August is an easy time for most people. It’s so hot outside that many folks only have to choose among indoor air-conditioned activities. It might be shopping at the mall or going to a movie…but whatever it is it will involve an active avoidance of the outdoors.
For your average redneck things aren’t so simple. I’d like you to keep this in mind next time you see one (a redneck that is). He is under a great deal more pressure than you can imagine. He too might like to see a movie, he likes air conditioned places, and he worked hard all week so he could use a break. But he has a different set of choices in front of him.
You see most of his favorite activities happen in the outdoors…where you only get a few months of “air conditioning” out of the entire year. Not only do his activities take place in uncomfortable temperatures but there are deadlines to work with as well. Right now it’s late August. Dove fields need to be prepped, deer stands hung, shooting lanes cleared, duck dogs trained, duck blinds built, arrows fletched, broad-heads sharpened, the bow needs to be shot regularly ahead of archery season, and all of this needs to be worked into an already busy summer fishing schedule!
Those of you who think you have a tough time because you can’t decide if you should see a movie or go shoe shopping need to take notice…you have it far easier than the average redneck.
This rednecks plan is to keep fishing for a while longer. One of the nice things about living where I live is that geography makes some of the decisions for me. The decision on whether to fish after work is made for me because Pickwick Lake is 100 miles from my house…I simply can’t get there after work. As distressing as this sounds, it actually works out well for me because it forces me to take care of other high priority items.
Now that I know I can’t fish after work I have time for things like working out, or re-loading the ammo I shot last week at the pistol range, or working on my bow. In a strange way I guess it’s a really good thing that I don’t live at the lake…I imagine I’d never get anything done if I did.
I’m not sure what the rest of the year will look like but I have a lot to squeeze in. I bought a boat last year and that caused me to push bow season back. In years past I was ALWAYS in a tree on October 1st. It didn’t matter if things were falling apart at work or if there was an important funeral to attend…life would have to do without me on opening day of bow season because on that day I belonged to the woods. I took no phone and I took no breaks…for all intents and purposes I disappeared from the face of the earth for a day.
That changed last year. Really it changed over the course of several years. The first change came with the birth of my first child…but that is an article for another time. Today’s focus will be on how the boat changed bow season.
Last year I was fixated on bass fishing. I’d run up to Pickwick every chance I got. I’d steal away for the afternoon and fish until after dark, learning all I could about this terrific fishery. As bow season got closer I noticed that the lake was getting more and more empty. At times it seemed that I had the entire place all to myself. It was great.
When the first weekend of bow season arrived I had a choice. I could go to the woods, work up a big sweat walking to my stand, sit and feed the mosquito’s for hours, and trying to avoid the poisonous snakes on the way out in the dark while swinging my “spider stick” the whole way back to the truck…OR…I could pull my boat to the lake and have hundreds of miles of shoreline to myself and enjoy some of the best fishing the year has to offer along with great “sittin’ around” weather.
Hmmm. I went to the lake. Some afternoons were better than others…mainly because I’m just not great at fishing. With fishermen like me on the lake you really don’t need “limits”…the fish just work it out amongst themselves how many will end up in my boat. Usually they come up with a sacrificial bass or two…just enough to keep me interested but not enough to put the population at risk of collapse. Ultimately it was a great decision for me. I got to catch fat spotted and largemouth bass, blue cats, smallmouth, white bass…you name it…and the boat ramp was never crowded. For me it was one of the best trade-offs I could make.
I got to watch a ton of top-water action as bass pushed huge schools of shad to the top. The sunsets were beautiful, the trees began turning orange and red, and as a bonus I got to enjoy the sweet smell of campfires as I motored back to the marina through the cool evening air of fall.
I think I just talked myself into going fishing….but it’s 4:00 PM on a Sunday and I’m 100 miles from the lake. See how this works? Now I’ll have to go out back and kill weeds. I really need to move closer to the lake.