I was thinking about the different ways people catch fish and how the techniques can be similar to how someone finds a partner.
One person takes the boat out to tried-and-tested deep waters, casts a net and waits, sometimes for a very long time. The haul sure is good, but needs sorting and sifting to find the gems. They can afford to be picky, and work on instinct, chucking back those fish that are just plain wrong, not ready or too small.
Other people are happy to find the perfect spot, sit with a rod and wait for hours for the fish to come to them. A pond may yield a smaller catch than a river. The patience and luck needed to lure one, plus the skill and strategy required to reel in a keeper could take a lifetime to master. Everyone has stories about the ones that got away, and can wistfully remember the fleeting, hectic rush. Occasionally, they catch something totally unexpected and throw it right back in. But then, everything doesn’t always have to make it home with you. It might still be there next time, when you are less surprised and have had time to prepare.
Not everyone is there for the fish. Some like the patient, solitary routine of watching the sun set. Choosing a spot where the fish are biting to just enjoy the ego boost of a catch and release. A cold drink and the change of scenery in the fresh air. The pursuit, the promise, the potential. Some days they nibble. Some days, nothing. Future tales told, embellished, exaggerated and elaborated on, are the best some people ever get.
One tip though, when you land a catfish or a shark, you need to throw it right back in without a second thought. You won’t be able to fish for anything that you want to keep if your hook is stuck in one you don’t like.
Preferences for bait are as varied and different as techniques for landing. Watch out for the squawking seabirds who will try to steal your haul.
The only thing really left to worry about is whether it tastes as good as it looks. If not, well there are plenty more…