Bonding with Bass Lures
There’s beauty in quiet moments enjoyed on the water. You cast brightly colored bass lures into the mist rising off the glass-like surface of a lake, enjoying the stillness that exists in the moments just after dawn. You watch the ripples radiate from where your lure breaks the surface and you admire the way your line cuts the water with knife-like precision. It’s easy to feel as if you’re the only person in the world in this moment and while those who don’t understand you refer to this as merely “spending time on that damn boat,” as you draw your rod behind you, preparing for the next cast, you are tucked safely within the ancient ritual we know as fishing – honoring the magic inherent in this act.
While you may feel alone in this moment, there’s often someone else along in the boat – quietly enjoying their own thoughts and treating the early-morning ritual with the same reverence that you do. It doesn’t matter if it’s your father, brother, sister, son or friend – the simple truth is that the people you invite into your fishing boat are family once they step over the gunnel and whether you treat bass fishing with reverence or irreverently, the bond between fishing partners is sacred.
Passing the Rod
One of the elegant truths about fishing is revealed silently in the moment when an adult hooks a fish and passes his or her rod to their child. It doesn’t matter how many of your favorite bass lures your child has cast into the trees and lost, the promise of their smile when (if!) they land the fish is enough to risk losing the catch of the day.
Often this practice of passing the rod was learned from your fishing mentor – whether it was your father, an uncle or a family friend – and passing the rod to a child in your boat or helping them change bass lures every other cast is a way to pass the torch to the next generation.
If you think about it, passing your rod to your son or daughter is a way to keep the memory of your fishing mentor alive and it’s a way to reach across the years into the future – understanding that what you’re wordlessly teaching your child will be repeated in another fishing boat when he or she passes their rod to your grandchildren.
Fishing Truths Unlocked with Bass Fishing
Fishermen are renowned for their ability to “stretch the truth” – recalling the events of their fishing escapades and the size of their catch via a flexible relationship with facts. I’m convinced that one of the reasons so many fishermen tell great stories is that when you are on the water you allow yourself to be more present than you are during your daily routine. You are focused on selecting the right bass lures, using the correct rod, measuring the wind, analyzing the water temperature, water conditions and you’re on the lookout for nearby cover. As a result every one of your senses is heightened and you’re allowed to live life in high-relief in a way that you might not be able to anywhere else. It’s why we hunger for time on the water, why we organize and reorganize our bass lures and tackle, and it’s why the fishing stories we tell are larger than life – because when we’re fishing … it feels that way.
I’m convinced that this is one reason why fishing with family is such a powerful bonding experience. There are few activities where you can make such enduring memories so easily and when you invite someone into your boat (whether you’re making an effort to get to know your new brother in law or you’re preparing to spend a day with one of your children) you are offering that person a gift that will last a lifetime.