A lot of guys I have fished with over the years have had what I refer to as “size happiness”. What this means, is that the larger the fish they are catching the happier they are and the smaller the fish the more dour their mood would become. Often we could go out fishing and all day long we could catch fish, but nothing of any size and sometimes all different species of fish were caught.
I went fishing with a friend once. On this day we caught perch, kibbies (you may call them sunfish), trout, chubs, and even an occasional small bass. The fish we caught were not lunkers in any sense of the word, in fact I think the biggest fish caught that day was 7 inches long, and that fish was not even one to take home. I myself had a wonderful time that day because I was catching fish, but then I was not the one suffering from “size happiness”. I was happy to be spending the day on the water fishing and even though the fish were not great, I was at least catching them and enjoying myself. My fishing partner on the other hand was in a sour mood most of the day because he was not catching the fish he wanted to catch. The only thing that could have made him happy that day was to catch something big that he could brag about later. His “size happiness” mood really put a damper on the day. I have learned that when I discover someone with “size happiness”, I do not go fishing with that person very often because without catching the big one, that person will bring down the fun that can be had by a day of fishing.
My friends, consider this; When you were a kid, did you care what you caught or were you happy just catching something? Remember the days growing up when the most fun you had was catching those stupid little kibbies? Just thinking about that brings me a smile as I hope it does for you as well. Sure, a big fish is great and we all strive for that, but remember that catching small fish is still catching fish and after all, isn’t that really why we go fishing?
Let me share with you a good day of fishing. My brother and I were fishing the New Boston River which runs along Rt. 13 between Goffstown and New Boston NH. It was a warm summer day and we were walking down the center of the stream. I think the largest fish we caught this day was about 4 inches long. We caught hundreds of fish this day because the little ones were really active. My brother and I had the most fun because neither one of us had “size happiness” that day. We just enjoyed being out in the sun, joking around and fishing together. At one point my brother made as though he were getting frustrated and said out loud “to heck with it, I gonna eat you anyways”. I turned to look and he was standing there holding this tiny fish over his mouth at though he were about to eat it. The ridiculousness of it made me laugh and I told him to hold it while I snapped a picture.
We laughed and turned what others would think of as a bad day of fishing, into a wonderful time. Don’t fall prey to “size happiness” or you will have more than your share of bad fishing days. Go back to those times when catching any fish, no matter the size, was fun and learn to enjoy fishing all over again. Not only will you have a more relaxing day of fishing, but you and your partner will make a happier memory of the day.
Tight lines, The Amateur Angler