The old saying goes “ you can always tell when a fisherman is lying, simply because his lips are moving.” As far back as man started to angle, fish tales of all sorts began relating to the size of the fish, the fight the fish put up, and how long it took to reel it in. To this day it still remains the same as 50 years ago. Anglers still stretch the truth and try to get every ounce and inch they can on the fish they catch.
However, today’s technology makes the story telling about that big fish a little more difficult with the equipment that is offered to anglers in the way of digital read-out scales and measuring devices that now stick right to the side of your boat. What would have been a six-pounder now is a real four-pounder.
What about lures?
If you take the time to open up a Bass Pro Shops or a Cabela’s catalog there will be literally half the book dedicated just to lures. Everything you could possibly offer a fish on the end of your line will be in these pages and it makes it difficult for the average angler to choose what he thinks may give him the upper edge.
Lures that float, are impregnated with scent, sink, suspend, dive, wobble, rattle, change colour, glow and side wind are now offered. What happened to the straight hook and minnow, or the old faithful “Little Joe” spinner?
Fishing for walleyes as a kid, all we used were maribou jigs and worms or small minnows and we filled the boat. Simplicity was good, and although modern technology has made us safer, I believe it has made us lazier as well.
Today’s recreational and tournament fishing has exploded into a multi-million dollar industry that keeps getting bigger. There is now the professional tarpon circuit, the professional walleye tour, the professional redfish circuit, the bass masters and many others. It’s crazy the amount of prize money and prizes put up and how many people try to make a living at this throughout North America.
Just take a look on TV whether it be satellite or cable and see for yourself how many fishing shows there are, and then take a look at the amount of corporate advertising that coincides with these shows. It’s big bucks and some of the manufacturers hold nothing back when it comes to making sure their product is out there.
I am caught right in the middle of all the hype as I too have a boat that is outfitted with everything and a tackle box that requires a forklift to move, or should I say tackle boxes!
It’s addicting and the simple fact that tackle does not cost a lot in comparison to boats and motors can easily allow a guy to sneak in a few new lures every week without breaking the bank or ruffling his wife’s feathers.
So why do anglers have to have two boats, two canoes, 12 rods, four tackle boxes, four stringers, three minnow pails, eight life jackets and five pairs of polarized sunglasses just for fishing?
The cost of fishing has also risen 10-fold in the last 15 years, and that is evident when venturing out to your favourite lake. By the time it’s said and done it’s a $150 day. Eight dozen medium minnows $32, and the boat launch is $10. Then one has to stop at the gasoline kiosk where they have a loans officer to take your application in order to fill your truck and boat. My truck holds 140 litres and at $1.36 a litre it’s well, you get it, and my boat has a 90 litre built in tank.
Divided by the eight to 12 fish you get and it comes to a mere $25 a fish. Nuts you say? Maybe, but in comparison, what about the guy who spends $5,000 on a golf membership for five months? Or $45,000 on a custom Harley Davidson, or $50,000 on a hot rod? Where do we draw the line?
When it comes to leisure, sports and entertainment, it is all relative to your own passions, interests and bank account. We all work hard for our disposable income and time away from work is to enjoy ourselves in whatever manner we prefer.
Living in this part of the country, one would think fishing is just a part of life for many folks and if the amount of boats sitting on trailers in people’s driveways is any indication, it’s close to it.
If I had back the amount of money I have spent on hunting and fishing in the last 20 years, I could probably pay cash for a new house. However, it’s something I just have to do and will continue to do no matter what the cost, just like some folks have to go to the casino twice a week.
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