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November 11, 2020
Official BobLee Fishing Update … Plus…
Several months ago I announced that I have “taken up fishing again” after a half-century hiatus. I promised you occasional updates on how this possible life-altering decision was progressing. Here is that original column. … Here is the first occasional update.
Completely Unrelated Update: My Most Unusual Dear Friend Albert Long officially entered “The Pearly Gates” two weeks ago. As expected, Danny Lotz, Clyde King and Dr Billy Graham were on-hand to welcome Albert. Heaven is just a tad bit “goofier” with Albert in-attendance … and that’s just fine. I miss him.
Where was I? Oh yeah … My Fishing. As Blondie and I keep saying about “cutting our TV cable” six months ago … “We shoulda done this years ago.” I shoulda resumed “Fishing” years ago… but better late than never.
I can’t imagine how much I’m going to enjoy it once I start actually catching fish on a regular basis. … As most “guys who fish” will tell you … “catching fish” is not the #1 reason we do it … it’s maybe #3 or 4.
I am “freshwater fishing” at Raleigh-area lakes and ponds. Being “without watercraft of any sort” I am restricted to “bank fishing” … with One Exception to be discussed a few paragraphs down.
I do not anticipate purchasing “a watercraft of any sort” for the same reason I don’t own a chainsaw … or a pet python. The strong potential for personal injury outweighs the benefits.
“Taking up Fishing” has many similarities to “taking up Golf”. Sure, you can go out and purchase oodles (…and oodles) of fancy equipment and think that will assure your quick success. It does not.
“Being proficient” at Fishing or Golf or pretty much anything with any degree of difficulty takes time and learning the basic fundamentals. Deciding “how good you want to become” is another issue that you have to come to grips with.
Malcolm Gladwell says it takes 10,000 repetitions to become “really good” at any skill activity.
I forget the % but a high % of golfers rarely if ever “break 90” but still enjoy the other aspects of the sport… such as hanging out with people you may not especially like for 5-6 hours listening to the same “dirty jokes” they tell every time. That aspect drove me from Golf cold turkey almost 20 years ago. … and I’ve never regretted doing so even once.
The comparable “other aspects” of Fishing – like I am doing it – beyond “catching fish” are … being out in a serene natural setting … being alone with as few distractions as I choose (I do have my audiobooks) … and the possibility that despite my limited knowledge of the finer points of the sport – I STILL might hook a 5 lb bass with my next cast.
I “go fishing” a minimum of 4-5 days/week these days. I leave home around 6:30-7 AM … can be on-bank at any of three legitimate nationally-ranked public-access lakes within 20-30 minutes – Falls Lake / Jordan Lake / Shearon Harris and a dozen smaller lakes and ponds … “fish” for several hours and am back home by mid-morning.
I have invested maybe $350-400 in equipment and “stuff”. Knowing what I know now … I could get by with probably $250 of “stuff”.
There are literally 1,000s of free YouTube videos available on ANY question anyone might have on any aspect of Fishing.
Staying with the Golf analogy … “they say” starting out in Golf it is essential you develop the correct “grip”. Without that nothing else is going to work right. The equivalent in Fishing is “learning to tie knots”.
I’m not talking about “Fly Fishing” … just any type of Fishing that involves artificial lures or live bait. You cannot escape the need to know how to correctly tie several basic knots. As with the golf grip … until you do, the other stuff isn’t going to work right.
I do not suffer from arthritis nor do I have pudgy fingers. BUT … after three major eye surgeries (and #4 coming up in December) my Depth Perception is not conducive to working with monofilament fishing line AT ALL. It has been a struggle and my reactions to the struggle have not always been “in an adult fashion”. In the past two weeks I seem to have “turned the corner” with my knot-tying and now only take 10 minutes for what should be a 30-second task. That beats the previous 20-minutes it used to take. Grrrrr…
Every Time I go out … I LEARN SOMETHING. That may sound silly but it’s true. What clothing to wear … what “stuff” do I really need to carry … where to go and where NOT to go … which area convenience store carries the best chicken salad sandwiches … etc. Of the 30+ artificial lures I have – I could get by with just four! If none of those four attract the fish, there simply are no fish in the area I am restricted to.
Being restricted to “bank fishing” is like “trying to play golf with a driver – a 5-iron – and a putter”. Yes, you can do it but there is a limit to how successful one can ever be doing so. One must accept those limits. The secret to “bank fishing” is gaining access to a “well-stocked private pond”.
“The Legend of Joel Munday …”
This year Blondie and I decided to give each other and Kid and Pastor Danny (soon to be “Priest Danny” but thats another story) one “expensive” Christmas gift rather than a bunch of stuff none of us need. That rule does NOT apply to ReRe, YaYa and “Incredible Baby Danny” of course. I chose a for-real Bass Fishing Guide Experience.
Fate and Google led me to Outdoor Expeditions USA … and Joel Munday. I spent four hours on Jordan Lake last week with Joel. He now has an ad over there on the right … which indicates it probably went well. Unbelievable!
We met at 6:30 AM at a Jordan Lake boat launch. Joel pulls up in his pick-up pulling a $100,000 “Bill Dance Eat Your Heart Out” Tricked-Out For-Real BassMaster Pro Bass Boat. It had more “electronics” and sonar gear than a nuclear sub.
1st Rule: Do Not Touch Any of The Three $10,000 Computers … 2nd Rule: Don’t Step on Any of the Dozen or so $300 fishing rods. 3rd Rule: Do Whatever Joel Says or else … 4th Rule: Don’t Forget that 3rd Rule. I managed three of the four.
Joel approaches Being The Best Fishing Guide You Can Imagine like a Personal Trainer. He’s been doing it for 20 years. If you are serious about “learning how to catch bass” he WILL teach you. If you just want “a leisurely day on the lake” he will give you that … but don’t call him to rebook. He is serious about what he does. Joel Munday is AWESOME!
So … We’re 10 minute out into a major section of Jordan Lake. Joel turns off the motor and sets the trolling motor on GPS. He picks up one of the $300 rods (not the one I stepped on!) and points to a buoy in the channel. “Here’s what I want you to do…” and he casts a “shakey head” about 30 yards within 10′ of the buoy.
The lure hits the water … Joel flips the bale on his reel … Three Seconds … he jerks the rod high overhead … and within ten seconds he boats a 2 1/2 lb largemouth bass. First cast … Ten seconds … a 2 1/2 lb bass. WHOA!!!
I’ve seen a few How Did He Do Dats in my life … That immediately made my “very short list”.
For the next four hours … I listened to Every Syllable this Fishing Magician uttered. I was in the presence of a “Bass Fishing Socrates”. Yes, I did catch a pound/half bass myself and hooked another one … but I learned more in those four hours than in 100 hours of YouTubes. I’ll do it again next Spring. Unbelievable!
With so much time fishing, I took on the challenge of listening to a 50-hour James Michener novel – Chesapeake. Almost finished that one … with Michener’s 56-hour TEXAS in the queue.
Yes, I am well aware that America is in the midst of The Greatest Political Conspiracy in its 250 year history. #2 isn’t even close. I have chosen to make my daily contributions via Facebook with my 3,600 “Friends” over there.