Nothing beats the discovery of finding section of water that holds enough ‘hook-yearning’ fish that give your reel hand a monster set of cranking blisters.
The same feeling holds true for those of us who find, or own, a plot of land that oozes wild game from bushy shadows.
We call the spot our own and like sly foxes our eyes make a quick sweep of the area to ensure the secrecy of our newly added GPS way-point. If your are like me, this hunting or fishing ‘sweet spot’ becomes one of our most closely guarded secrets. It remains unknown to all but a few close friends.
Herein, lies the potential problem with good fishing and the dilemma that it causes in my mind.
It is so easy to get wrapped up in keeping our secrets with ‘the few’ – that we forget the benefit of sharing the experience with ‘the many’.
I am guilty of this. Big Time!
An angler approached me, before a local fishing tournament, and asked me to mark some great fishing spots on Vernon Lake. At first, I marked all my favorite spots except for one. I struggled for several seconds before I could get my hand to mark the last and most secret of my spots.
I think it was because it is nice to have that spot on a lake where you can go and expect to catch some fish – without having to worry about another angler being there before you were. With my new found love of fly fishing, I can really appreciate the importance of solitude in your favorite fishing spot. After all – it is part of the experience of fishing.
I guess what I am wrestling with is how can we as ‘anglers and/or hunters’ expect to propagate the excitement we enjoy (and cherish) in our conservation activities if we become tight-lipped about where all the ‘good’ spots are?
Am I alone? Possibly. Ask yourself this: Could you easily hand over a GPS coordinate list of your top 5 fishing spots on your favorite lake? If your answer is yes – stop reading…deserve a peace prize.
Imagine if the NHL, NBA, or NFL expected to share the excitement of their sports by keeping the venues for these high impact sports for just a select few of the population who happen to know where the next event was taking place? Does it seem realistic to expect future anglers to get ‘cranked’ about fishing when their first experiences are spent ‘fish-less’ in the great wide open of a new body of water?
Some of you are now saying, “What about the enjoyment of the experience of, the newcomer, learning to find their own fishing spots and techniques?”
I can’t disagree with you. I am just wondering if that is making fishing one dimensional?
Could we also add to the teaching process of the outdoors a clause that encourages us to share that extremely productive bend in the river with someone else – without the need to be tight lipped? This would, in turn, encourage a more complete 2-dimensional fishing experience because it has been shared and enjoyed by others who caught just as many fish as you did.
This is not sour grapes. As the keeper of my own secret spots and a fantastic technique for catching lake trout in Algonquin Park, I am still thinking this through. I’d appreciate your thoughts.