BassWestUSA - May/June 2009, Page 58

Have you ever thought about why you fish? I mean what is it about fishing that causes you to get up at 0- dark-thirty and spend a whole day out in the freezing cold or burn- ing hot elements? In searching my soul and pestering numerous anglers over the past six months, I’ve come up with ten reasons that I’ve placed into four categories.

I don’t think I need to say much about this category of reason for fishing. This was the most common form of responses I received in polling anglers. And, as I will explain later, unless you keep some aspect of these reasons in to forefront of your experience, you will ultimately dislike fishing and give it up. Interestingly enough, last year I would not have understood reason 4 (the art of casting, rig- ging, boat maneuvering, etc…). But, after most of a year off, I woke up one morning and that was the one thing I missed the most. I missed the art of casting and the way the line arches and hits the water. I missed the way a lure splashes in the hole in the weeds with a smallest sound of entry and the sound of a whipping strong cast. I missed the details that made up the art of angling.

escaping and enjoYing the art (reasons 1-4)

allows our ego to feel superior to Mother Nature (the fish) or to other fisherman. Rest assured that this motivation lies deep within all of us. It is the motivator behind every “big fish tale” you have ever heard. It is the main factor in tournament fishing but certainly not the only one. It is what makes fishermen into excessive braggers and “me-oriented” beings at times. So what about ego fishing is relevant here? Why am I bringing it up? I just want people to recognize it and acknowledge it. I don’t care if anyone changes or gets angry or thinks I’m a moron, perhaps I am. But just recognize it. And if anyone is out there thinking that their ego-based goals “help” them in some way I want to ask them two questions. First, have you ever, in your entire life thought to yourself, “I really admire that person’s ego?” Of course not. Egos turn us off faster than a cold snap shuts off a bass bite. You don’t like anyone’s ego. You may like them in spite of their ego but the reality is the ego is a 100% self-centered aspect of the human psyche and by definition it cannot be loved, liked or admired by anyone because it takes and never gives.

Wanting to “solve the puzzle” and beat the fish and to beat other fisherman make our egos feel better about fishing because it

Winning (reasons 5 and 6)

Again, this is a pretty self-explanatory rationale for fishing. But note that reasons 7 and 8 are quite different. To fish because you want to win money is not the same as fishing because you are do- ing it for a living. Money is a motivator for all kinds of behavior but that does not mean you can make a living off of that money.

paYing the Bills (reasons 7 and 8)

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May/June 2009