Hunting Fishing

Bad mistakes often can be reversed. Listen to that nagging voice in your head

The term “delayed intelligence” is one of my favorite descriptions of what seems to be a recurring theme in my fishing career. The typical outcome of one of these episodes has usually been a bad case of embarrassment and wondering, “What was I thinking?” Here’s a classic example

Couple years ago I was fishing at Millerton Lake in hot weather. Being really excited and in a hurry I launched the boat, fired up the engine and took off. It was about 6 miles down range when I realized that I had left the fully loaded ice chest in the truck. Pondering my fate I quickly made the decision to keep going because I was pretty sure I had a few bottles of water hidden somewhere in the hold of my boat. I could make it without any food!

I paid the price. I scavenged two half-full bottles of water out of my bilge area where I keep a few old ones on board to clean stuff up – but it was stale and nasty. Yuck! I rationed what I had but I was dying of thirst and hunger when I finally got back to the dock.

Fast forward a week. I am fully prepared for another trip to Millerton, but this time I’m not leaving the food and drinks. I get to the lake, throw all my stuff in the boat and launch feeling pretty good about being so efficient. I vividly remember that at about Big Bend I happened to look around and a cold chill hit me: No ice chest.– again! Luckily, I had put two new full bottles of water in the storage area just in case I did stupid again. And by now I was committed to keep going. The worst part: I had vowed it wouldn’t happen again. I can take criticism from others but I really can’t take my own stuff – it hurts! Double DI!

Looking back it seems these things happen when I try to fool myself into believing that something’s OK when it’s not. I find that getting too excited short-circuits my reasoning process and seemingly idiotic decisions suddenly appear quite rational. The justifying regions of our brains are tricky and powerful. Thinking you have enough food, water or fuel when it’s obvious upon any serious consideration that you aren’t even close – that’s true delayed intelligence at work.

When I make this kind of mistake, somewhere deep in my mind the warning lights go off, but I fail to heed them.

I rationalize the behavior as just being the miscues of an old fisherman who wants to get to his fishing hole as quickly as possible. Did I mention that making excuses is part of the syndrome?

As I’ve suffered more “DI” episodes, I have gradually become more attuned to the nagging feelings.

I have one nagging question: Where the heck is my lunch, anyway?

Never give up!

Roger George is The Bee’s fishing expert:, Rogergeorgeguideservice on Facebook and @StriperWars