A new year is upon us. This offers us the opportunity to look ahead at what we hope will be another fine year and to reflect on the year gone by.
2008 was an interesting year in my (angling) life. It was not only another year of traveling around North Dakota, Minnesota, and Manitoba in search of the great next bite but it was my first year in the game of being a professional catfish guide.
As I was looking though some of my fishing items I found a copy of one of the oldest catfishing items I own, the book “Catfish Fever” by the In-Fisherman staff members Doug Stange, Steve Quinn and the late Otis “Toad” Smith. The book was originally printed in 1989 and 20 years later still remains the catfishing bible. This book was a major key to a young Western North Dakota kid (me) learning how to read water and catch catfish, eventually becoming a catfish guide.
I decided that a quick re-read of “the catfish bible” might be a good reflection to how the catfishing progression has evolved over the years. As I read it was mostly a review of things I do everyday until I got to the sections on catfish location and presentation. After a quick run through I had to stop and go back for a re-read. (This time paying close attention.) What I realized is that even with all of the experience and knowledge I have, there are locations and areas that have been overlooked simply because they were out of sight out of mind.
With the second read and actually taking the information in, I found myself making notes of spots I have seen over the past few years the should increase my success rate even more and make me a better angler in the long run.
The point I am making here is that once we get comfortable doing something, in my case catfishing we sometimes forget a few of the most basic things we should know. By taking a step back and reviewing we will be assisted in getting back to the basics and will become better at whatever it is we do.
This day and age we all tend to get into the latest and greats technology or techniques for everything. We rely on the best depth finders, fishing rods, and lures. Instead of becoming a slave to the technology take the step back, review the basics and learn the basics about fish behavior. As we keep evolving and trying to improve technologically it is the steps back that make us better people (anglers) in the long run and over time will bring us more success and happiness.
I hope with the real winter we are having that you take some time and review the basics of your favorite hunting, fishing, or other hobby. I’m sure you will be amazed at what you have forgotten.
Until next time get outside and make some memories.