"Fishing provides that connection with the whole living world. It gives you the opportunity of being totally immersed, turning back into yourself in a good way. A form of meditation, some form of communion with levels of yourself that are deeper than the ordinary self." Ted Hughes
Working at Bass Pro Shops in Kodak, TN, I have a front-row seat to the latest and greatest innovations in the fishing and boating Industries. I have been fortunate enough to attend seminars discussing the newest lures, equipment, boats, electronics...etc. All of these form an amazing image of how far this sport has come in a relatively short period of time. What started with a cane-pole, bobber and some string is now a multi-million dollar industry in which fishing poles are no longer made of wood, but rather carbon fibers, titanium and special lightweight alloys. We have lure companies using computers and laser technology to create near perfect replicas of actual forage. We have boat companies making boats lighter, stronger and faster to aid tournament fisherman in their quest for victory. We have fishfinders that can now show us up to 320 linear feet of the bottom...leaving the fish seemingly no place to hide. We have super-lines that are invisible to fish, yet nearly unbreakable; super-hooks that can be set with just a light tug of the wrist that will not bend or straighten out and reels that are as light as a feather, yet as smooth as silk and built like a tank. We have improved not only our ability to find fish, but our odds of putting them in the boat should we be so fortunate as to have one take our offering. What more could we possibly come up with?
All this said, fishing is still special. It is still different. It is still a chance to spend a day outside, with no computer, no television, and no phone. (OK, maybe a phone...but only for safety purposes and picture taking). Fishing is different because it doesn't matter how good your equipment is, how fast your boat is or how good you think you are at finding fish...there is still a chance you come home without so much as a bite. Unlike hunting, golf, baseball, football...etc, when you're fishing, you can't see your target. You have to 'feel' it. You have to rely on knowledge, experience and a little bit of luck if you want to come home with a good story to tell. People often ask me what my absolute favorite thing about fishing is, and I always tell them the same thing. It's the first 5 seconds or so after the fish bites and I've hooked him, because for those few seconds there are only two things on my mind: "I've fooled him!" and "I wonder how big it is?" For those few seconds there could be anything on the end of my line and that excitement is unmatched to me. The whole process gives each fish I catch its own story...its own memory.
At Bass Pro Shops we are in the business of making memories, and right now is our busiest time of the year. The Spring Fishing Classic starts this Friday, February 24th. We have some terrific products on sale, terrific activities for children and adults alike, as well as seminars from fishing professionals: Boyd Duckett and Jason Quinn. I say this not to promote an item, a sale or a company...but to promote a fishing trip. I don't care if its in a huge tournament on a local reservoir with 200 boats or a trip to a creek with someone close to you, do yourself a favor and just 'go fishing'. Whether I was using a 10 dollar combo and some night-crawlers on the bank of a pond with my dad, or a top-of-the-line outfit on the deck of my bass boat, fishing has always created vivid memories that I will have forever. Memories of friends and family. So, as the weather is warming up and the fish are becoming more active than they have been in the last few months, I am encouraging you to make a memory. At Bass Pro Shops, we pride ourselves in having everything you'll need to plan that trip and make those memories, whether its the latest and greatest rods, reels, baits, and electronics...or simply some advice about the area and species you plan to catch. We at Bass Pro Sops hope you'll come in and let us help in any way we can.
Its worth it.
"Faith, Family, Friends...and Fishing."
Team Lead/Marine Department
Bass Pro Shops Kodak, TN