Because we had an event Friday night, I had little time to prepare for my first venture out on my favorite lake. (For those of you wondering, the name of the lake is Secret Lake. Google it. ;-) Furthermore, we were out late the night before. As a result, the next morning, I woke early and hit the ground running. I needed to eat breakfast, make a thermos of coffee, load the car and load the kayak on top. Because I woke a little late, I was frantically packing to get on the water. Fish wait for no one.
After a 20 minute drive, I repeated the whole ritual in unload mode, working quickly and methodically. When I finally got in the boat, I thought, Man, that was a lot of work for a little fishing. Ten minutes later I had my first fish on and quickly concluded that ALL the work was worth it. This is my happy place. When I die, Donna has instructions to create a funeral pyre out of my kayak, light it on fire and push me into the lake like the Vikings did in a Norse Funeral. Oh, and bait a line and put it out the side too. Ha!
In the process of packing and during the fishing. there are 10 observations I had.
- On the first trip of the year you will forget at least one item. This year it was my floppy hat. Oh, and my frozen Goo Goo Cluster that I was so looking forward to.
- I loaded the kayak on top of the car by laying a towel on the SUV's hatch to protect it from scratching. I couldn't find the wool blanket I usually use, so I used the towel. When I got to the lake I realized I never took the towel off after loading the kayak. It blew off somewhere along the ride is my guess. Come to think of it, that's what happened to my blanket LAST year.
- The minute you apply sunscreen, the clouds will roll in.
- A paddle into the wind across the lake does not guarantee the wind at your back on the return trip. Wind is a funny thing.
- It's really OK not to post to Facebook that you're fishing. Really, it is.
- I'm a little put off when other people paddle by and want to know how I'm doing. I know it's a weird thing, but I'm not there to chat.
- The minute you put a goal to catch "one more fish" is like the kiss of death. You might as well just leave. It's not happening now buddy. Thanks for cursing yourself.
- I have a really hard time taking a break from fishing to eat a few pretzels. To me it's "down time" and I know that's weird. But when you're obsessed, simple functions like eating take a back seat.
- While fishing alone is fun, fishing with a buddy or my kids is even better. There's no one there to admire your nice Smallmouth except you. But solo fishing beats no fishing everyday!
- The fact that my wife knows me enough to ask "when are you going out fishing in your kayak" means I am a lucky man. She knows what it means to me and how it brings me back to center. It's like a runner needing to run to get it out of his/her system. Once I've done it, I'm good for a few weeks. It absolutely is my favorite pastime and I am blessed to have a partner who can appreciate that.
I managed to catch about a dozen bass - Largemouth, smallmouth and a rock bass, so it was a really good morning.
And with any kind of luck, we can put off the funeral pyre for a decade or two.