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Two Guys Fishing

Blog by: Lloyd Tackitt 1/31/2018
When two guys go fishing together, one of them usually catches more fish.  Generally usually but not always that guy is the one that knows more about fishing.  Luck can play a large part, but over time the better fisherman will be pretty obvious.

Fisherman A is a sometimes fisherman.  He goes when the weather is good, when he has time, when someone talks him into it.  Mostly he goes just to get out of the house and drink some cold beer while sitting in the sun and enjoying the day.  He doesn't watch many, if any, fishing shows.  He doesn't read articles about fishing.  He doesn't think about fishing much, if at all, except when someone else brings it up.  His equipment is one rod and reel and one tackle box with some rusty stuff in it.  He doesn't own a boat and doesn't want one.

Fisherman B fishes every chance he gets.  He goes in foul weather or good, he makes time, and he often fishes alone.  He enjoys being at home when he is at home, because he is gone fishing so often.  He may drink cold beer, but he will limit the amount.  He watches a lot of youtube videos on fishing, he prowls the internet for fishing articles - always with the intent of learning something new.  He has more rods and reels than he remembers having and he has several tackle boxes, each geared for a particular style of fishing.  He most likely owns a boat, or he is hoping to some day.

On any given day Fisherman A can certainly outfish Fisherman B - but over time the difference is telling.  

That is not to say that Fisherman A doesn't get as much pleasure from his fishing as Fisherman B does.  Fisherman A doesn't get the least bit obsessive about fishing and for him results are just what they are and a nice fish is all bonus.  He occasionally goes fishing because he enjoys it - but just now and then.  He goes when he wants to go, when it works for him, and he's not going unless his conditions are lined up to suit him.  Because of that he doesn't put pressure on himself to "perform", he's not competing with anyone, he's just there in the moment having a great time.  

Fisherman B, on the other hand, is having just as much fun but in a very different kind of way.  He is deeply interested in the biology of fish, of how they react in different conditions and circumstances, of the insect life in the water and how their life cycles impact the fish he is after - he can tell you the Latin names of several of them and describe their life like an entomologist - same for anything else the fish eat such as shad or crayfish.  He digs deep into the minutiae because that gives him soul satisfying pleasure. He lives to learn new things about fishing.  Results matter to him, but mainly as a marker of how well he is learning.  A nice fish is partially a bonus (he understands the luck factor) and partially an earned reward for all his effort in figuring out how to catch fish. 

We are all different.  We each derive pleasure from fishing in our own way.  So we are all the same, in the end. 
Blog content © Lloyd Tackitt
Blog Comments
Coyute, 1/31/2018 11:42:13 AM
Good one! This reminds me of a passage in a Thomas McGuane book I recently finished reading. BTW, McGuane is one of the best fishing writers ever IMO. The passage goes something like this: Tommy asks his old uncle Ben "Was my father a good fisherman?" Uncle Ben smiles and says, "No Tommy, he was not, but no one loved it more." I appreciate both types of anglers and find myself going about it in different ways depending on who I am fishing with that day. To take fishing too serious is a crime. To NOT taking fishing serious is also a crime. As far as anglers that go about naming bugs in Latin - a far more serious crime than the aforementioned. :)
opencage, 2/2/2018 12:19:16 PM
Hear, hear! I find I sometimes switch between the type of angler I am too depending on what the scenario is. If I'm out with my little guy, I know better than to think I'm going to be fishing seriously that day. But if I get some fishing time to myself or with a buddy, I try to maximize that time with good strategies and good fishing... and a beer or two.