2018-08-09 / Views

Fishing, hunting add up to outdoor time

A column by Grant McPherson

Rain falls, fish bite.

Fishing comes easy to some in Leelanau County.

They have patience and don’t mind being on the water for countless hours. Some trips are successful, and some trips are not. That’s the life of a fisherman.

For me, fishing took some time to grow into, possibly because I have never been a patient person.

In fact, I had about given up on my angling career prior to July 23. That’s the morning that I fished on Glen Lake with Carl Oleson and Gage Cutler.

These two taught me the real joy of fishing. We didn’t catch a trout, whether lake or rainbow. We did catch enough perch to sink the boat, but no jumbos.

But to someone just starting out, all those smallish perch add up to something great. It’s like playing basketball. When you see the ball go in the hoop, shooters have the confidence to put up more shots.

My family doesn’t own a fishing boat, so I fish mostly off the end of our dock on south Lake Leelanau in the morning.

I usually catch smallmouth bass or perch. But now that I’ve observed the techniques used by others, I’m ready to expand mine.

And I’ve become a better person through the experience. I’m learning what it means to live in Leelanau County and why fishing is a part of that experience.

It’s a skill that carries over to winter.

So far I’ve caught only rock bass, perch and lake trout, and with limited success. But a wise man once told me, “When the fish aren’t biting, the fisherman becomes the story.”

Hunting is also a big part of the outdoor traditions of Leelanau County. I’ve asked hunters what drives them to the woods. They say that every day brings a new experience. They seem to attack a morning with a smile on their face in anticipation.

I’ve been hunting once in my life. I think I’ll have a hard time killing an animal, even though I will happily eat wild game. So I’ll stick to fishing.

My one hunting experience was near Pittsburgh while visiting my dad’s parents. I hardly remember the hunt as I was young and just along for the ride.

But I have no burning desire to go again.

So it’s fishing for me. Maybe this winter I’ll get a chance to see experts at work on the ice.

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