Winter days are short. The sun doesn’t come up till sometime after seven, and when five o’clock rolls around you better be close to the car, the takeout, or at least have a headlamp. Shorter days mean less time to get shit done, and less time to get shit done means being hungover and late to the ramp isn’t as boyishly charming as it was in July when the sun didn’t set till well past bedtime. It’s not that fishing isn’t fun during the winter. Hell, in the South, the biggest fish of the year get caught all winter long with a lot less people to witness it than you’d find in the tourist months. It’s just that fishing becomes more about fishing and less about hanging out during the downtime of the day. There’s no time for grab-ass, horseplay or tomfoolery…there’s fishing to be done. I mean, there’s no point in being cold and miserable for a scenic float or walk through the winter woods…we’re not birdwatchers (not there’s anything wrong with that).
The same sense of urgency that follows you around a day on the water will also nag you while you sit around the house not fishing.
“Who the f*&k emptied my boxes?”
“Where did I burn up all my six by?”
“What animal shit/puked/died in the bottom of my boat/cooler/truck (a lot of options here)?”
“Must tie Clousers!”
It’s a never-ending loop of shit that will really start to “f” with your head if you let it. I know this is the part of the story where you expect me to have answers for how to balance it all. Work, family, Thai orphanage building, fishing, and only so many hours in a shortened day…but prepare to be disappointed. If I knew, my wife wouldn’t be pissed off at my juvenile behavior nearly as much as she deservedly is. All I can say is don’t be late to the ramp. It’s colder than shit out here.