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Why Do We Fish? Part 1

by: Lloyd Tackitt , Texas 2/10/2014

Why do we fish?  This is a question that has fascinated me for many many years.  i'm not much closer to a simple answer yet, but there are some particular answers that fit some of the time.  I doubt if there is a single answer that fits all of the time, but if it's out there I will be happy to spend the rest of my life looking for it..  If it's not out there I won't consider a life-time of searching for it a waste, not at all a waste, it will have been an excellent life-time pursuit.

One of the answers is almost found in the following quote:

"The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope."  John Buchan


I agree that this is one of the charms, but certainly not the only charm.  Yet it is a powerful thing, this anticipation with every cast that we can connect with one of those beautiful creatures, and that it might just be, might just be a huge one too. 


We know this, that each and every cast could end with a great catch, and we know that if each and every cast did end with a great catch we would soon quit fishing.  So the counter to the hope part, is the knowledge that most casts by far will not connect with a fish.  This uncertainty, this matter of negative numbers, is paramount in keeping us going.


There is an underlying truth to fishing, a philosophy that is intricate and detailed, but no one I know of has come close to laying it out in anything more than parts and pieces.  And this is just one piece of the whole.  Yet a powerful piece.


More to come in the upcoming days.  Would love to get feedback.



Blog content © Lloyd Tackitt
Member comments
anglerwannabe, CO   2/10/2014 9:20:03 AM
at first, it because thats what I did with my Dad. Growing up it was the rare time that he wasn't my Dad, but my friend and he actually relaxed. Then in my mid 20's and 30's it was what I did to be away from everything. Last few years, I noticed, I was getting better at this. It wasn't until recently I understood what I was doing and why the fish were doing what they do. So now I still fish to get away, but also because it is something that can always be worked on, always honed and always changing. That's pretty cool.
FISHRANGLER, CO   2/10/2014 9:58:03 AM
I would like to know what happens psychology in a person while fishing. Many years ago while the business was drowning and loosing the house and the kids mom decided to do something different other than me. I was left without much but the fishing really helped with the funk I was in. Don't know why, but while I was fishing nothing mattered but to connect with a fish. So I connected with a few and all was alright and time healed those wounds. It was almost like a drug. I don't understand why but I'm glad it went that way. The depression was pretty bad, but the fishing was great.
Ajax5240, CO   2/10/2014 11:14:13 AM
I think the only answer that could sum it all up is "All of the above". An escape from the world, time in nature, time with friends and family, the hope of a big one, the hope of beating the skunk, getting away from your wife, an excuse to drink beer with friends, a day on the boat, time in a beautiful river, improving technique, searching for the magical bait, putting food on the table, passing on a skill to the next generation, rehab, the list just goes on and on. Either way, I sure do enjoy it.
boogieman, CO   2/10/2014 12:00:03 PM
I am sure many of you have seen this before, but i like the quote from John Voelker. The part about the whiskey resonates with me.
Coyute, CO   2/10/2014 12:27:23 PM
If everything was gravy, life would be a bore. If I caught fish every outing, the worth of fishing to me would diminish. If a person could fully lay out the philosophy of fishing in a manner that's compelling to me, I doubt I'd fish anymore. Every person's philo of fishing means different things. A lot of claims are made and quotes to be quoted in regards to fishing. I love to fish and I don't know all the reasons why. I don't need to know all the reasons why. I love to fish, and at the end of the day, that's enough for me.
Dangly, CO   2/10/2014 12:40:17 PM
working toward something that can never be achieved.....
OldMikkDale, CO   2/10/2014 1:33:42 PM
I was a depression baby so for some it meant a meal. We had a farm so I did not go hungry. A cane pole, a string, a cork my mother gave to me, a nut and my one hook and I was in 7th heaven. Fished in a lagoon in town which had a few bullheads and also some gold fish people had gotten rid of. We were not far from the Missouri river and my dad had a commercial license and I helped him run the nets and throw lines. In those days, grocery stores in small towns did not sell fish, so the only way to have fish was to catch them. After the war, we did go to Minn. every year and I was given my first steel rod and bait casting reel and nylon line which we had to dry after using. So my history was for enjoyment, fish to eat and money. Now I like the challenge of catching and my wife and I love to eat them, fresh caught fish seem to taste better.
JOHN_COSprings, CO   2/10/2014 7:39:25 PM
I know for me, back in 2012, after 25 years away from the bank side I returned. Why ? well, my wife discovered in 2011 she had heart issues and, after surgery, we decided that it was time for both of us to get out of the house more, away from the desk & computers and enjoy the fresh air and wonderful outdoors we have here in Colorado. Of course, for me, given that there was all this "water" I just had to get a line and hook in there. In but a year of fishing my blood pressure was down into the normal range, I felt much healthier, happier, and heck, I even developed a sun-tan. Fishing is now a passion again, not just for the health benefits, but I really enjoy spending either a quiet day on the bank alone, or a hectic fun packed session with friends. Certainly beats the heck out of being a couch potato !
Catman1979, CO   2/11/2014 2:27:41 AM
I think that Ajax really hit the nail on the head. It is so many things to us all, that it is hard to sum up. I also think that it changes with time, but the one thing that binds it all together is the thrill of landing a fish. For myself, I think fishing is a way that I measure myself as a man. I am always trying to push myself harder, walk the extra mile, or try that new technique that seems so awkward to me. The “doubt demon” in my head will tell me I can’t wake up that early, or that I can’t fish that long. I always slap him, and put him away again. Being competitive, and measuring myself against other more seasoned anglers, keeps my motivation goin’. In the end though, it is still the fish as I am one that will have the biggest sh*t eating grin even after catching a small rainbow trout.
opencage, CO   2/11/2014 9:49:21 AM
I fish because it's fun.
Lloyd Tackitt (Lloyd Tackitt), TX   2/11/2014 1:23:21 PM
All valid points. I hope to explore most of those thoughts in coming days.
oley, CO   2/12/2014 10:31:07 PM
It is not the anticipation of something large, else why do we fish creeks, ponds and the like. It is not for the many, else why do we fish specific holes, downtown waters and so many more spots. It must be to while away the hours, to be with nature and a hope in getting our quarry to bite on our lines and then on our dinner plates or in letting them go away to fight again tomorrow. For the most part, ours is a cerebral sport pitting our large massive brains against the teeny, tiny brains of the fish we seek. Often we win but many more times than we care to admit, we go home with nothing. The fish have won this round but there will be another time when once again, we will pit our strengths against our foes weaknesses and hope......
oley, CO   2/12/2014 10:45:15 PM
Or maybe it is a character fault in all of us fishers...... And it keeps us off of the streets...
Lloyd Tackitt
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