August 3, 2017. My following letter to the editor was published in today’s Citrus County Chronicle.
As an avid angler, I always look forward to the fishing reports on the back page of the Chronicle’s Thursday sports section. In a recent report, Rick Burns, who I knew from his days managing the Floral City Anglers Club several years ago (Hey, Rick), posed a number of questions, including the following. How come you can do no wrong fishing at one place one day, and then go back to the same place the next day using the same stuff, and catch nothing? And, how come some fish show up in one place one year and not the next?
I also have a question. How come 10% of anglers catch 90% of the fish? And, more importantly, how come I’m always one of the 90% catching only 10% of the fish? Lately, it seems like I’m one of the 99% catching only 1% of the fish.
I never miss Captain William Toney’s contribution to the weekly report on what’s biting and where along the Nature Coast, and Captain Dan Clymer’s online blog describing the boatloads of fish that his clients bring to the docks each day, searching for a clue on where I should go and what I should use to duplicate their success. I’m quite sure these guys are among the 10% of anglers who catch 90% percent of the fish.
I’ve racked my brain trying to figure out why, no matter how hard I try, I’m still in the 90% group who catch 10% of the fish, or worse. Is it because, unlike the good captains, I can’t seem to locate the 10% of area where 90% of the fish reside?. Or, maybe, of the fish who spot my lure, the smartest 90% recognize it as being a fraud, leaving only the dumbest 10% of fish residing in the 90% of the least productive water to chew on it? Or, could it be that Captain Dan’s and William’s happy clients catch 90% of the available fish, leaving only 10% for me?
Whatever my problem is, I’ve decided to find a hiding spot in the mangroves along the river and wait for Captain Dan or William to motor by with their next group of clients, at which time I’ll follow them out to their secret hotspots. Since I fish in a kayak, I’ll have to paddle like h_ _ _ to keep them in sight, but it will be worth it to finally join the 10% club.
Once I do, I’m 100% certain that, along with the rest of the 10% club, I’ll not be sharing my secrets with the other unfortunate 90%! And, fish stocks need not fear, since I release at least 90% of the fish I catch.