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Holy crap, I forgot how much fun fishing is

by: Tom McInerney 5/21/2013

The last few years of my life have been spent in big cities. Space was tight, life was hectic, and fishing was throwing a worm and a bobber in a scummy pond in west Chicago. Then, the wife “reminds” me, “Hey, I want to live in Colorado.”

“Umm, what?”

“Yeah, remember when we were dating in college and I said I wanted to live in Colorado?”

“No, but it’s gotta be better than here.”

And that was it. We flew out during spring break, went to a job fair, found perfect jobs teaching exactly what we wanted in a nice little school district, and I fell back in love with the outdoors. That summer, my parents helped us move the 1,000+ miles from Chicago to Loveland, and my dad had a surprise for me. He gave me the ten-foot plastic fishing boat we fished from when I was a kid. He had gotten something smaller and lighter for himself and was about to craigslist the old one when my mom reminded him that his son might be interested. I’ve never been more grateful for my mom. Shame on me?

So we lug the dingy to Loveland (not an easy task as the trailer is rated at 55 mph) and in the ruckus of moving into a new house and getting prepared for a new job I forgot about the blessing I have sitting in the backyard. Eventually, I remember and go out to a reservoir near the house. When I get there I think, “Where the hell are the lily pads?”

Growing up in southwest Michigan, fishing the little lakes wasn’t difficult or complicated. Throw a bobber and worm next to some lily pads and wait about a minute or less to reel in the fish. Usually just bluegills, but sometimes it was a largemouth bass. This was all I knew about fishing for the first half of my life. Moving to Colorado changed all that.

So, on the reservoir, I tried to repeat the tactics I used back in Michigan. I parked next to some submerged trees, threw a bobber and worm at them, and waited, and waited, and waited. I repeated this all along the brush. Nothing.

Confused, frustrated, and still not ready to go back home and mow the lawn, I just went out to the middle of the lake. There I dropped the worm off the side of the boat and jigged it about a foot off the bottom. BOOM, I was back in bluegill heaven. It felt good just to catch something. After a couple more times out though, this became boring and I wanted more.

I knew there were trout in the lake because I could see other shore and boat anglers catching tons of them. So, to the Internet to figure out how. I found a cool website called Fish Explorer and the research began. It hasn’t stopped yet, and I don’t see it stopping any time soon. Before FxR, I didn’t know what a “Rapala” was; I knew what trolling was, but didn’t think it worked.  I thought catching fish using lures was luck. Needless to say, I’ve learned a lot over the last year.

After all this research, I tried some of these “new” ways to catch fish. I caught my first trout just trolling a night crawler. When I realized that worked, I tried trolling a Rapala and thought I had unlocked some kind of ancient fishing secret. I had to stop using two rods I was catching so many fish. “Holy crap, I forgot how much fun fishing is,” I thought. This was my first fishing domino to fall.

Over the last year, I have learned about and successfully tried cat fishing, bass fishing, and walleye fishing. As an angler, I know of nothing more fulfilling than the first time you catch a fish you’re targeting. I also started ice fishing and fly-fishing for the first time, both of those have been unsuccessful, but I don’t plan on quitting. I’m addicted. One night, my wife caught me setting a hook and reeling in fish in my sleep. I don’t even have to be awake to have fun fishing.

Of course, catching fish makes fishing more fun. To catch more fish, do some research. FxR and Google are an angler’s best friends when it comes to learning about a “new” fishing technique. Go out there and try something new. If it doesn’t work, back to the forum to find out why. Email a pro or guide and they’ll give you tons of great advice too. Either way, the more knowledge you have, the more fish you catch, and the more fish you catch, the more fun you’ll have.

Fun fishing!

Blog content © Tom McInerney
Member comments
IceFishingFool, CO   5/21/2013 12:14:57 PM
Welcome to Colordo. Ice fishing is another world, I think I know something about !! 8-)
Tom McInerney (opencage), CO   5/21/2013 12:36:33 PM
Thanks. It sure is. It looks relatively easy, at least all those other guys around me pulling trout up every 5 minutes made it look that way. I'm being sure to remember certain spots I catch fish now, so I can try those places on the hard water next winter.
alanlf5280, CO   5/21/2013 4:16:36 PM
Great blog. I feel that if you learn how to catch fish in Colorado, you can catch fish anywhere. Welcome to CO!
Tom McInerney (opencage), CO   5/22/2013 7:59:34 AM
Thanks, I hope you're right. I'm going back to Michigan for a month this summer. My dad and I are planning on fishing the same little lakes. It'll be fun to try the techniques I learned here and see if they work there. I might even teach my dad a few things about catching walleyes. How's that for returning the favor? :-)
Flyrodn, CO   5/22/2013 10:36:43 AM
Tom's absolutely correct, fishing is fun, and catching ain't half bad either. Not to mention the fresh air, exercise, companionship, occasional good meal, yep fishing is and should be about having a good time. As a side note, look to see Tom's writing a lot in the future. I think we'll add blogger to his growing list of titles on Fish Explorer, News Editor, Calenar Editor, Lake Editor, and blogger. Thanks Tom.
Tom McInerney (opencage), CO   5/22/2013 12:43:47 PM
Glad to be aboard, and I hope I can help the site as much as it's helped me become a better angler. I also hope I can help other "novice" anglers out there as much as the members of this site have helped me. Fun fishing!
butterfli, CO   5/24/2013 9:40:06 PM
Welcome to Colorado. From Michigan myself. My best memories as a kid was camping and fishing with my dad. We moved to Loveland in 69. For many years I didn't fish. Several years ago a friend got me a pole and we went. I forgot how much fun it was. Today i have a little metal 12 footer with electric trolling motor. Remember the joy is in the fishing. Nothing better in the world then a pole in the hand and the sun on my face. Happy fishing season to all.
Tom McInerney (opencage), CO   5/27/2013 8:30:50 AM
Thanks. I never thought I'd like a state more than Michigan, but Colorado is great!
Tom McInerney
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