understand fishing and from the Bible. Most of what I understand about the Bible comes from what I understand about fishing. I know a lot more about fishing than I do scripture. We all start somewhere. My place just happened to be fishing. We all have different gifts for different reasons. I’m glad I learned how to use mine, even if it was the hard way.
For now I’m still “LEARNING” and I don’t see a time when I am not. I’m also still fishing with ultralight tackle, sometimes. None of us are perfect.
For the record God loves to fish with ultralights. Just ask Goliath.