Friday, March 21, 2008

Is Fishing Luck?

Is fishing a sport? Is it something you can be better at than another person? This question has stumped scientists for…well, I won’t go that far.

Now, while I don’t know of any famous fishermen, outside of Chief Brody, I will argue with any naysayer who says that fishing is luck. For most of my life I would have agreed with that statement. I’ve been on trips where you get on those charter boats with 50 other people and everyone throws in their line. Fish swims by, he’s got 50 hooks to choose from, total luck. You would think so, but in the words of Buford “Mad Dog” Tannen…”You thought wrong dude.”

Someway, somehow when my younger brother, Stephen, goes on these trips, he almost always catches a few fish. Most people catch nothing and sink another $35.

Down to my logic on why fishing is not a sport of chance. Before I get to that, a better question must be answered. Is fishing a God-given talent? NO, it is not. Throwing a 90-mph fastball is. Running a 3.4 40 is. Casting a fishing rod into the ocean, is not. Really, how can you miss the ocean?

Fishing is a passion that some have and some do not. Fishing has logical strategies that some know and some do not. The reason they know these strategies is because they’ve been doing it long enough. And they’ve been doing it long enough to figure them out, because they have a passion for it. It’s what they think about when they are waiting in line. These people read fishing magazines while they are on the porcelain throne. When your playing video games, they are tinkering with their tackle box.

The reason I suck at fishing and my brother doesn’t, is because he cares enough to be good at it. He knows the strategies. You have to know where to cast your line. The reason he catches more fish when on those fishing trips, while the rest of us pay $35 to untangle our lines, is because of these 3 reasons:
  1. He fishes more. Simple. His line is always in the water. I don’t love fishing so I shoot the breeze, get a coke, maybe turn green and throw some man-made chum off the side. The probability of me catching a fish is much less just from pure mathematics. My line isn’t in the water.
  2. He knows where to stand. He knows based on the currents and winds, where the best spot is to increase his chances. Because he knows this his bait will be the first in line to a fish swimming with the current.
  3. He knows the depth. I could have the best spot on the boat, but if my line is sitting on the bottom of the ocean. I have no chance of catching a fish. How would I know if it is. I don’t. I don’t do it enough to know. That’s when I get stuck on the rocks…cut the line…another 20 minutes before I’m back in the action.

There’s probably more than this, but I wouldn’t know what they are. But what I do know is what the Top 5 Fishing Movies are:
  1. Jaws
  2. On Golden Pond
  3. Moby Dick
  4. A River Runs Through It
  5. The Old Man and the Sea

I’m still working on this list so if you find I’m missing some, please let me know. Here is a list of fishing movies.

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"Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day." ~Author Unknown


الاهلي said...

good work - thanks

Ryan said...

I do think fishing involves more than dumb luck (most of the time). However, there are some people who give fish credit for being way smarter than they really are. Some fisherman are convinced the fish are aware of the color of their clothing and all sorts of other stuff. Knowlege and skill helps, but luck is always involved too.