If you're like me, a year flies by and you're left wondering why you didn't get out on the water as often as you'd have liked. Most of my reasons have to do with work or weather. But in 2010, I resolve to use the following list to justify fishing more often. Maybe this will help you, too.
10. Marginal Weather Forecast? No Excuse!
Perfect chance to test new outerwear and determine if newer braided lines really resist wind knots.
I mean, how often can we truly depend on a weather forecast anyway? How many days has the weatherman predicted stiff winds and they've either never materialized or blown late in the day? Ditto rain. A 60-percent rain chance may mean anything from a brief morning shower to afternoon storms well inshore - rarely a deluge. Small-craft advisory? Ok, I'll draw the line there.
9. Too Much Work to Do? No Excuse!
Responsible approach: If a gale blows, take the opportunity to catch up and get ahead of the deadline eight ball. Then make a definite plan to use that made-up time within the next week to fish.
Irresponsible approach: Call in sick. After all, mental health is every bit as important as physical health!
8. Renew Your Focus on Meal Planning
In our busy lives, we often eat on the go, sacrificing healthy food for fast food. In addition, beef and even chicken cost more than a tank of fuel. Three more words: Omega-3 fatty acids.
No, don't fill the freezer. But a nice fresh fish dinner once or twice a week will cure what ails ya (except of course ... well, skip the high-mercury-content filets.)
7. Renew Your Focus on Fitness
With time always at a premium, who really has the extra waking hours to make it to the gym more than three times a week? If your conscience is bothering you, go fish!
Fishing requires effort, especially if you launch and clean your own boat. Plus, just think about the health benefits of that fresh ocean air!
6. Boats Are Like Pets
You wouldn't ignore your golden retriever, would you? Would you lock him outside and make him sleep in the dark? Not speak to him for days? Not wash him for a month?
5. Cure for the Blues
Feeling a little low? Nothing's going quite right? Buy or catch some live bait and go soak a few. A fishing frenzy does wonders for the mood.
4. New-Gear Needs
To help justify - to others - new-gear needs, you must put some wear on the old stuff. Then, if you bust a guide on a rod or the drag on a reel starts slipping ... instant buying spree!
Also, there's no sense in investing time and money in a sport or pastime if you don't continue to learn. Constantly changing technology in tackle, electronics, gauges, engines and ship's systems requires hands-on experience and time. No one wants to read the manual, right?
3. Skills Review
Fishing is a skill. To be skilled, one must practice.
"Where do you begin? Perfect is a good place to start. We must always focus on improving things that are already perfect." John Viol Shihan. (Ok, I got that off a martial-arts website. This helps bolster No. 4 as well.)
2. Family Time/Me Time
This one really depends upon your focus any given day. Need family time? Take your kids and spouse fishing! Need some quiet moments to commune with nature, relieve work stress? Everyone will understand...
1. The Lucky Excuse
And the No. 1 way to increase fishing time in 2010...Reflect on how fortunate and blessed you are that you can fish and own a boat, have such a wonderful sport to enjoy and a beautiful seascape on which to fish. Now, get on out there!