May 2021 News/Columns

Waypoints: Success

When our outboard failed us, we had a lot of fun that fall fishing in the canoes.


Waypoints: Success

Learning to fish and live life.

by Geremy Olson

WayPoint: Hope is a seed that sprouts and grows character in difficult times.


A couple years back we hit the water to take advantage of North Dakota’s Lake Sakakawea’s fall bite. We had the right rods, we had the right jigs, we had the right bait and nothing could get in the way of a great day of fishing.

 We put the boat in the water. We navigated around all the sunken islands and got to the spot that we knew all of the fish would be and then it happened.

 I couldn’t believe it! The chip reader on the graph died! Who would have thought… how can you have an epic day on the water without accurate GPS mapping?

 As it turns out the inconvenient death of the chip reader on the graph was just the start to the technical woes that fall. The next week our old trusty outboard decided to strike the word “trusty” from its name. It made up its mind to only work in the shop and never on the water. Needless to say, these two inconveniences made fishing and shooting fishing reports on the water a little bit on the difficult side.

It’s a pretty good feeling when you fix something yourself and you have the hope of going fishing the next day.

I know it’s easy to get frustrated when troubles like this happen, but we need to take a step back and not fret when they hit. When we take a step back during times like these, we gain perspective.

For me that fall I needed to remember I fished the fall bite growing up in a canoe with a paper map and no graph at all. How many limits of fish did I catch over the years shore fishing around a campfire during the fall bite? What about the three years I was in a wheelchair or on crutches and couldn’t even make it to the shoreline?

We spend so much time in our life fearing inconveniences & dreading difficult times. When in reality they are going to happen. With all the covid issues over the last year I know each of us have plenty of stories on and off the water of struggles that we never would have thought we would have to deal with a year ago. Storms will come, things will break and plans will fail. How we react to these experiences either builds or destroys our character.

The big difference is do we start with and/or do we have hope?

 As anglers we have a unique understanding of hope most others don’t have. Every fishing trip starts out with hope. If it didn’t, we would just stay at home. When we have slow day on the water we are already planning how the next trip will be better because we have hope the next trip will be better. There’s always next time, right?

Instead of looking at the negative of the motor not working, we learned how to fix the head gasket together as a family.

 I agree it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the struggles in life, but as you get ready for your next fishing trip take the time to take a little bit of that hope for the trip and spread it out to the rest of life. When we take that same hope we have when we go fishing and bring it into the rest of our life things get better. We realize we live in a world with troubles and that hope has and will overcome those troubles. Without hope we tend to embark on a destructive path, but when we start with hope, we have the ability to grow and learn.

 That fall we spent a lot of time on the shore catching fish, shooting video and growing as a family. None of which would have been possible without a dead chip reader, a not-so-trusty outboard and the hope that good fishing is always possible.

Skip ahead to this spring and we have had the opportunity to get back to some sport shows and teach seminars that cover much of what we’ve learned because the graph and motor let us down years before. One of those lessons is that hope keeps us from losing track of what is truly important and another is hope starts and builds relationships. Looking back, the hope I had before I encountered all the hard times I’ve had in life was a big part building the character I have today.

 So, keep fishing and living life with hope and see where it gets you.

 Hope is a seed that sprouts and grows character in difficult times.

 (Geremy Olson grew up in the outdoors. After being burned as a volunteer firefighter, he had to figure out how to teach outdoor skills to his children from a wheelchair while learning to walk. Today he is an inspirational speaker, Fellowship of Christian Athletes North Dakota Coordinator, ND AIM Tournament Director, Outdoorsman, Producer, Wildfire Consultant & Public Speaker ( He is also the proud father of the owners of Missouri Secrets Tackle.)

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