Editor’s Log: Taking It All In - The Fisherman

Editor’s Log: Taking It All In

So far, the 2024 fishing season has been a season of change for me. Back in April I bought a kayak, a really nice Old Town, with all of the fixin’s. As a longtime veteran of the surf, this has been an eye-opening experience on so many levels, to the point that I couldn’t even begin to scratch the surface here. But wow, I am learning a lot.

The hardest thing to get used to has been having to get the kayak ready for launch each time I go out. I’m used to putting on my wetsuit, grabbing my plug bag, rod and spikes and being ready to roll. Furthermore, I am almost always the first guy ready to go when gearing up at the parking spot. I have my routine and I can execute it efficiently. With the kayak it’s more of a routine of asking myself “did I do this? Did I do that?” Eventually it will become second nature, but for now, it’s anything but.

This morning I awoke at 2:45 and shoveled a bowl of Corn Flakes down my gullet; the kayak was already loaded into my truck along with all my gear. About 90 minutes later I arrived at a small strip of sandy beach in between docks and paved lots, my friend Mario was already there and we began the piecemeal routine of loading everything on the yaks. And after racking the rods, installing the seat, securing my crate of gear, installing the pedal drive, connecting the battery, attaching the electronics, racking the paddle, dropping my thermos into the cup holder and finally plopping my butt down in the seat, I still had forgotten to remove the hazard flag from my rudder; thankfully Mario was able to provide some in-water roadside assistance and we were finally ready to go.

In that moment, I felt a little frazzled, just lugging all that stuff and, with a low glow already swelling above the eastern horizon, I had this nagging twinge, wishing we had arrived 30 minutes earlier. But as we put more and more water between us and the launch, the full view of the harbor began to come into focus, synthesizing from grays, purples and blues into the fiery yellows and oranges of sunrise. I looked back upon this sleeping seaside town and realized that I was among the few that were present to witness it.

Several times per year I find myself in a situation similar to this, where something shakes me out of the routine of fishing and forces me to focus on the reality of the situation. Yes, being there for any early morning or late night event requires sacrifice, but it’s not like we’re talking about going to the moon, we’re talking about trading lost sleep for more time spent ‘alive’. More time spent doing something we love. And I think it’s important to acknowledge how lucky we are that we can set aside time, purely for the purpose of personal enjoyment.

So next time you’re out fishing and something memorable happens, whether that happens to be a new personal best, a meteor shower or an introspective moment touched off by the perfect silence of sunrise. Make sure to take it all in and quietly acknowledge that your situation is unique and to be thankful for the things that had to come together to make that moment possible. For me, it’s a tolerant wife, a great core of friends and a just the right amount of immaturity that ensures that I won’t ignore the nagging voices of obsession nattering on in my brain.

What is it for you?

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