May 2021 News/Columns

The Great Outdoors, by Larry Whiteley

The Great Outdoors


Fishing is the one sport in the world where someone who takes the time to learn small things, and practices them can compete equally with anyone else. Someone in an aluminum boat with a tiller motor wearing cut-off blue jeans, a Bass Pro cap and a dirty t-shirt can sometimes catch just as many fish as someone in a fancy fiberglass boat with a big motor, all the electronics and sponsors all over his fishing shirt.

Fishing doesn’t require extra athletic ability, vast amounts of working out, or to be within a certain age limit. Fishing is quite a different sport in that you can compete equally regardless of your fitness or athletic abilities.

Of course the more you get out on the water, the more you practice what you’re learning, the better fisherman you will become and then maybe one day you too will have the fancy boat and sponsors on your shirt. You see, those guys were once a fisherman just like you.

The bonus is that while you’re out there fishing, it’s pretty hard to worry about social distancing, wearing masks, the economy, politics, negative news, bills that need to be paid or work that needs to be done. That’s what’s so great about fishing.


While fishing pros would have you believe that you must race from one fishing hole to the next and constantly switch your baits, the truth is sometimes that you just need to relax and be patient while you enjoy the beautiful day or time with your family.


 Did someone let you go turkey hunting on their land this past season? Send them an e-mail, text or give them a call to thank them. Better yet, take some already cooked wild turkey breast or maybe some morel mushrooms you found on their land. You can also offer to help with chores that need to be done or even take them fishing. Remembering landowners during the off season helps guarantee you will have future hunting opportunities for years to come.


 It is critical to the future of our sport to introduce young people to the thrill of fishing. So do it. And, not just one time a year. But don’t just take kids fishing, teach them everything you know about fishing so when you’re not around they can tie knots and tell whoppers on their own.


Panfish can be beheaded, scaled, gutted and rolled in corn meal then fried whole. The meat is always delicious but the tail and fins are also a crunchy treat.


A fish, which you can’t see, deep down in the water, is a kind of symbol of peace on earth, good will to yourself. Fishing gives a man … some time to collect his thoughts and rearrange them kind of neatly, in an orderly fashion. Once the bait is on the hook and the boat is anchored, there’s nothing to interfere with thinking except an occasional bite” ~ Robert Ruark

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