Outdoor Truths – March 22, 2023
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There’s a lot of fishing going on right now. I’ve heard stories from those catching bass, crappie, walleye, stripe, and trout. It is the perfect time of the year for fishermen, no matter what species you’re after. Just like other seasons, this one will pass as quickly as it arrived. While you can catch most types of fish all year long, there are certain times that are just better. Now is one of those times. Soon the walleye will move back into the lake, the crappie will slow down, and the bass will find their lethargic summer pattern. Until then, the fishing will be fast and furious. For some non-fishermen, fast and furious seem like oxymorons to fishing. An onlooker sees a boat anchored to a pile of brush and two fishermen sitting intently, yet motionless, waiting for something to happen on the other end of the rod they’re holding. This looks hardly like fast and furious. Another bystander sees more fishermen slowly trolling along with baited lines following along behind. The last way he would describe this scene would be fast and furious. Someone has said, fishing is a jerk at one end, waiting on a jerk at the other. They are partially right. Fishing is all about waiting, but for some reason, our world equates waiting with inactivity. And some of us are still paying the price for this flawed definition. The truth is, waiting is active. This activity, however, is not physical but mental. It is not passive but aggressive. And it is both defensive and offensive. A person who waits not only must be alert to their time to move but they must also fight the temptation to move too quickly. This happens all the time in fishing. If you try setting the hook too soon, you miss. If you wait too long, you miss it as well. One must wait for the right time.
In life the losses are greater than a missed fish. It can be a missed opportunity, or it can be one’s saving grace. Most of the time, we forge ahead when we should have waited, all because we thought waiting was inactivity. The Bible says, “Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act.” God knows all the circumstances surrounding our lives. He has never been in a hurry, and he will never fail to give us clear instructions if we will seek him. But he will do it in his time. Until then, actively wait, looking to him for further instructions. It may be that his intentions are not only to bless you but to keep you from getting in a mess that may take years for you to get out.
■ Gary has written the Outdoor Truths article for 20 years. He has also written four books which include compilations of his articles and a father/son devotional. He also speaks at wild-game dinners and men’s events for churches and associations.