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Friday, July 02, 2010
Rooting for the Fish
I will say up front that I am by no stretch of the imagination a fisherman. I have 4 or 5 nice fishing rods and reels in the garage and two boxes of fishing lures and other tackle. I have all of these BECAUSE I am by no means a fisherman. I just like to fool around with fishing tackle. If I really wanted to catch some fish, I'd get me a line, a cane pole, a bobber, a weight and a hook. I'd go dig up some worms in the backyard and go down by the bridge with all the other cane pole fishermen and catch me some serious fish.
Of course, then I'd have to clean them.
No, my idea of an ideal day fishing is sitting out on a dock in the shade and tossing a sampling of every kind of lure in the box to see if any fish is fool enough to bite one. I'm more of an experimental fisherman - a fishing researcher if you will. I try a steady pull, a jerky pull, deep divers and surface poppers. If the afternoon goes by without a single fish being caught, I really don't mind much because by the time I'm done I've gone through a six pack of cold Diet Dr. Pepper, a couple of pimento cheese sandwiches, a box of Oreos and a medium bag of Doritos. Life is that danged good!
I have, on a couple of rare occasions accidentally caught something. The last time was 4 years ago. I had wandered down to the beach with my fishing rod and tackle box. For some reason people don't question why you're going down to the lake by yourself if you have a tackle box and fishing pole with you. Solo fishing is, apparently an acceptable thing to do by yourself. Without these accouterments, people ask you where you are going and volunteer to keep you company. The fishing gear gives you an unquestioned excuse to be anti-social for some reason. My father and my father-in-law were accomplished fishermen, fish cleaners and fryers. I never really caught the bug, though. I suppose that my wife encourages my fishing behaviors in hopes that I'll develop some of the more manly hobbies of that sort and give up collecting toy soldiers and practicing the banjo! I'm not sure. Maybe she just likes fresh caught fish.
Anyway, arriving on the beach, I wade out to my knees, draw back and fling my shiny silver bass assassin lure into the lake. To my utter astonishment, I hooked a mid-sized bass on my first cast. He gave me a bit of a struggle before he finally quit struggling and gave me back my fishing lure. After that minor annoyance, the fish left me peacefully alone for the rest of the hour while I stood barefoot in the sand up to my ankles in tangy smelling lake water, throwing a bewildering array of colorful fishing lures out into the lake and dragging them back; throwing them out and dragging them back.
When I came home, Sheila asked if I had fun. I told her I had. "Catch anything?" she asked.
"I hooked a mid-sized bass," I told her.
"Why didn't you bring it home?" my wife the fried fish enthusiast demanded.
"Well, I really didn't mean to catch him."
My Sweet Baboo doesn't really understand my fishing style at all.
That awful power, the public opinion of a nation, is created in America by a horde of ignorant, self-complacent simpletons who failed at ditching and shoe-making and fetched up in journalism on their way to the poorhouse. -Mark Twain