You have probably heard it just as many times as me if not more. “A bad day of fishing beats a good day at work”. Or as one of my favorite songs on my fishing playlist says, “A bad day of fishing beats a good day of anything else”. When I think of bad days of fishing, one day jumps to the front of my mind immediately.
My Dad was down visiting a few years back, and I wanted to show off one of my favorite lakes for catching big bass. It is heated by a local power plant which helps the bass grow year round. It is not a big lake and there is only one boat ramp, so although it does get fished a lot it is not overfished, and you can always catch healthy bass.
We drove a little over an hour to get there, and as soon as we got to the ramp I knew it wasn’t going to happen that day. The wind was blowing hard across the lake and big waves were crashing into the only boat ramp on the lake. There was no launching the boat without swamping it, so we drove over an hour, passed my house, and then another fourty minutes to my next best option. On windy days I always go fish this certain river because I can always find good creeks out of the wind, and I can usually catch a good number of bass.
Being so good at math, like all ten of my readers are, you know that we are about three hours into our fishing trip at this point. I am frustrated and can’t wait to start casting. We launch the boat and I make a short drive to the closest creek so I can just start fishing already. Now I’m putting the bad start behind me, and we are about to get into some fish. Nothing can ruin a day of fishing. Right?
I used to fish very cheap fishing rod and reel combos. I’m talking twenty to thirty dollars, for the whole combo. The more I fished however, the more my fishing equipment started to cost. This was the first time that I spent more than a hundred dollars on the rod alone, and the reel was another eighty dollars. This is still not expensive to many bass anglers but to me at that time it was the hot rod of fishing combos. I could not wait to catch my first fish with it and I was aiming for the big ones.
I put a big jig on the end of my line and stood on the front deck of my boat ready to wage a war on these fish. I pushed the button on the baitcaster to release the line and I wing it as hard as I can to get that long cast. It was beautiful. The bait was gliding through the air, jig skirt and trailer flapping as it flew. Then my hand hit the reel handle and the line no longer was free rolling off the reel. Did the bait come flying back at me? Nope. My rod and reel went chasing after my bait.
Now if I wasn’t in twenty foot of dark stained water, I would have swam in the gator infested waters to get it. I knew the truth though. My rod and reel were gone for good. I threw a couple of baits out in hopes of snagging it but quickly realized that it was futile. Having such good sportsmanship like I do, I immediately started cussing up a storm and threw my hat and trolling motor remote on the deck of the boat. Then I heard a splash.
What was that. I looked on the deck of the boat and saw my hat, but no remote for the trolling motor. More cussing ensued. Without the remote for the trolling motor I couldn’t steer the boat quietly into and out of the creeks to fish. My Dad tried to calm me down and mentioned something about cutting our losses. I started the outboard and put her in drive. I just happened to look behind the boat and noticed the Minn Kota lanyard floating behind us. I backed up quickly and scooped it up. The remote was still connected and working.
We continued to fish that day, and ended up catching quite a bit of fish. Thinking back to that day I can definitely say it was one of the worst days of fishing I ever had. Now I don’t know if I would agree with the song in this case, but I would agree with the saying. That bad day of fishing still beat a good day at work. It would take a good day at work however, to replace my lost rod and reel.