Opening Cast

Tim HuffmanStudying tournament fishermen has complicated my life.

I remember a simpler time when I knew what to take fishing. A trip consisted of grabbing my Zebco 33 and tin can full of redworms, maybe a bucket of minnows, and a bag of Mann’s Jelly Worms. I would throw stuff on my bicycle and head to the nearest pond. All species were fair game.

In my mid-teens, a 1954 Ford extended my range to rivers and borrow ditches. Trips were still simple and fun.

Things didn’t change much in vo-tech school, college and biomed school. Limited time and money kept my fishing arsenal small but I moved up to better rod and reel combos and more baits. Graduation and a regular job led to a johnboat, but I kept fishing simple.

Today things are complicated. I agonize over what to take fishing. I need a Gore-Tex rain suit, waterproof boots and water sandals, a pair of polarized sunglasses, sunscreens and buff to protect old skin from the sun, insulated coat and bibs, cell phone, credit card for when my cell phone falls into the lake, scent-killing hand towels, cool looking logo shirts, digital camera, Side Imaging, mapping chips, drag chain…all things I didn’t have when fishing was simple.

I have 80 fishing poles. That’s three times more than I need and ten fewer than I want. I must decide which ones to take; jigging poles, casting rods, pullin’ rods, slow trolling 16-footers or the 12-footers, etc.

Baits are difficult, too. A bucket of minnows and four colors of jigs is all that’s needed to catch crappie, but having eight shades of greens, blues, reds, etc. is very important “just in case”. Also, I need different styles of bodies including tube, shad, stinger, paddle-tail, curlytail, mini, maxi, etc. and four weights of jigheads in four colors each. So now I have to choose from over 3000 possible combinations when I tie on a jig.

Nuf said…I miss the simpler life when I knew what to take fishing.


Tim Huffman

Editor/Sr. Writer