First of all, we need to look at the word ... recreation. When I break it down, it comes out re-creation.
What this means to me is a re-creating of myself; a way to get away from it all and do some soul searching and some thinking and ... re-create my ideas, inspirations and motivations; a break in the pattern that allows me to reconsider things in my life and make adjustments.
But the term is large. Typically, recreation means activity. What do you do for recreation? Watch TV? Garden? Go out to restaurants or bars? What?
It implies relaxation. It implies a way to get away from the normal grind and have an element of divergence; have some fun and forget it all.
Not so for the bass fisherman.
I know I have mentioned to people that I went fishing and they said, "Oh, that sounds relaxing."
What is relaxing about bass fishing? Probably nothing.
There are times I go to be outdoors, and there are times I go to catch bass. Catching bass is not relaxing. In fact, bass fishing is hard work.
If you want to throw in a live bait and hang by the shade tree, so be it. Granted, that is fishing ... but not the style of bass fishing I'm talking about.
What I am talking about is active bass fishing where you are in hot pursuit of the prey. Walking the banks ... fishing from the boat ... whatever your style may be, it is hard work.
Why hard work? Every time I come home from a fishing trip I am worn out for a few days. That's because I work hard while at play. I am up and down the banks hiking around the lake looking for my target: largemouth bass. I cast and I cast and I cast; always keeping the bait in motion and trying to find the fish.
So, do I go to get away from it all? Or, do I go because I love the thrill of the hunt; the catch.
If you think that serious bass fishing is a 'vacation," it's not. Again, it's hard work.
Even if you're not hiking up and down the banks, even if you are in a boat, it's hard work. You are constantly casting, reeling and landing fish (hopefully). This will wear you out if you only fish occasionally.
So, to me, bass fishing must be an obsession. I mean, certainly, I don't do it to get occasionally, though it is that. And I don't do it to forget the world and all it's cares, though it does help with that. And I don't do it because I am looking for a way to relax, though I do find it to be relaxing as well as tiring.
What's in it for me?
I must do it. I am obsessed, maybe better described as addicted to the adrenaline charge I get when I catch a bass. I need the satisfaction of feeling powerful because I have fooled the fish in it's own domain and I am now the king. I have to have that.
By the way, I will have to write more later, because now I must recreate. Maybe I will see you there.
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