I think I was nine years old when my father and uncle took me aboard a fifteen foot boat with a outboard motor out into the Chesapeake Bay to fish. With a few cups of bloodworms for bait, a Dramamine pill and a cooler for the fish and our lunch we hit the surf. I don’t remember much except it was a game changer. I was a fisherman after that. We caught Croaker and Spot, sometimes two at a time on six foot rods we just held over the side of the boat while trying not to lose our balance or fall over. I remember that I didn’t like the Dramamine, which was supposed to keep you from getting motion or seasick. As a kid that was always allergic to something, I was not a stranger to pills but seemed like I didn’t need this one. It just made me feel funny and overly dry mouthed. It was a onetime deal. I don’t think I took the pill again and I have been fishing closed to forty-five years now.
I remember my stepfather taking me out with him a few times when his cousins were fishing in the river and man-made reservoir near Fredericksburg, VA but it wasn’t the same. The company was different. The fish were different. The experience was different. Even still I was a fisherman. I couldn’t wait till I was old enough to drive myself to Fredericksburg and try my hand solo at fishing without the alcohol, and braggadocios.
Fishing is more than the activity of trying to catch fish in the wild. It is a chance to see the handiwork of God without the distractions of man. Being on the water whether it be fresh or salt (preference to the latter) amplifies that. I prefer saltwater because of the variety of the fish available, the absence of mosquitoes, ticks and insects that bite. The therapeutic, of the saline water, the waves and the openness it has.
“There is a lot more to fishing than just catching fish”.
For me, I enjoy the challenge of finding fish and determining how to catch those fish. Even when on a charter boat which has been my staple for the past twenty-five years, being a better fishermen thatn my peers is gratifying. It gives me a feeling of accomplishment while reinforcing my skills at patience that everyone credits me for.
And then there is the active listening. There is always someone on the boat that has a little something that needs to be shared and I get to put on my cleric collar while holding a fishing pole. Sometimes its open discussion and sometimes just over a whisper but it happens almost every time.
Fishing has different meanings for every angler and for us it is to enjoy the elements of the great outdoors, the challenge, the excitement and unpredictable ness of fishing. It is my hopes that I share some great how-to’s, and wins and losses on this site with you.
“God does not deduct from man’s allotted time on earth the days he spends fishing”.
This year (2016), I lost two of my best fishing buddies to cancer. I fished with them for twenty four years. Each one taught me a little about life through living theirs. The men I love most in this world have fished with me. It’s more than just drowning worm bits. It’s a fellowship.
*I dedicate this page to Ed and Frank.
Rev. Kenn Blanchard is a professional speaker, writer, podcaster, and digital influencer. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook He is the founder of Blanchard.Media and the GunPodcastNetwork.com