If Fish Could Talk

I can't remember not liking to fish. In fact, I love to fish! I don't get to do it often but I enjoy it immensely when I do. I call each fish by name, whether or not I keep it, because I figure if a fish is smart enough to bite my hook then he is worthy of my respect! Every good fisherman has good fishing stories and of course, the reason for having good fishing stories is to tell them; with fishing season now or nearly open in several states, this seems like a perfect occasion to tell one, so here goes:

Image by Ruth Haining - RBDesign
As a traveling performer, it has been my privilege to see many beautiful places throughout the USA. One of those places is the upper peninsula of Michigan, aka the"UP", which I've visited the last three summers. Thickly wooded and riveted with lakes, it is the perfect place to go fishing on a day off. Having relatives with a lake cabin and multiple fishing boats makes it even more perfect!

I've gone fishing every time I've been there, and each time I've caught something. I don't remember all the fish that I've met there, but I can recall a few: the first year, I met a nice small-mouth bass named Dave; the second year, I met Chris the Sunfish; and last year, I met Bob the Crappie.

Those were all pretty swell fish, but my favorite catch was a friendly fella name Mike. He was special. Mike was a spunky little Striped Perch, and by little I mean less than two inches long and thinner than my pinkie (why do they call it that) finger.

I met Mike quite accidentally and actually mistook him for a weed. I thought I had felt Mike bite but then he just sat there. I thought "Oh bummer, that wasn't a bite, it was a weed", and I started to reel in so I could clean my hook off. Well my "weed" started fighting then and for a fish that size, ol' Mike could really pull! I got him reeled in though and greeted him properly, then released him back to his watery domicile to continue his blissful journey to maturity.

I will never see Mike again but ya know, I really admire him; he was a fish who knew what he wanted and went after it! The bait on my hook was more than half as big as he was but he wasn't afraid of it, he knew its value and was determined to capture it. Mike didn't nibble at my bait either, he gulped it down and fought for it with all the strength his little self could muster!

That's more than I can say for myself sometimes. Unlike Mike, I sometimes find myself letting the size or difficulty of an objective intimidate me from achieving it. Maybe you can relate. But ya know what? If something promises lasting benefit for us in the future, we shouldn't be afraid of the temporary struggle it takes to attain it. Are you sitting on the fence, procrastinating an important decision or action because of fear? If fish could talk, I think Mike would tell you "Just go for it!", and I'm pretty much inclined to agree with him. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

P.S. I successfully resisted the urge to litter this post with nauseating fishing puns. You're welcome. If you feel the same urge, please litter the comments in my stead!


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