It's a silly question really. Of course we all enjoy catching fish. If we didn't we would find something else to do in our free time.
But it was a question posed to me nonetheless in one of my favorite online outdoors forums.
Which is more important, fishing or catching?
Catching a limit of walleye like this is always a blast, but is spending time on the water any less fun if you don’t?
At first impulse I would say catching. After all, that is what I'm out there to do. It's why I spent hundreds if not thousands of dollars on equipment. It's why I study lake maps like it's my job. It's why I read magazines, watch television programs and browse websites dedicated to helping me become a better fisherman.
Would I?do all of this work if just being on the water was good enough?
When I look deeper, I guess my answer is that I?don't know.
I?think the answer depends a lot on the individual and where they are at in their lives.
It seems the older we get, the more we "stop to smell the roses." Catching is not as important as the experience. A lakeshore sunrise. The spray of water over the bow. Chilly mornings and sunny afternoons. A shore lunch of fresh caught walleye with good company.
I guess I'm at the point in my life where I enjoy a little of both. I?enjoy the chase and the thrill of drag screaming off my reel. Putting in the hours of study and figuring out exactly what presentation will work best.
I?also enjoy hanging out with friends and family. Sharing stories, cracking jokes and enjoying a few cold ones. Sitting on a quiet dock at dusk, watching the sun set, listening to the crash of waves.
Moments like that are what we live for as outdoorsmen.
My question to you is, what is more important to you, fishing or catching? Is it the hunt or the harvest?
Please send your responses to email@example.com and I will publish them in next week's Your Backyard.
Until next time, good luck and good fishing!