So, where does it stop? At what point is enough enough? That was the hard question my patient fishing wife, Elaine, posed to me the other day after I explained to her why I needed some new technology. Very good query, I graciously acknowledged, as she continued to logically explain to me that she had seen me catch many big fish in the past without having all the fancy gear, lures and graphs I seemed to require now. Yikes, she was on to me!
“OK, Roger, time to regroup and come up with some fresh rationale for my new acquisitions,” I mused. “Well, first, honey, you know that the world has changed and anglers are far more sophisticated and competitive than ever before and if you want me to stay up with them, I need an edge.” Good start!
My mind went into overdrive as my thoughts poured out. Yes! That’s it! “An edge!” Ta da! The unquestionable and indisputable reason behind “needing” to always stay up with the newest trends (crazes!) in lures, poles, reels, engines, garb, ice chests, etc. How can you question the newest thing on YouTube that catches tons of big fish or makes you a cooler angler than everyone else at the lake?
I concluded that she didn’t see my key point, but she’s always been much wiser than I am. I continued on a new tack. “Honey, you just can’t imagine how incredible these new units are, and how much they will help me,” I pleaded.
Wow, another gem! I had hit on a subtle enemy of mine – imagination! It had cost me lots in the past in terms of money, time and energy. Letting my imagination run wild with all the new possibilities that new lures or equipment could produce had been the reason I had impulsively bought all five shades of “crazy shad” they were offering on the new bait. I usually find a forgotten bag of these or other “special” lures somewhere in my boat a couple times a year, stashed way back up in some tiny crevice of a rod locker. Just like a squirrel with a nut they bury, I had intended to go dig it up later! I knew they would be useful some day!
Somehow she didn’t feel the need for “an edge” like I did, or see how important and compulsive a good imagination was to a good angler – so I pivoted to a more subtle tactic. If I couldn’t win the logic war, maybe I could resort to a campaign of camouflage and deception. I had seen other guys successfully convince their spouses to OK their innocent purchases. It was for her own good, wasn’t it? She would love the new graph and it was a matching color! Not!
Pondering my quandary, I realized that after everything, I was actually being manipulated by the fishing industry to obsess over the newest, best-est stuff they could entice me with. They were intentionally playing to my need for “the edge” and that my imagination was the weakest part of my cerebellum function. I was almost defenseless it seemed – a victim ! My wife was sympathetic to my pain. Finally – some success! I felt much better already! Yes, I have a great wife!
Whenever I hear of a buddy getting a new boat, engine or big purchase, the topic of their spouse typically comes up, and I’m always intrigued with their explanation of how it went down. Funny, in private they usually tell me all about the logical and intricate advantages of their decision. Then the gears suddenly shift and I see them go into the same mental state kids go into when they’re opening up Christmas gifts and the real reasons come out! The fact is they’re in love with it – but don’t you ever mention that!
It’s a very fine line for all of us as anglers to define where the line between necessary functionality begins and emotionally induced excess ends! Yeah, but truthfully, on the other hand, I’ve also found that’s exactly where the real fun and excitement begins! You only live once! (Forgive me Elaine!) Never give up!
Roger George is The Bee’s fishing expert. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org,