If you’re like me, you have run into people situations at the lake where things have taken a negative turn, opening up a chance for some bad interactions. I have some ideas about the way these things happen, why they happen and how I’ve seen them successfully handled.
There are certain key places where most friction takes place during a fishing trip – starting with the launch ramp and dock area.
Just pulling up to the launch ramp can be a traumatic experience, with a possible line of ready- and not-so-ready-to-launch boats. Everyone is amped about getting on the water, so you can bet that any fool who’s not up to the task will not be tolerated for very long.
Assuming you’re not the one having troubles, there are two ways of handling the situation: Get progressively more irked as you sit there while loudly criticizing every move the boater ahead of you is making; or be patient, helpful and humble. Which one do you think makes everyone feel better and relieved – including yourself? Just one angler exhibiting a great attitude can give all the folks in the vicinity a reason to try to do the same.
Even negative and sour anglers can respond positively to seeing someone humbly take the lead and try to help. Getting irked and bent out of shape seldom helps anything. What was the point in the first place? Get fishing, not arguing! I’ve seen choice No. 2 do wonders.
So now you’re out on the water and here comes flashpoint No. 2: Someone decides that they’ll go full speed right by you or cut you off if you’re trolling. Do you scream at them (and more) as they fly by? Or do you forgive them for their stupidity, letting the transgression go? Maybe they’re having a bad day – why let them ruin yours? Think about how you’re going to respond before something like this happens – because you know it will happen. Resist being like that unthinking guy.
Like in all of life, it’s up to each of us whether we “let them” offend us or not. And that choice is probably best thought about before you’re in the middle of a tense situation.
I admit, over the years I’ve been guilty of exhibiting a bad attitude and being “offended” by something I considered stupid. Later I realized that it was the very way that I had viewed the issue that was the real problem. It was never as big or as serious as I had made it out to be. My reaction was worse than their offense!
It pays to be proactive and take the high road whenever you can in stressful situations. “They” don’t have the power to make you mad or sad – that’s your brain talking! Decide you’re big enough to choose your thoughts and reactions to adversity.
Never give up!
Roger George is The Bee’s fishing expert. He can be reached at email@example.com,