I recently listened in as two fanatical anglers lamented how tough it is for them to go fishing anymore due to their many responsibilities.
Jim leads off: “I know that the bigger fish are there. If I could just get away to fish that first half-hour of daylight, I could kill them! But with my new job and the kids it doesn’t look too good – especially getting away during the week! I used to be able to take a day off, hit it at the right time, and we got some big ones doing that.”
Bob counters: “I’m in a similar boat and it’s particularly irritating to see that our ol’ buddy Fred is getting some monsters and all the glory! I know exactly how he’s doing it – but I’m stuck, too! I bet we could tear it up if we had it made like he does – fishing all the time, whenever he wants! It’s not fair!”
(The pity party is just getting started!)
Jim: “I used to have it so good, got to go when I wanted, but now, with the wife working, kids, bills to pay and the debt we’re in from buying the new house, I’m a dead doggy! I just wished my wife understood how tough it is to keep up your fishing – especially when the bite breaks out! She doesn’t understand!”
Bob nods, but has his own woes: “My wife is upset about the insurances and upkeep on my boat, but it costs to have a nice boat and you need it to do any good these days! She wants a new car, but if we do that there goes my freedom – I won’t be able to afford that and my fishing, too. I told her that the 2001 Volvo is still a good car even with 220,000 miles on it! Paid off and runs like a top.”
Jim finishes with his best: “Between having to take the kids to school every morning, daycare for the baby, soccer, put in a new backyard, and do my work I’m not going to be out for the rest of the season, except for strategically planned trips. I’m toast!”
What did I get out of this exchange? First, most anglers feel that they would do very well, if not tear it up, if they could just get out on the water. Second, good buddies tend to share their feelings that they are being kept from their real calling and fishing success by factors beyond their control. Misery loves company.
I feel sorry for the spouses who have to live with these anglers – because their woes hit way too close to home for me. Sharing a litany of excuses intimating that your spouse isn’t understanding your passion – even though she may be working her tail off and handling all the stuff you don’t want to touch – is a way to pass the buck you wouldn’t admit to any other living soul. I know.
That spouses put up with a fanatical angler is a miracle in itself. I thank God for having a spouse who’s put up with all my stuff, realizing it’s clearly a mental condition. Yes, I resemble that observation, LOL.
Never give up!