What are mine? Like most everybody, I love the peace and quiet on most trips.Imagine the still water at your feet, not a ripple on it. The fog is just thick enough so the trees disappear in the distance, and everything around you looks soft. A splash breaks the calm, letting you know there is a fish feeding out there. You are totally alone with your thoughts, almost as if you were floating in an isolation tank.
On the opposite end of that feeling, I love running down the lake at 70+ mph in my bass boat. Exhilaration is the only word that comes close describing that feeling of power, freedom and speed. It is anything but quiet as the 225 hp motor roars behind you and the water cracks as the hull splits the waves. The wind whistling past you makes you duck behind the windshield, but the feel of it adds to the thrill. That part of the fishing experience lasts for only a few minutes each day.
The challenge of outsmarting your quarry is part of it. Trying to make a fish think your lure of plastic and hair is its food is not easy. Figuring out where the fish is and why it is there is another part of the challenge. And learning enough about them to consistently catch fish is a challenge most of us don't overcome.
The pull of the fish when you do hook one and the efforts to land it without losing it are part of the fun. Struggling with a fish on a rod and reel is almost a primal need, and all your technology often does not help you win the battle. Good fresh food is a reason many people fish, and getting your own food is another basic need that fishing provides.
Competition has become a big part of fishing, and I like tournaments, where a group of people go out and try to outsmart the fish. At the end of the day, you get to compare how well you did. Bragging rights are nice when you win, but you try to listen and learn from the winner when you are not on top.
For many years I had an irresistible desire to go fishing. I could not wait to get on the water and try to pit my skills against those of the fish. I was not happy except when fishing. As I get older, I still enjoy the fishing and all the things mentioned here, but that strong urge is no longer there. I still go every chance I get, but that craving is not as strong. Sometimes I miss it.