The Heart of a Fisherman, But Not the Skill

Fishing is something I have done since I was a child. Only God knows why I still try it, since He gave me the heart and patience of a fisherman but not the skills of one. When I was young, going to the lake with my family and fishing was a big deal. When we lived on a farm outside Dallas, TX, we would go fishing at a small pond or “tank”, as we called them, on the landowner’s property. Occasionally I would catch something. Catching a fish as a kid was really an exciting thing. It still is for me…..on the rare occasion it happens.

I just don’t seem to have good luck fishing. I have gone with skilled fishermen and been amazed at how bad my luck is. I have seen a huge catfish fish jump up out of the water to bite a bare hook as my uncle was running a trot line. No bait, just a hook! “Oh don’t leave me behind! I need to be eaten.”  the fish must have thought.  I have seen fish jump into boats when I have my line in the water. I can only assume it was to sacrifice themselves out of respect for the skilled fisherman standing next to me. Me they just splashed and laughed at, giving me that Fish Eye stare, gloating that I didn’t catch them and they could get in the boat by themselves. .

My dad and some friends went fishing in Mexico and got so exhausted from reeling in fish non-stop they couldn’t lift their arms and were sore the next morning. From fishing? Are you kidding me?.Know how I get tired from fishing? Carrying gear, untangling lines, replacing bait, retrieving lures from trees or stumps, and making sandwiches and cokes disappear. I can gain weight fishing if I do it right.

I have been fishing and everyone else in the boats surrounding us was catching fish every cast, while I didn’t catch a thing.

What everyone else caught

Knowing my anti-fishing gene would sabotage us if we went by ourselves, my dad hired a guide to take us fishing for striped bass on Lake Texoma. Best guide on the lake. Guess who didn’t catch a thing? Me and everyone near me. Once he got his fill of not catching anything, the guide called it a day. knowing he was jinxed by me and when we were sitting down on the way back to shore, he saw a fish on the depth finder, dropped  line, and pulled in a beauty. The difference? I wasn’t fishing.

Some college buddies went Walleye fishing in North Dakota and the first year they went, caught boat loads. I went the next year, skipped a year and then went again. In the years I

The years I wasn’t there

didn’t go, they caught more fish than they could eat. When I went, we ate burgers since we didn’t catch anything. The Long John Silver’s value meal had more fish in it then we caught when I was there.

“Boy you should have been here last year, Bagman. Never saw so many fish.”.

“HMMMM. Surprising.”

I can go deep sea fishing, hang a bloody steak in the water on a hook with barbs so sharp they would catch a ghost, then open a vein and hold my arm in the water in the middle of a feeding frenzy. Sharks that hadn’t eaten in a week would turn away laughing once they knew it was me. Don’t believe me?

I went deep sea fishing and spent $150.00 for an 8 hour trip. A night trip in the Gulf Mexico, near offshore oil rigs, which is the perfect place to catch lots of big fish. How did I do? I caught two  fish that TOGETHER weighed 5 pounds. FIVE pounds, TWO fish, from the OCEAN!!!!  Bait fish weighed 3 pounds each for cryin’ out loud. You find much bigger fish in the seafood case at the grocery store and cheaper!

Let’s analyze this for a second.  $150 total = $ 75.00 a piece for 2 fish, each weighing 2.5 pounds each? That’s $30.00 a pound and the most expensive seafood I ever ate. Including the cost of the travel and hotel, more like $80.00 a pound!  I don’t spend that much on Lobster! Lucky me. I ate it at home, without the fancy restaurant to justify the cost. No fancy service or melted butter. Hard to believe I haven’t rushed off to do it again.

I know God has a sense of humor, though I never really thought it would manifest with my fishing abilities or lack thereof. I love to go fishing but never catch anything. Why is that? Lessons to learn I guess. Patience? Perseverance? Eternal optimism? The Bible says we are created in His image. Scary thought isn’t it? The Creator of the universe and I having similarities?

“Lord, you could catch all the fish you want if you ever decided to go. Just once, how about letting me catch a whopper……without going to Burger King?”

1 thought on “The Heart of a Fisherman, But Not the Skill

  1. I have a different problem; I usually catch something when I’m forced to put a hook into water. And I’m not happy about it. I believe that if you don’t eat what you catch, you should leave the poor creatures alone (this goes for hunting as well) but time and again I get corralled into fishing and suicidal fish always bite my line. I say we go to Burger King together and stick with those fish sandwiches. By the way, I’m still waiting for you to visit us at Chubby Chatterbox. Did you get the link I sent you. It’s or

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