It’s called fishing and not catching for a reason. As corny as that saying is, it rings especially true on the suckiest of all days. No matter who you are, there will come a day where you don’t catch anything. Maybe it was the unpredictable weather or possibly faulty equipment, but regardless, getting skunked happens to everyone eventually.
The Silent Killer
After a long lull of fishing nothingness, it’s easy to get defeated, down, and even doubtful. After a few hours without a bite, I begin questioning what I know about fishing, what I know about myself, and then usually start rambling off excuses in my head like “this lakes too pressured” or “If I had that one bait with me, I’d probably be crushing them”
But then, out of nowhere, there comes a bright spot, a change of pace, a matrix in the universe, and my proverbial bobber ends up going down.
On an exceptionally slow day of fishing, I don’t even realize some of the bites; usually, I’m convinced it’s another clump of weeds or a branch before I recognize something is pulling back. Then, everything changes, and I snap back into it. Even if it’s a dink or an unintended species, at that moment, it’s the lifeblood I need to pull myself back from the misery of a skunky day.
Proof In The Pudding
Today, for example, once my alarm buzzed and some coffee was in my system, I jumped in my car, hooked up to my boat, and headed down to the lake. I had three rods rigged and ready with plans to probe deep main lake points with finesse tactics like drop shots, Neko rigs, and swimbaits. After marking fish, making drifts, and casting nearly every plastic in the boat, I hadn’t managed a single bite. In a time crunch, I headed back to the ramp defeated, wondering why I couldn’t put the pattern together.
When I got to the boat ramp, I thought about the patch of lily pads I saw on my way in and decided, why not? I picked up a casting rod spooled with braid and then a Googan Squad Mini Filthy Frog. Quickly I joined them together using the trusty Palomar knot.
Blast On The Last Cast
I must have made 40 casts around the pads without a single sniff of a fish, but as luck would have it, on cast number 41, my topwater frog was decimated by a chunky largemouth who erupted at the surface, creating a cannonball splash. I set the hook hard, followed by me cranking with all my might as I pointed the rod down and away to keep pressure on the fish. I thought about the net sitting behind me, but instead, I flipped that sucker right onto the deck. I took a few pictures, released the fish, and then sat quietly on the boat.
I took in the moment, sipped some coffee, and appreciated the buzzing excitement I felt thanks to a single fish. I didn’t make another cast after that. I packed up, headed home, and sat down to write this quick story. I hope you enjoyed it and that you appreciate those skunk busters as much as I do.
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