The Trials and Tribulations of a Weekend Angler
Anglers for the most part can be broken down into two categories the professional and the hobbyist. Those anglers that go around with a permanent suntan and raccoon eyes complexion to those with lobster burn twice a month. Fishermen love the work they are doing, and those that work to do what the love. The ie "know it alls" and the ie "ones that don't have a clue", for reference check out this month Texas Fishing. Or in other words the lucky ones that fishing is a way of making their living, or the not so lucky, who don't have to take off their shoes to count the times they been fishing that year. The truly lucky ones have already retired and fishing is their definition of living. Either way most of us Texas anglers fall into the weekend angler category, "not that there is anything wrong with that", unfortunately it's just a fact of life. Unless you have a very forgiving wife, boss or both for the most part it is difficult to say the least to break away from the rat race to spend some time soaking up the tranquility along a nice stretch of shoreline near you. So for those unfortunate lure chunkers out there we must be content to find stress relieving therapy when we can get it. Which more than likely is during the weekend when most of the chores have been done or put off and we can sneak away to a nearby bay.
Here are some Hammer-Time facts that we have concocted, although not base on actually statistics, are accurate enough for this article. First lets say there are about 3 million plus anglers among our Texas waters. About two-thirds of that estimate are fishermen with licenses, the other thirds are the future generations of card toting members. Of that number a little less than half fish the Texas coast on a fairly regular basis which is about 1.5 million if my GED education serves me correctly. Of this number of 1.5 million according to my research and experience about 99.9 percent do there fishing during the weekend. Of that number you will find most somewhere in the general area of the Galveston Bay Area complex of bays or near offshore hot spots. While the other .01 percent are fortunate enough to get out to the bays during the week. Translation: "sucks for the average angler out there". Not only does he fight the traffic on the weekday, he has to fight it during his hard fought days of relaxation time during the weekend. But this is only the beginning of the trial and tribulation of the Weekend Warrior.
Next on the list is the hectic schedule one must keep in order to make his weekend dream become a reality. Here is a sample of my week prior to baitcasting liftoff and see if these seem vaguely familiar.
First get those honey do's out of the way. Typically this start early in the week, the earlier the better. Which is why my yard/ house always looks it's best say by Wednesday and like hell come Sunday when most people look there best. Mondays are spent cleaning up the crap from the weekends previous outing. Those anglers who have their chores down to a science usually get next weekend outing ready during this day which free up one day later in the week.
Tuesdays are yard day. Mow the grass, trim the hedges, clean the pool, and wash the dog, cars, truck and boat. Another time saving technique I have come up with over the years. For those really wanting to save time throw the dog in the pool while your cleaning it, chlorine is great for getting rid of fleas.
Wednesdays are usually off days except when you didn't get all the stuff done from the previous days, which is usually the case.
Thursday is tackle and boat make ready days. These usually get started after you get home from the tackle supply shop from stocking up on all the stuff you lost during last weekend fishing expedition.
Friday is usually spent making sure everything is in order for the weekend. For instance doing those last minute honey do's that you just can't seem to put off till next week cause you put them off from previous weeks. Topping off the ice chest with fresh brewiskis and cold bologna sandwiches. Kicking the tires on the old boat and making sure she still has fire. Packing the knapsacks with clean socks and at least one good pair of underwear. And making sure your lucky fishing shirt and hat has gotten it's weekly trip through the washing machine knocking off last weeks bait.
Such is the Trials and Tribulations of the Weekend Angler. With all the work that goes into making it out to a bay near you it's a wonder there are so many angler out there each and every week. Which makes this particular species of angler that much more special. So why do they do it? Why work all week for a couple of hectic days of fighting traffic and the other 1.5 million of weekend anglers. Those that do it need no explanation and those that don't, don't need to know, then they would be out there with us.
The simple fact it's just a tug on a fishing line, the sound of a spooling reel, and the feel of a slimy fish in your hands after a long hard fight from you and your quarry. These are the simple wonders of nature that keeps the weekend warrior coming back week in and week out. Combined with a slight streak of sadistic nature that must also be included in a weekend anglers personality to put up with all the chaos and you have a start. Finally I guess the underlining factor that all Weekend Angler possess is just the love of the sport. Like most true fishermen it's a part of who they are which was taught to them at an early age. Like most things in life that we have grown to love we usually keep it around till the day we die, or at least get too old to make it out to the bays!! Then it's time to sit around the docks sippin a cold beer or two and tell lies watching the sunsets!!!!