An Ordinary Outdoorsman

It’s a quiet summer morning on the lake. On the far side there is a cove with submerged timber, weedy shoreline, fallen trees, and a variety of other prime fish habitat. There’s a small aluminum jon boat tied up to a stump that sticks out of the water about 40 feet from shore but in prime casting range of most of the cove’s features. There’s a man and his young son fishing out of this very small 12 footer featuring nothing more than a thirty pound thrust transom-mount trolling motor. The boy is casting his usual bobber and worm on a spincast combo they picked up for $15 a few years before and manages to catch a bluegill every few minutes. The man is casting his spinning rod all around, trying one lure at a time, not satisfied with just catching gills. When he lands a good sized largemouth bass, he decides to stick with the Texas rig plastic worm he is throwing.

Shortly after the man catches the first bass, the quiet morning is disrupted by the roar of 150 horse motor slowing down to enter the cove and fish as well. It’s a much bigger and nearly new bass boat with one man on board. He sees the small boat, but the cove has plenty of room for both. He quickly cuts his gas motor and pushes a button to auto-deploy his bow-mount trolling motor. At the same time he looks over the eight baitcasting rigs he has ready to go and selects what he thinks will catch fish.

The man and the boy watch curiously as the man in the bass boat, acting as if he is in a hurry, hastily casts and retrieves over and over again as he zips along about one hundred yards of shoreline.

Meanwhile, the man in the jon boat lands another respectable largemouth and the boy continues to catch gill after gill.

A few minutes later, maybe 20 minutes after he arrived, the man in the bass boat puts his pole back on the rack with the other seven, pulls up his trolling motor, and fires up the gas motor. With no luck in the cove, he quickly moves on to another spot on the lake, leaving the now quiet cove to the two in the jon boat.

The Conversation


“Yes, son.”

“He sure had a lot of fishing poles.”

“Yes, he did.”

“That was a nice boat too, wasn’t it?”

“It sure was.”

“Can we get one like that someday?”

“Maybe. But let me ask you something?”

“What’s that?”

“How many fish did he catch?”

“I didn’t see him catch any.”

“Me neither. How many fish do you think we caught while he was in this cove with us?”

“Oh…you caught those two nice bass, and I caught at least ten gills!”

“I think that’s sounds about right…hold on, make that three for me, I just hooked another one!”

He sure had a nice boat though.

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