Just Add Water

Hook, Line and Sinker

To fish or not to fish, that is the question

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Fishing has been around for a very long time and will probably stand to be a lasting tradition for even longer – so it’s no surprise that there are many, many different views and opinions on the sport. Some say it is a combination of skill built upon years of practice and passed-along tricks of the trade; a tranquil art form that connects one with nature and clears the mind. Then, on the other hand, there are those that say it is boring and mundane; it’s only out of sheer dumb luck that people catch fish in the first place. This duality begs the question, is it skill or is it luck?

From the casual observer’s point of view, the fish itself does not seem to be a particularly smart creature. Unable to tell a lure from its real prey, videos on channels like Discovery show salmon jumping directly into the mouth of bears. The people in favor of fishing will argue the careful craftsmanship, elegant engineering and in-depth studies of natural prey is what made the lures work so brilliantly; those not in favor will simply point to the videos.

Then, the in-favors will tell you it boils down to much more precise factors like where you go, when you go, what you use and how you use it. Everyone seems to have a spot where the fish run wild. They head out on the water at a time when no one else is around, employing their great-grandfather’s casting technique as a surefire way to always come home with a mound of fish to fill the table. The not in favors will once again point to the videos.

Fishing advocates forge on, claim- ing it’s about how you work your reel: let it sit and troll behind the boat un- til the one worthy of a wall mount hooks itself, or throw a bob on the line and wait for the signal to start reeling it in. (Just be careful in a debate, though, because those naysay- ers will probably just suggest you stand on the edge of the shore with your mouth wide open.)

Whatever your opinion of fishing may be, the sport and the debates will continue forever; to fish or not to fish, that is the question. The feud carries on in regards to the best way to catch the prize-winner, and who is dumber, the salmon or the people filming the wild bears in the first place. To those who fish, enjoy and cast away. To those who don’t, just smile and nod whenever those fish tales make their way around your living room. To each his own.