When I get really down in the dumps about my golf game, when I feel discouraged and wonder why I play at all, I go fishing. Fishing really makes me feel better.
It’s not because it soothes me or gives me a sense of peace. It is because the only thing I am worse at than golfing is fishing.
The safest place on earth is the patch of water between me and my bobber. Fish could host pre-school around my lures. (Big fish to little fish: “Kids, you can swim around, but don’t get any further away than ten feet from Mr. Bacon’s hook.”)
Ever see bubbles on the surface of a lake? Those are fish laughing at you. I see a lot of bubbles.
When I was a kid I actually hooked the back of my own head while casting. With instincts I didn’t even know I had, I did a pretty good job of “setting” the hook too.
I was fishing in clear water the other day and saw a trout near enough I could almost touch it. Very carefully, I lowered a baited hook into the water right in front of his face.
He just hovered there so I switched bait and tried again. Obviously bored, he turned and floated away, releasing some bubbles as he faded out of sight.
If there is a tree on the bank of a lake near where you live, I have a spinner stuck in a branch there.
Fishing does have some up sides though. You get to sit down for most of the sport, and are encouraged to drink and eat throughout the activity (Lesson Learned: clean the worm mess off your hands first.)
It is one of the few activities where you can actually fall asleep during the event and still claim to be accomplishing something.
But compared to golf, where you see tangible results like a ball actually going into a hole, fishing leaves you feeling empty and wanting (unless you actually catch a fish, but since this is an article about NOT catching fish, I think we can leave that exception out).
The two sports are similar in that half the fun is getting out with your friends or families, so I suppose I’ll keep at it. And who knows? Maybe one day I’ll break the secret fish code and start really hauling them in. Maybe the conditions will be just right and they’ll almost jump out of the water into my boat.