We're Hiring

To Fish or Not to Fish

maybe it’s time to climb back into the boat

Mike Paulus

I don’t fish. My dad does, but I don’t. He goes fishing all the time. Every spare minute he gets, he’s on a dock or a boat or a shoreline casting his line into the water. I can’t even remember that last time I held a fishing pole. However, it wasn’t always like this.

My family used to spend pretty much every weekend – all year round – up north at a little cabin that didn’t even have a color TV (black and white ... the indignity). And every morning, my dad would wake me up and drag me out to go fishing for what felt like all damn day. 

I know I’m probably reinforcing a stereotype many people hold about the kind of people who write for this magazine, but I think fishing sucks. I’ve got nothing against the sport or the fishermen who do it, and I’m glad it exists and all, but I don’t like doing it. It’s boring and it takes forever and it kind of stinks and it’s boring. I never got into it – as a kid, I’d whine and complain, and I probably made my dad’s eyes roll right out of his head a couple of times. There was always something else I felt I should be doing, even though all I did after we got to shore was eat and watch TV.

I’m older now, and even though I could totally add a whole host of exciting factors to the ol’ fishing equation, like beer and adult conversation, I still have a hard time getting excited about fishing. I think I’ve got too many years of un-enjoyment clouding my memory. 

Now, I really, really like to eat fish, so you’d think that’d provide plenty of motivation. Nope. Even my hunger for tasty fried fillets will not prompt me to ask my dad to take me fishing – or (gasp) go on my own. I’d still rather do other things ... like eat and watch TV. My wife recently said she’d like to go fishing and I immediately assumed she meant she’d like to have my dad take us fishing (he and my mom moved from Eau Claire, back up north about ten years ago). Not the case. She said we could probably find somewhere closer to home.