Fishing Heals All

Updated on October 25, 2018
lpwilsonwriting profile image

After 50 or 60 years spent chasing the elusive bluegill, I still have a lot to learn. Maybe in another 50 years, I'll get it right.

Sunrise over Lake Geneva
Sunrise over Lake Geneva

A New Day

Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day.

Give him a fishing pole, an old boat, and some night crawlers and you might never see him again.

That's the thing about fishing. Whether on the water, from a pier, throwing flies on a brook or through a hole in "hard water", the sport just kind of takes hold and you are in fact, hooked.

It might be something reminiscent of the hunter, gatherer instinct of our ancestors but then again, if I had to provide for my family or myself from what I have hunted or gathered over the years, I would be a whole lot thinner.

My father fished and his father before him, along with uncles and aunts and cousins. Their purpose just might have been more of the hunter/gatherer kind but still, I remember the fun we had trying to catch that elusive bluegill.

In the early days, we didn't have a boat and fished from shore on Wilson Lake. That's when there was a shoreline to walk and fish left to catch.

They both seemed to have moved on with progress and the demand for lake property.

He used a steel casting rod with an open-faced reel, with what seemed like, to me, a half-pound of sinkers attached to the line. He could cast that thing about fifty yards out into the lake. When he reeled it in more often than not he found a fish hiding in the glob of weeds pulled up from the lake bottom.

I still have the pictures of him and me, and a bucketful of panfish.

So, I fish.

Another Early Morning
Another Early Morning

Fishing vs. Catching

There is a difference of course, between fishing and catching.

Anyone can catch a fish.

That is if you happen to be in the right place, with the right bait and presentation, with a slight breeze from the south, overcast skies, and fish that just happen to be hungry at the time.

There is absolutely nothing like being on the water as the sun is coming up, with anticipation of a full live well, accompanied by a trusted friend and fresh coffee.

The sun sparkles on the waves as you move slowly into the shallows, looking for bluegills or that northern pike cruising the weed beds. A bald eagle soars overhead.

The sun, waves, and water become a catharsis for the worries of the day. Stress flies away with the gulls or disappears while hypnotized by a slip bobber. The only sound, gentle waves against the hull.

At times like these, baiting the hook becomes an option.

To guarantee fish it sometimes becomes necessary to hire a guide and go "up north" for real fishing.

A group of us did just that, until three-foot waves, sideways rain and bedbugs dampened, heck drowned, our desire to return.

With a guide, you pay for the day and you get the day regardless of foul weather, finicky fish or motion sickness.

Still, you can't beat fresh caught walleye fried over an open fire at about $150 a plate.


Then there is Canada.

A 15-hour drive with the last 40 miles over washboard logging roads, with all the comforts of home, if you carry it with you. Gender-specific outhouses included.

And fish! Thousands of fish! Walleye, northern pike.

Eagles soar above while bear and moose look on.

The weather can be hot, cold or anywhere in between. There could be snow with the whitecaps.

Survival becomes only secondary to the fishing.

More About Fishing

Today, with the technology available it's a wonder that fish are not extinct.

You can have a depth finder, fish alarm, a GPS trolling motor with sonar and an underwater camera, and still go home empty handed.

It was a day in the middle of August, temperature in the 90s, bright sunshine and not a wisp of breeze to hinder the black flies. I was determined to bring home a meal of fish.

There's a reason these are called the 'Dog days'. Because even a dog has more sense than to expect to catch a fish when the water temp is like that of a bathtub and there is no relief from the heat unless you would jump in.

By noon or so I had actually pulled two bluegills from the slightly green-tinged water along with a small largemouth bass.

With the excuse of getting a couple more to make cleaning more acceptable and to show my wife that I really could catch fish, I stayed until my skin turned red and the flies were scared away by mosquitoes.

One more in the tank.

Twelve hours on the water with four fish, sunburned, tired, hungry and bug-bitten, I released those in the live well and went home.

The fish only thought they'd won.

Questions & Answers

  • Where do you, the author, ice fish?

    Wisconsin. There is usually plenty of "hard water".


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)