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Posted on Dec 7, 2012 in Deep Thoughts
A Good Fishing Partner is Hard to Find
by Jason Schratwieser

Unlike my last several blogs, this one will not focus on billfish or even IGFA conservation business, for that matter. Nope, this one’s all about fishing or, in this case, potentially the lack thereof. You see, I’m writing this on a Friday morning and I’m in an uncharacteristically sour mood when I should be elated and even distracted at the prospect of fishing tomorrow.

I have an issue. I’ve got no one to fish with. I’ve called on all my regular fishing chums and even a few guides that I fun-fish with from time to time, but as it stands now I got nothin’.

Here’s the problem: despite all my recent billfish ramblings, I’m a skinny water fly- and light-tackle angler at heart. When I’m not travelling for work, Saturdays this time of year typically find me deep in the Florida Everglades slinging flies and artificials at snook, redfish and tarpon. For those not familiar, this is a fairly specialized type of fishing that, for the most part, requires two people: a person on the back of the boat that poles and a person on the front of the boat that fishes. Ideally each person takes turns fishing and poling. If each person is equally adept at both tasks it makes for a potent combination.

The issue is further compounded by needing to find someone that your sympatico with. Face it, if you’re going to spend eight or so hours on a 16-foot skiff with someone, you need to make damn sure that your fishing ideologies are not at opposite ends of the spectrum. For example, like most people, I love the act of catching fish but I don’t rate my fishing experience solely on that metric. A good day for me is a dynamic mishmash of being away from other people, exploration, pretty water, lots of laughs and a few fish. This means that I really don’t pair well with people that measure their day on the number and/or size of the fish they caught and if they caught more than their buds that happened to be fishing that day.

Now that I think about it, I can count on less than one hand the number of folks that are in my regular fishing rotation. They all differ in their personalities as well as their angling and poling skills, but they all fish for more or less the same reasons that I do. These are people that I know I will have fun with whether we load the boat with fish, get hopelessly lost or run into some really crappy weather.

Does this make me a picky individual? Probably. But think about it -- the number of days the average person gets to go fishing pales in comparison to the number of days devoted to work and life’s other important issues. In my mind, picking a good fishing partner makes those precious days on the water all the better. That said, I’ve got to run. I still have a few phone calls to make.