Has Fishing Changed or Has the Fisherman Changed ?

I can remember fishing the back waters of Dale Hollow lake and then the oil drillers came along. The went up stream on some farm land a drilled several wells hoping to hit a gusher. The only thing they hit was a sulphur well and that sulphur spilled into the creek feed the lake. You could smell it for miles, expecially when it rained. Daddy aid that was when fishing changed for us.

But it got me to wondering, has the fishing changed or have I. I can remeber when a day of fishing meant we idn’t have to get up early and chop morning glories out of the tobacco field. It wasn’t so much about catching fish, it meant a day of laying on the bank in the shade a soaking up some sun while resting our backs from all the farm work we had been doing.

Getting up early to go fishing wasn’t a problem because dad and grandpa had been getting us up early all summer to do farm work. So we were kind of used to it.

We didn’t have a boat or expensive equipment, if someone had a Zebco 33, they thought they were a bigtime fisherman. We didn’t get to buy stuff like that because for one thing we were poor and the other was if we did have it, it would get lost, broken or borrowed never to return.

We went to the barn and dug worms out of the cow manure or caught spring lizards at the creek for our bait. Most of our fishing spots were over steep hills and required a mile or two walk.

The conversations that we had while fishing I can remember some. They sometimes were about a better life,or how we would do thigs different when we got older. some of my uncles always had stories of a big fish being caught by someone, that always made me envy that person, wishing I had more time to go fishing or a truck and money so I could visit new fishing spots. Just day dreaming.

When and where I grew up, we didn’t talk much politics. We were so poor that it didn’t matter much. I do remember daddy saying he had more money in his pocket when Nixon was president. but that was about the jest of it.

It was always special to be the one who caught the biggest fish or the most fish, but we wern’t just fishing for fun always. SOmetimes it was for food. We didn’t have a lot of meat growing up unless grand pa killed a hog . We couldn’t spare a steer for beef because they were so vital to sale for a little money.

We would hit the rivers in the spring time trying to catch the red horse and white suckers, (there pretty good if you know how to filet them and get rid of the bones). We would pressure cook them and can’em up for wintr. We didn’t have a freezer back them to freeze the fish.

d go gigging for the suckers and have sack fulls that had to be carried out from under a hill. I have even seen dad and grand pa use some illegal means of getting fish. It has been said you could hear the thump for miles away even though it was under water, (the statue of limitations has run and dad and pa are now dead, so I’m not worried about legal action and we don’t do that anymore).

Now days when I watch a fishing show on TV or look at social media, I see people catching big fish while running around on the lake in a 5ok bass boat with a 100 different fishing pole that just one of them cost more than I ever spent in my lifetime on fishing equipment. They have a sack of the latest lures that have been advertised at Bass Pro.

Why do we fantisize about being the next guy to get famous and rich doing something we grew up doing for real? Being a professional at something we grew up doing is like the chance of a boy playing in the NFL, only about 1 out of 1000 actually make it. Should we just give up? Stop trying ?

No, because in every one of use is that little boy or girl that still gets that wild look in our eyes and that unforgettable expersion on our faces when we feel the tug on our line and that sense of achievement when we land a good fish.

Keep your line in the water and always make time to take a kid fishing.

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