I’ve found a new passion – low-tech fishing.

It’s said that for each day we spend fishing our life will be extended one day. I don’t doubt it.

However, I can say that fishing isn’t a sport. In my mind, a sport is a contest between antagonists using their brains, brawn and skills to triumph over their opponent. Corncob battling is a good example. The thrill of victory or the agony of defeat is the only outcome.

When I was a kid we chose sides and had great corncob battles in the barn. When a kid was hit between the eyes with a soggy cob that had been soaking in cow urine and dung all winter, he ran home hollering, “Mama!” That was a thrill, depending on which end of the corncob missile you were.

Waiting for a cork to bobble in the water is about as exciting as watching a toadstool grow out of a cow pie. Fishing is the most nonproductive, brain-dead waste of time ever dreamed up by lazy people. That’s why I like it.

Fishing gives me time to think and observe. I’ve already learned a lot while sitting on the end of a pier holding a cane pole. For example, fishing requires a monetary investment.

High-performance bass boats with big engines and sonar are expensive, some costing upward of $40,000. Of course, when you have a big boat and trailer you must also have big pickup truck to pull them. Add another $30,000. Throw in $2,000 for rods and reels and plugs, etc. Finance all that for 8 percent for five years and pretty soon you’re talking real money.

And just to catch a fish!

I knew if I was going to be a successful angler I’d have to spend some dough. Luckily, I already owned a cane pole and line. I purchased a $2.99 Styrofoam bucket and three dozen minnows for three bucks. I was set.

I sat down on the pier, baited my hook with a minnow and dropped my line in the water. Shortly, I saw a bass boat, running wide open, kicking up a rooster tail and terrifying the ducks. I listened for gunfire. Surely some maniac killer was chasing the guy.

Then he headed my way.

Just before crashing into the bank, he abruptly stopped and began casting near where I was pole fishing. He didn’t catch anything and eventually moved down the bank, casting as he went. I snagged a brim about the size of my hand, which was better than the bass fisherman did.

Later, I saw another big bass boat flying upriver, wide open and headed for a honey hole. Apparently, the operator figured the quicker he arrived the more fish he would catch. I don’t believe fish think that way. If they are hungry and you happen to drop a minnow on their head, they will bite it.

A day spent fishing is a day out of the rat race. If you happen to see a gray Saturn with a pole sticking out the back window, it’s me in my fancy bass rig. I’m headed to the river.

Jerry Barksdale is a local attorney and regular contributor to The News Courier.

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