The nice part about living in a small town is that when it seems like you don't know what you're doing, someone else does.
The condition manifested itself recently while at a local get-it-quick-and-pay-more shop. I was helping a friend fuel his boat when he accidentally dropped the nozzle in the boat. The forever present know-it-all in the next line witnessed the event and stated it might be easier if one of us was in the boat while the other held the nozzle.
Seeing as how this was obvious, my friend decided to have a bit of fun with the stranger. He told the man the nozzle did not fit in the gas spout without slipping. When the man stepped up on the fender to check out the situation, he said it would be better if the nozzle was inserted in the gas spout instead of the rod holder.
A fitting start to an otherwise uneventful morning ... thus is the life of a fisherman.
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BACK TO THE TABLE
The landings are again crowded as scores of fishermen shake off the cobwebs of in-house activities and congregate on local waters. While cold snaps have you tossing jackets and shirtsleeves, fishing has steadily improved. Not all species have received the message, but angler optimism far outweighs hesitation.
Many are participating in the hunt for cobia, while the savvy are taking advantage of better waters. Granted, cobia is a fantastic food fish and is among the most exciting. But, at times, it is best to leave the table and return for dessert.
With the majority jockeying for spots to toss lines, clear waters await those seeking other species. The wait and return will pay dividends when larger cobia move closer to headwaters and offshore structures. The ability to fish unhampered along the flats for trout, spottail bass, sheepshead, flounder, whiting and many other stable inshore fish makes the time more enjoyable.
This is also a good time to try new baits, experiment with that last tied fly, practice your roll cast and perfect that underhand cast. Less crowded means fewer witnesses to failed attempts, and that gives advantage to your competitive edge.
When seasonal weather stabilizes, waters will return to a first-come, first-serve basis of known hot spots and favored fishing locations.
Take advantage of the time and find that niche you have been seeking; you may find a few fish, and I guarantee the time will be far more rewarding.
EVENTS & MEETINGS
Artificial lures aren't always true.
If the lure runs sideways, it lacks balance. Water passing over the lip will cause the lure to run sideways if the hook eye is bent. Fix this by bending in the opposite direction.
If you want to fish a shoreline with lots of hang-ups, bend it in the direction of open water, drop your rod tip and crank away. Your lure will run parallel to the bank and excite those hard-to-move species that lay in ambush.