Outdoor Column: A Measure of Success

My wife enjoys fishing, just not to the extent our grandson Zane does. She will fish for an hour or two if the fish are biting, but then has had enough. Like me, if she does not get a bite in the first fifteen minutes, she is ready to call it quits and try another time. Zane is the eternal optimist. If he does not catch anything in the first hour or two, he knows they are just ready to start a feeding frenzy. That is not the time to stop. He will keep trying until they bite or someone makes him quit.



Zane is also a bass purist. If the fish a person catches is not a bass, to him, it does not count. My wife and I are of the opinion, any fish is better than no fish. We take whatever, whenever we can. He came over to our house one afternoon last week to see if my wife wanted to go fishing. He is not opposed to fishing alone, but it is more fun to have someone along, even if they are fishing for crappy. She was not too busy and decided to take a break and go out for a while. She prefers to use small plastic minnows or grubs with spinners attached. These lures will catch bass, bluegill, crappy, and even an occasional catfish. Zane will use only large spinner baits or crankbaits. Nothing in our lake will attack a lure this size except a medium to large sized bass.



Just off the dock, my wife caught a crappy, then a small bass. Zane worked the weed beds with no results. His Nanna then caught a bluegill followed by a slightly larger bass. Zane was driving the boat so he moved to “a better area.” Over by the island, Zane finally caught a bass. It weighed about three pounds, which is probably equivalent to the combined weight of the five or six fish my wife had caught. She then started catching crappy. There is a spot near the island where crappy frequently school. If a person gets there at the right time, the fishing can be frantic. Fortunately, nobody was counting fish as Nanna was catching at a rate of about ten to one. Zane tossed his crank bait into the channel between the island and the dam. The water boiled and exploded. He set the hook hard as the bass smacked the water. Zane’s end of the boat swung around as the fish tried to tow them along his escape route. It put up quite a fight before Zane was able to land it. Pictures and weighing were required before this one could be released. It weighed 5lbs. 6 oz.


Zane and his catch


It was getting hot and nobody had thought to bring drinks. My wife was finally able to convince her grandson they could go in, get cooled off, and get rehydrated. Both fishermen were pleased with their success for the hot afternoon. My wife had caught a whole bunch of fish, nothing with great size, while Zane caught just a few, but all were fairly large. Success is measured in different ways by different people. It does not matter what a person does as long as they are happy with the outcome.