Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Fishing Logs: Why Does Fishing Matter?

Had 15 minutes to fish around lunchtime, so I marched down along the edge of woods to step on rocks and access this spot on South Branch Raritan River in my hiking boots. Two hits on Senko-type worm may have been smallmouths, but felt more like trout, although that's impossible with water temperatures this summer. Any trout are dead or closely related to any springs, and down this far, springs are rare if nonexistant. Some panfish twiddled with the worm otherwise.

But my thought for today concerns fishing logs. I have kept handwritten logs since 1974. Someday my grandchildren may read them.

I like when I place numerical figures beyond 0 in columns reserved to identify numbers of possible species of fish caught, plus a leftover column for whatever other gamefish species, identified in a space for written notes. I don't include panfish or so-called trash fish; they are not trash, but they aren't as much game, although its possible I will include carp; I think so if Matt and I go for them. I have caught one 12-inch carp in all my life. Oh, forgot the five-pound carp that hit a jig intended for walleye on the Delaware. The other was from Little Shabakunk Creek.

I could strategize my fishing just to have numbers in the columns each outing, like a politician would who can't afford--it would only seem--to fail. I don't fish that way and getting skunked today ended an 11-outing streak of catching gamefish. So this would be interesting to write more on sometime, since the purpose of fishing is obviously to catch fish. But, in fact, our motivations to catch fish are complex and subtle. Fishing in a neighbor's backyard pool stocked with bass isn't the sport. How we go about fishing is a profound question to ask. What makes this worthwhile? Why does fishing matter?

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