It was bound to happen again eventually. If you fish enough, it’s simply -going- to happen.
I got skunked.
And though I generally find an unproductive fishing trip to be less than noteworthy, this one was special.
As any of my regular readers may have noticed, I’ve been terribly quiet lately. It’s not because I haven’t wanted to write anything, but rather, the fact that I haven’t -done- anything. Absolutely nothing outdoor related over the past three weeks. It seems like every time I schedule a fishing trip around my days off, the weather turns bad and I don’t go.
But I got off work for a few days and made the long Jeep ride back to Pensacola for Thanksgiving. My initial plan was to fish Tuesday evening, Wednesday morning and evening, and Thanksgiving morning. That…didn’t happen. I arrived a bit later than planned Tuesday, and rather than go fish, my dad and I opted to go to the gun range. After a full day of driving and shooting, my head found my old bed at my parents house and I was out like a light. Slept right through my alarm at 0530 the next morning, and well into mid morning.
Not wishing to waste any more time on something as silly as sleep, I was resolved to go fish Wednesday afternoon. And go fish I did. My dad and I launched the Gheenoe into the upper Escambia river in search of Flounder, Trout, and Reds.
We explored some new territory and I fairly consistently had fish strike at my lure. Small fish, but fish none the less. I was, however, not landing anything. I kept this up until sunset, and ended the trip without a single fish.
After dinner that evening, I decided I simply couldn’t handle getting skunked for the day. I called up one of my best friends that I’ve known since Kindergarten, and forced him to come beach fishing with me at night. I figured I could at least catch a hardhead catfish and just call it a bad day of fishing. While loading the truck up, my dad asked me,
“You’re going beach fishing…at night?”
“You aren’t gonna catch anything”
“Have you ever been beach fishing at night?”
My buddy and I arrived at the beach a little before 10pm. I tossed out 3 rods with two shrimp each. The water was dead calm and it was a clear, chilly night.
At 12am I pulled in the rods, and tossed my 6 untouched and slightly waterlogged shrimp into the gulf. My dad was right. I’d been skunked.
So why was this noteworthy? Well, to be honest, I wasn’t bothered in the least by the fact that I hadn’t caught the first fish. Of course I went fishing to actually -catch- fish, but I still had a blast. I realized while I was home that I hadn’t actually been back to Pensacola in a LONG time. And being gone means that I’ve missed out on quite a lot in my family’s and friend’s lives. So the way I see it, getting to catch up with them when I oversleep, spend time on the boat, freeze to death on the beach at night, and stuff our faces full of turkey was definitely worth it. And worth far more than landing some fish. Very rarely is it all about the fish…
Note: I’m currently in the planning process of some big hunting/fishing trips along with some gear reviews. So my current internet silence in just the calm before the storm. Stay tuned!