June 6, 2014 Share

Fishing With Your Wife –Yea or Nay?

Originally Published on Feb 28, 2012 “From the Dock” NBC Sports

Legendary outdoor writer Charles Elliott once wrote of a trip where fishing with his wife was less than a positive experience. The problem? She outfished him!

So, fishing with your wife… yea or nay?

I often have the opposite problem when fishing with Karen, my bride of 17 years. And it started the year we were married….

There was a great night walleye bite going on Minnesota’s famed Lake Mille Lacs. The fish were still up shallow and minnow plugs trolled at night were producing stringers of both eaters and giants. So Karen and I made the two-hour run to the lake and were on the water in time to watch the sun disappear over the horizon.

For the trip I had set up two identical rigs—7-foot medium action spinning rods loaded with 8-pound mono, two split-shot about three feet above a number 9 original Floating Rapala in silver and black.

As we started to troll I shared with Karen a little tip for catching fish. “Twitch your rodtip every few seconds to make the bait flash,” I told her. “It really makes a difference in triggering bites.”

She didn’t listen.

I caught the first four fish of the night, all running between 16 and 18 inches. Karen didn’t say much at first, but then began requesting a new bait. I responded by offering to switch rods. She declined until I landed two more fish.

By then the mood in the boat was getting frosty. Karen felt the issue was the bait I gave her while I kept remindering her to twitch her rodtip, advice that she simply ignored because she was convinced the issue was the bait she had on.

And that’s when things really went downhill. We made the switch. Less than a minute later…following a recommended twitch…I got hammered by an 8-pounder on the “bad bait.”

“I want to go home,” she said simply.

Two kids later Karen and I find it a bit tougher be able to fish much together, but we did sneak out recently to fish smallmouth on a stretch of the Mississippi River near home. Again, I rigged up identical spinning rods with identical baits and handed one to Karen with simple words of advice: “Hold your rod high as the tube drifts downstream and set the hook when it stops.”

With cold temps, dark clouds spitting snow, and high winds, it was not a nice day on the water. And the fishing was tougher than normal. But Karen landed two good bass in the hour we fished, matching the number of fish I beached. And that’s the way I had hoped the day would end.




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