Editor’s Log: Just… Off - The Fisherman

Editor’s Log: Just… Off

Last week I did a morning tog trip aboard Little Sister Charters with Capt. Jason Colby. Also aboard were my sales counterpart, Dale Nicholson and Little Sister regular Armindo. I’m always excited when I take these trips with Jason because he’s one of those guys that takes fishing to another level; but he doesn’t do it with wild theories or long explanations, he does it with the simplicity of understanding what these fish are looking for and how best to fish the spots where they’re living.

Readers may know that I was a pretty good baseball player in my younger days and I loved to pitch. But as much as I loved it, and as hard as I played and practiced, I still had occasional days where I just didn’t have it. My dad, a solid pitcher in his day too, used to say that the ball felt ‘fat’ in his hands when he didn’t have his best stuff and I can relate to that feeling. I remember one game in particular when we were playing against Marlborough, MA, I was on the mound and before I even faced a batter, the ball just felt like it was just half-inch larger than normal, in my hand, needless to say, it wasn’t my best game!

As we steamed out of the mouth of the Westport River, I had a similar feeling. It wasn’t so much a physical thing, like the reel handle didn’t feel too big or something, I just knew it wasn’t going to be one of those days when I was able to put fish on the boat at will. I’m not too proud to admit that I’m not one of those guys who always has “the magic” when it comes to fishing, but I have enough experience that I can usually figure it out and catch up to those with the Midas Touch with a little observation and grit.

Furthermore, I’m not a hardcore togger. I much prefer to catch them on a jig with a spinning rod; I brought my Tsunami Carbon Shield paired with a Shimano Saragossa 5K and, because the moon was full, I brought the heaviest jigs I had, 3 ounces. Everyone else on the boat was using conventional sticks with sinkers of 5 ounces or more. My 25-pound braid cut through the current, allowing me to fish the jig in all but one spot we stopped. And while we fished there, I switched over to a conventional setup.

Luckily, I held my own, but I know I could have (and should have) done a lot better than I did because I remember every hit I missed. I don’t know how else to say it, I was just… off. It was like being in a batting slump, swinging a quarter-second late on every pitch. But, on the other hand, it wasn’t like everyone else was smashing fish, we caught enough keepers to satisfy each of our own personal needs and we released every female we caught—I seemed to have a knack for attracting those! Armindo was the clear high-hook though, landing more fish and bigger fish than anyone else on the boat. Ten years ago, I would have been very upset, but these days I have come to know myself better. I know what kind of fisherman I am, meaning I know that I have the occasional off day. But most of all, I’ve learned that when I allow frustration to enter the arena, my results only get worse and frustration leads directly to not enjoying myself.

I had a great time on the trip, lots of laughs and every fish I landed felt like I was getting closer to my usual self. I already can’t wait to go back out there and do it again.


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