It's a crazy world we live in. Sometimes too hectic for our own good. I am as guilty as the next guy when it comes to forgetting about what matters most to me and making time for everyone. Sometimes there just isn't enough hours in the day, or days in the week. There's nothing we can do about that, but I do know one thing for sure, we are positioned to make a difference. One of my biggest passions in this world is to share my pleasures with the youth of our sports. Taking kids out on the water or in the field can be one of the most rewarding pleasures we get to experience. I only bring this up, because sometimes it is easy to forget, or get caught up in "my next big fish," or "when can I get out again." It's very easy to forget about those unable to experience these joys on their own.
A few days back I was reminded of this when I had a very good client named Pete, and his son Danny out on the water. Danny is 8, but if you ask him, he'll say he's almost 9. While our mission was to land a big muskie, I found it more of an initiative on my part to make sure Danny had a great experience. The fish would be the bonus on this trip. Danny was a great steward at such a young age, and listened to my every word. He was new to muskie fishing, but you could tell that he was ready for the challenge. He worked on his figure 8 at the boat, and understood what was right and wrong. It was just neat to watch him learn and improve. After a short while, he soon found a beast of a muskie boatside ready to eat his lure. The action proved too much for the beginner, and the fish didn't come in the boat, but that wasn't the point. Just the fact that he put all the pieces together to have the trophy encounter made everything what it was. A 35 pound fish flaring its gills on a lure at the boat will get anybody excited, and for Danny, it was beyond excitement. His level of confidence went through the roof. He began talking at a much faster pace, and you could see how things clicked for him about what just happened. A short while later we were faced with another similar situation, and before our evening was through, a large bass exploded on his topwater lure. Not the muskie we were searching for, but I can assure you the excitement was beyond words for this lucky angler. What I thought was an excited fisherman was now on a whole new level. A level that his dad informed me a few days later had made him want to fish again the very next day.
I was lucky to have this opportunity to teach and share in the muskie joys. Danny was lucky to have a great father to bring him with. For me, this was just a friendly reminder about how easy it is to grow our sport and pass it down to generations. A few hours on the water has likely changed this young fisherman's outlook on fishing, and assured us that our passions are going to continue. It also reminds me that I should make a little more free time for some other anglers that I have been forgetting to take out. I won't let it happen again, I hope you don't either! Until the next time the muskie strikes, keep on livin' the dream!