WHY?

    I’ve been fishing most of my life. I have lost fish more times than I can remember and, in more ways, than I like to admit. Was I ever frustrated by it? Of course, I was. I want to catch fish and not lose them. I know full well why it’s called fishing and not catching but when some things happen, I still find myself asking the same question: WHY? 

Right beside the boat

     I’m not sure this happens to everyone but I will assume if you have been fishing long enough you have had it happen. You cast out and retrieve without a bite. You get ready to raise the lure out of the water and make another cast. THEN WHAM. Out of nowhere you get one of the biggest strikes of the day from one of the biggest fish you have seen.Before we can do anything it’s gone.

    Sometimes they linger right under the surface like they are saying “Gotcha”. Then swim off laughing, again. Fish laugh at us all the time we just don’t hear it.

    This is one of the most aggravating things in fishing. We can’t stop it. We can’t catch it. We can’t even tell when it will happen. I have yet to get one of these fish in the boat.

    I haven't even come up with any way to fight the thing. I tried keeping my drag extra loose but that didn’t work either. It took forever to catch the ones that bit when I had a lot of line out and the one that bit beside the boat still got away.

 I am asking for advice on this predicament because I can find no solution other than to ignore it and keep fishing. The fisherman in me says there is a way to catch those, the logic in my mind says that’s impossible. I am befuddled all I can say is 

WHY? Why does this happen? Are the fish really just having fun with us? If you have an idea on how to stop this, please let me know, I am always eager to learn something new about fishing.

When they Jump

    One of the most exciting events in the fight is when they take to the air. We have them hooked and they are doing everything they can to not get caught. Running, diving, pulling, and then they start thinking they are birds and leap out of the water. 

   YYYEEESSSSS!! LLOOOOKKK at him go.

   Our adrenaline gets going and we get even more excited. They jump again and the impossible happens. 

   Everything slows down and our sight zooms in on the fish's mouth. Tunnel vision sets in. All we see is the lure.  . .as it comes flying out of the fish's mouth.

Devastation ensues. 

NNNNOOOOOOOO!!!

   Our yells of excitement become whispers of disbelief. We stand there shaking our heads and all we can think is How did that happen? What did I do wrong?

   Think back on it though, that fish might have been laughing . . .again.

    Maybe we didn’t do anything wrong, maybe the fish did it on purpose.

    Actually, they did.

They are fighting because they don’t want to be caught. We just have it in our heads that we are smarter than the fish and can catch them if we hook them. Right up until they come off.

    The fish probably could have done this without making us witness it but that’s not what happened. We had to see every single excruciating moment of it in slow motion.’

WHY?

Unhooked on a treble hook

    On many of the lures I use, one hook isn’t enough. They have treble hooks. Some have more than one set,2 or 3 even. By my logic if I can catch a fish with one hook then I should have no trouble catching one on a treble hook. More is always better, right?

    Well, with some things it is.

    Do you want to catch MORE fish? YES. Do you want to LOSE more fish? NO.

Perspective is a big part in how things work out. I try to stay positive. I’m successful at it, most of the time.

    Nobody is perfect, if we were we wouldn’t have needed Jesus.

    For some reason, and I can’t figure this out, I still lose fish on treble hooks. It seems impossible to me though. How could I fight a fish on treble hooks and still lose it?

   I’ve even had them throw it at me right beside the boat. Nothing opens your eyes and makes you pay attention like having a top water lure with 3 sets of treble hooks come flying by you at a high speed. The “probably won't but could happens” happen when you least expect them.

    In my head it seems like if one hook came loose another would grab, but it doesn’t. How is this even possible? It’s taken me several minutes to unhook some fish because they had so many hooks set in them, then there’s that one clever little guy who can get out of anything and leaves me frustrated and asking: WHY? Why does this happen. .. and HOW? How could this happen?

And I keep casting

   We all have our little secret spots. The place we always catch fish. The place we catch big fish. The place we don’t tell anybody about. The honey holes. I have several of them for different types of fish. If the conditions are right, I know I can go to one of them and catch some nice fish.

   Then there are those weird times that everything is perfect, and I go to my little honey hole. I make a cast and . . . NOTHING.

    I made another and . . .Nothing. Over and over again

   This can’t happen. This is my honey hole. The well that never goes dry. I know the fish are there. I know they are feeding. I can see them and see the bait jumping. They just won’t hit my lure.

   I’m not really a fan of live bait but on these days, I will try it, but I still don’t catch anything. I am throwing what they are feeding on where they are feeding. What is different about MY bait?

   Instead of moving on I usually stay there and keep casting till I’m really frustrated and start throwing any and everything I can at them. It still doesn’t work. And then I start asking myself  . . .WHY?

 I should probably be asking myself “Why am I still casting here?” but once the mindset that I can outsmart the fish kicks in my rationality is gone. It’s not about catching fish anymore; it’s about catching one RIGHT THERE. I start thinking I have something to prove instead of just moving on.

WHY?  Am I like that? Stubborn.

  I am getting better about it though. When I start getting frustrated, I try to breathe, pray, ask for forgiveness, and then move on. I just haven't gotten to the point that I always do this. I’m learning as I go and have a long way to go. I don’t actually see a time in anyone's life where we don’t have something to learn or improve on.

"Still waters turn stagnant."

The one that got away

   Everybody knows about the one that got away. That one fish that we fought and struggled with, and then got off. In our heads it becomes something of a myth. It was Soooooo big. It’s the biggest fish I ever hooked into. The list goes on. Fishing stories are all true though. Fishing stories explained / Short Stories and ponderings | Catch More!

    Every time we go fishing, in the back of our minds is “The one that got away.” It doesn’t matter how many we get in the boat; we keep looking for that ONE.

   The chances of us actually catching that ONE is slim to none. Even if we did catch it, we wouldn’t know. It’s pretty hard to tell one fish from the other, especially if we don’t see it. I guess if it had a tag in it and you saw it and could read it and then caught it later, you could actually say ‘You caught that one that got away.”

   I have had more fish get away than I can remember. Every time, I wonder if it was that one  . . .again. Like I have a nemesis fish down there swimming just to taunt me. There is in fact only one fish in the whole world that could get away, right? All fishing stories are true.

    WHY? Why is it that instead of being grateful for everything I do catch am I still disappointed by the one that got away? I know I will never see it again, but I haven't shaken that one. 

   I can replay the fight in my head a million times, and I still won’t know why it got away. WHY did I do this to myself?

    Since I’m growing and trying to be better, I try to focus on what I have done and be happy about what God blesses me with and not so much on “The one that got away.” I’m trying to learn as I go. Life can be complicated if we let it be. It can also be easy and a blessing.

    I have done everything in this article, and I am working to do most of it differently. I was reading the bible this morning and came across a verse in Peter “without grumbling” is what stuck out. All the times I did all those things, some of which I am working to correct, I was grumbling. I wasn’t being grateful to Jesus for everything He had blessed me with like the ones in the cooler or the fact that I was lucky enough to be out fishing and enjoying the world He created for us to LOVE.

   It’s not a good feeling when God points out some of the things we are doing wrong or need to work on, but it is good for us. He wouldn’t point it out if He didn’t care. I try to listen when he does point things out now. No, I didn’t always, especially when I was fishing.

    I thought God had better things to do than bother with me when I’m fishing. Turns out God never has better things to do than work on us. We are His children, and He cares for us. He would like us to be perfect, but He doesn’t expect it. We all have a lot of growing to do and we aren’t supposed to grumble about it.

He works on me through fishing and the outdoors because it’s what I understand. I’ve understood a lot of scripture because of what I know about the outdoors. He also made me a writer by vocation, mostly for the outdoors. Then he found a way to combine them. I’m not putting myself above anyone. I am working on all this myself, some I have learned to laugh about or at least take it with a smile. Some things or places I know to stay clear of.

    I am nowhere near perfect and never will be. I am trying to be better though; he teaches me as I go. I hope He is working on you too, if not, it might be time you had a talk with Him but that’s for you to decide. Just make sure when he opens your eyes to some things, you listen. It’s easier if you get it the first time He tells you. I am working on that too. Not listening when He tells us something can turn out to be a disaster. Silver Linings / Short Stories and ponderings | Catch More!

Live by Faith. Love the Outdoors. Life is Out HERE!

written by Benjamin Evans