Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Sports column

June 5, 2014

Going fishing is good for you

BLUEFIELD — The two best times to fish is when it's rainin' and when it ain't.” Patrick F. McManus                             

Just to be blunt about boys and girls, there is a whole bunch of you out there that need to go fishing. How long has it been for you? If you have to think about that for a minute, it's been too long.

I actually read about a study the other day, done at one of our universities where you know, all the professors are smarter than the average bear. The people that spent who knows how much money on this endeavor finally determined that if you go fishing it will relieve stress. No kidding, they found this to be true.

Did you fish a lot as a kid? I bet you did. Did you enjoy it? Dumb question. So what is keeping you from trying to regain some of that wonderment and zeal you had for one of the greatest of outdoor endeavors? It didn't used to be so hard or complicated just to go fishing did it? My brothers and sisters in camo, it could be that way again.

I say that I like to watch all the different programs on the various outdoor related TV channels. Once I get settled in and start to channel surf on the outdoor shows though, something strange starts to happen. I start to come with down with an unusual bunch of symptoms, sort of like indigestion, dizziness, and a sprinkling of depression. All this is brought on by what some of these shows have done to simple outdoor pursuits.

The fishing shows may be the worst. How about the one with all these guys fishing and competing against one another, but this one has referees! (Complete with black and white shirts). Referees for crying out loud! So you may very well see a scene like this.

Announcer: Let's go over to boat number three and check on Scott and Biff. We'll see what their referee has to say. How they doin' ref?

Referee: Not good, as you know Scott and Biff lost time this morning when they overslept and were late getting on the lake! Now they are trying to make it up by speed casting some of these rocky points, but they just can't seem to get connected with a money fish. Two bluegills and a perch is all they have landed, neither of which count for points. O! Now it looks like Scott has snagged Biff in the ear with the treble hooks on a crank bait! This is going to cost them more valuable time.

Announcer: Does these guys have a chance to make the cut this evening to stay in the running for the money?

Referee: Only if they get Divine intervention.

And so it goes. When did everything get to be such a competition? How did we make something as simple and pure as fishing into a hundred mile an hour race to catch fish? Again, it does not have to be that way. I have a plan for you, and like most tasks, about 95% of it is just showing up, in this case showing up on the stream or the lake.

First step, just go dig out some of that fishing gear you have, don't worry if you don't have the latest and greatest lure that you saw on TV and in Field and Stream, it probably doesn't work anyway. Just take what you got, make it a real challenge and don't go buy anything! (OK, you can make one quick trip to Wally World if you must).

The rest of the plan is basically just getting out there. Some of you are thinking of transitioning from trout to bass or whatever right now. But you know what? The trout are still there, that big brown that you saw in early April, or last fall, he's still there. Go visit him.

You know the bass are there, some of those big bluegills are on the nest, and the catfish are there and they are hungry. Go offer them a morsel.

Alright, I want you to look at the kid in the picture holding that trout, look at that smile. Can you remember that?  Can you allow yourself to regain that? It's worth everything if you can.

Contact Larry Case at larryocase3@gmail.com

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