As all fishermen know - and I am a fisherman - the choosing of a fishing partner is far more important than any other single event any man will encounter in 100 lifetimes. Sharing time in the boat with woeful souls who understand little of the finer points of sporting angling is like watching a movie while trying to crunch down a bag of un-popped popcorn. You just don't do it.
Fortunately for those lesser-skilled anglers - floundering about in their overpriced boats and continually seeking the slightest measure of justification for spending countless thousands of dollars each year on fishing equipment, gasoline and bait they don't dare touch - there are necessary exceptions that a few of us friendly fisherman will permit. That is to say, the sharing of our vast knowledge of all matters pertaining to the fine art of fishing with those whose livewells remain dry and freezers empty.
As an example, I cite a recent evening on the water in which I shared a small portion of my overloaded tackle box of angling wisdom with two fishermen lookalikes who were, from all appearances, eager for any tidbit of angling knowledge that I might freely cast their direction. After some gentle urging I graciously consented to present them with some "insider" information, a few fishing secrets from a legendary master.
So struck were they with this offer that they immediately turned about on their comfortable boat seats. This, I presumed, was so that would be better able to hear my precious advice. A little more background is necessary.
On the occasion to which I am referring, I was the "guest" in the boat of these two seemingly dedicated fishermen. True, they often fish in the company of each other and claimed to have mastered a variety of proven fish-catching techniques. However, I rather quickly ascertained that any undocumented success they may have had would have only been possible by blindly blundering into a wandering band of starving fish.
I watched their methods and techniques, closely examined their fishing reels, rods and line, calculated their boat position and depth. Any nutball could see in an instant they were wetter than the minnows they were drowning. Clearly these alleged fishermen were in need of basic angling education. What could I do other than share a few pointers?
It should be emphasized that, unlike those whom I assisted on this day, I am a rather innovative fisherman. As such, and quite understandably, my tactics and presentations are not readily understood or accepted by anglers who refuse, sometimes angrily, to adopt my methods.
"Don't throw that in the lake!", they'll say, or "That thing will scare the fish away!" You'd think I had no clue. I have learned through experience that the best course of action when confronted with non-believers is to share as much fishing knowledge as possible. This I do with a very gentle and subtle approach. Others mistakenly refer to this as a non-stop barrage of verbal diarrhea.
My most recent free lesson resulted in one of the previously mentioned duo tying a rope, to which a rather hefty anchor was attached, to my fishing vest and then boldly inquiring if I was a good swimmer. Some people just don't know when to listen!
My reason for offering advice was twofold. First, it was to help lesser anglers become better fishermen. Secondly, I intended to overload their minds with so much information that they could think of little else.
So successful was I during this outing that they found it necessary to return me to the dock much earlier than originally planned. This was for the purpose, I supposed, of allowing them a little space and time alone so they could actively implement some of the previously secret fishing methods that I had so wonderfully shared with them. Their glee was apparent as they smiled and high-fived each other while pulling away from the dock.
I had seen this before. It was a good feeling to know that my message, at least as much as they could remember, had been so effectively delivered. It also gave me ample time to share some knowledge with lucky fishermen gathered along the shore. They were eager listeners, at least in the beginning. Later I noticed several pointing me out to others as they were loading their fishing tackle into their vehicles. The "others" on this occasion must have been a bit shy. They communicated with universal hand signals but never approached me for the very latest information or requests for tips to fishing success.
Oh well, at least I had the entire shore to myself. As I claimed earlier, I am a rather innovative fisherman. I also choose my fishing partner wisely.