These Fishing Myths Are Bunk
There are so many fishing myths it’s hard to know where to start. To me, any time a fisherman exaggerates the size or number of fish he caught, that’s a lie. Anytime he is less than truthful about where, when or how he caught those fish, that’s a myth. Here’s an attempt to straighten out just a few of those myths.
Anyone Can Catch a Fish
There is an old adage that goes something like: “Give a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish, he eats forever.” Why is this bunk? Because there are just some days you are not going to catch a fish. At least I’m not because, though I’m good at fishing, I suck at catching. The more truthful ending is “Teach a man to fish and he’ll drink beer all day.” Now, in the matter of political correctness, I don’t mean to exclude women by saying, “Men” in the adage. I certainly don’t mean to infer that women can’t drink beer all day too. If you think that, you obviously haven’t met my wife.
Fish Don’t Bite in the Rain
We were off on a fishing excursion in Florida when the rain started dropping. My young daughter asked the first mate, “What do we do now?” The first mate responded, “We fish. The fish don’t mind the rain, they’re already wet” He was right and we went about our business of reeling them in. Though the fish bite less during periods of low barometric pressure, and low pressure usually accompanies rain, that doesn’t hold true at all times. If the pressure is not low and it’s raining, just keep reeling them in.
Be Quiet for the Fishing
This isn’t a library so stop the shushing. If you’re in the water the vibrations may transmit and scare the fish off but just talking on shore will not hinder a thing. Now skipping rocks, playing fetch with Fido and/or falling in the water after all that beer may slow you down but a little conversation is fine. This may have started when some old boy just didn’t want the wife along. That doesn’t mean your fishing partner wants to hear your incessant, constant, never-ending… oh never mind,
Catfish Only Hit at Night
No that’s cats that like to prowl at night. Catfish on the other hand eat at all times of day. This may have been started by that same old boy who just wanted an excuse to fish at night. Night fishing may work better for you depending on where and when you’re fishing but there’s no reason not to expect some success during the day too.
Bass and Cold Water
There is a belief by some that bass don’t feed in cold water. That would be bunk. Though they will only eat about one-third as much food as in warmer weather, a fish has still got to eat. They feed all year long and you can even catch them through ice, though that whole ice-fishing thing is something someone else will have to explain.
Never Leave a Productive Spot
Now, if you’re catching fish, you are having a good day. That doesn’t mean you don’t want bigger fish though. Similar-sized fish seem to troll the same waters so if you keep catching small or medium size fish, you may need to move on. Just like humans, it seems fish like to hang with their equals. Put more realistically, small fish don’t particularly care to be eaten by big fish, so they prefer to avoid the big guys if possible.
Bigger Boats Catch Bigger Fish
We all know the classic line from Jaws, “We’re going to need a bigger boat.” That line made sense because those guys were in a…boatload of trouble and, it was Hollywood after all. While a bigger boat can carry more gear and carry you further, a smaller boat can get you into tighter spaces that may harbor some bigger fish. It’s not the size of the boat it’s the placement: if you’re in the right spot, it doesn’t matter what your standing or sitting on.
You’re Not Deep Enough
Sure, for deep sea fishing you need to get way out where the big boys live but for everyday fishing, deeper water doesn’t guarantee anything. Unfortunately, nobody guarantees anything anymore or I’d get my money back on my fishing license when I get shutout. Fish feed wherever the food is, just like us at happy hour, so never think it’s too shallow for some big fish. Northern Pike, and some big ones at that, often hunt in shallow weed-beds so always expect success, even if you’re fishing with me.