It's Not Just About Catching Fish
Henry David Thoreau once stated, "Many men go fishing all their lives without knowing that it is not the fish they are after." When I was younger I found this quote odd. After all, when I was fishing, I was trying to catch dinner and put food on the table. In the early years, it was all about numbers. As time progressed, numbers turned into size. I focused on catching the biggest of whatever species I was after. Time pressed on and I finally realized what the Mr. Thoreau was stating.
In my life, like most others, I have faced many situations in life that were not pleasant. Police work took a toll on my heart, mind and soul. The loss of my grandfather, who taught me how to fish and started my passion for all things related to the water, devastated me. Through it all, I always turned to fishing. It had nothing to do with actually catching a fish. It was about being out there, seeing everything nature had to offer and paying attention to all of the little things. It was about relaxing, calming my mind, and finding peace in a chaotic world. The water became my church; it still is today. It is a place where you can be yourself, enjoy what God has made, and find true inner peace.
That doesn't mean I don't like catching fish. I love catching them and more importantly, I love watching my clients and friends catch them. Still, I can enjoy a day where the fish don't cooperate by seeing and enjoying things that a lot of other people never witness. I love watching blue crabs dance with one another over territory, the sight of a stingray fluttering across the flats, a flounder as it bounces across the bottom, dolphins teaching their youngsters how to hunt, or the beauty of a shark as it gracefully swims through the water hunting prey. There are tons of flowers, birds, and other life forms that can catch your eye and keep you mesmerized for hours on end. It's all about paying attention and finally realizing that it isn't fish you are trying to catch: it is a moment in time where everything else in the world melts away and you become at peace with yourself and everything around you.