June 23, 2014 Share

Bass That Kill Fishermen?

Originally Published on “From the Docks” NBC Sports

Let me admit that when I first saw one of these classic postcards more than 40 years ago, actually thought they were real photographs! And when you are five, the thought of a giant pike or bass that kill fishermen is damn scary.

Now, they generate a chuckle and invite a look back at simpler times.

One of the things I truly love about fishing is its history. While technology has changed things, the heart of the sport remains firmly intact…you toss a baited hook in the water and hope a fish eats it.

That’s the way it was when my grandpa fished; the way it was when my dad fished, and that the way it remains today.

Last night I spend a couple hours chasing bass with daughter Maddie, 13. The stiff breeze made it tough to make accurate casts. And Maddie was struggling badly, at least until she figured things out. And then the biggest bass of the night took her worm. The photo that followed made it clear that fishing still offers today’s generation the same thrills enjoyed by the million of anglers who went before us.

Everyone who fishes does it for reasons that are personal and not easily explained. In my case, it’s simply who I am. I suspect I have a dominate “fishing” gene. Why else would I still get a charge out of a bobber disappearing, even knowing that it’s likely a 7-inch bluegill that’s going to be released anyway?

But it goes deeper and the postcards of days gone by capture the reason perfectly. Anglers dream of catching fish so big they sink the boat. They embellish tales and spin yarns so fantastic that they capture the imagination of young and old. The big one don’t always get away…