Stokes: Rather than drowning your bait, try using a fishing guide next time

rodcrafter@islc.netSeptember 14, 2013 

If your fishing hasn't been up to par lately, it may be time to spend some money.

But invest in your future by improving your technique. A third of the battle is getting the fish interested in your offering. The other two-thirds is locating fish and having the right equipment.

Everyone learns by doing. If you aren't doing it correctly, the only thing you are learning is how to drown bait, lose lures and slap water.

The days of sitting under a tree with a cane pole and bobber are gone. This is the story we tell our children or share through a Huck Finn paperback. Today, something that simple would be a concentrated effort.

It may be time to seek professional help. Perhaps hiring a guide is not something you may have considered, but times change.

Fishing pressure is growing and what once had limitless boundaries is now overpopulated, highly regulated and rapidly changing. Fish are moving to new waters, which makes them harder to locate, much less bring to the dinner table.

Rapid development along the coast and area backwaters has encroached on more than land rights. It also has made pristine waters less habitable and much more in demand.

If you can't find them, you can't catch them. Get to know their whereabouts by going to the source. Your odds will greatly improve. Any time fishing with a guide is one of the best ways to improve your technique.

Outdoors Notes

  • Shrimp-baiting season opened Sept. 13 and will remain open until Nov. 12.

  • The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources has new Web pages to find bank and pier fishing locations. Access to these locations is free, but some facilities may have certain restrictions. You can search and find an area near you at http://dnr.sc.gov/lakes/access.html.

  • Tin Cup, Bucket List or 55-Gallon Drum

    Time is the resident by which we devote our lives. Doing things on the spur of the moment only happens by circumstance. We seem to think we can't accomplish anything without a game plan and budget.

    Today's climate of "hurry up and get to it" bears the promise of a disposable society. Weekend jaunts are more mini-vacations and all is planned down to the moment we leave the house.

    A backyard cookout with friends is an event, a movie with another couple is classified as socializing, and time on the water or in the woods is an expense often dipped into savings. A day at the beach involves an underwriter and we have our attorneys on speed dial. The absurdity in itself is an injustice, an offensive parody that challenges the basics of simpler times that were once cherished.

    We need to wake up and face reality. A start would be to get our hands off our wallets, leave the checkbooks at home, put away the plastic and enjoy ourselves more by putting a bit of heart in the effort.

    I have been called a reluctant enthusiast on more than one occasion, but in that judgment, balance and fair circumstance did prevail. Life is too short to deal with trivial matters that do not have purpose. This is reality.

    You only get to sit in the front row once, so be honest with yourself. When you fail to accomplish some standard or goal, your bucket list takes on the echo of a 55-gallon drum and your dreams dwindle like a paper cup of wishes.

    It may be time for a new slant. Start again with a tin cup of hope. Challenge the unknown and relish in the power of not being shackled to titles and prejudices.

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