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Learning New Skills: Fishing and Shooting

We’ve been able to take some time off from our busy schedule and have come to the bay house to chill and fish.

Until six years ago I had never really fished at all. Growing up in Houston, my dad and I would go on Saturdays to go offshore where you trawl for kingfish and tarpon. But you don’t have to cast the rod at all.

Six years ago, Skeeter boats came on board as a sponsor. We started running their new saltwater boat at our bay house off Matagorda Bay. Who knew that you would drive a boat to a place and get out and wade with the fish? All kinds of
fish.

So we began wade fishing, which means you also must learn how to cast the rod to get to the fish. Hmm… not always a pretty sight. But I’m AA class in getting backlashes out of the reel.

Learning New Skills

I went at learning this new skill the same way we tell you: practice and practice some more. And if you fail, fail better until it starts to come together and becomes a skill. And just like in shooting, if you are thinking about the cast (mount) you will not make a good throw. You also need to have a plan of where you are going to throw and make sure you are looking there when you throw.

Sound familiar?

If you just throw the rod and do not have focus on something in the distance, that lure will go anywhere. And usually not near any fish. If you catch anything, it was that day for the fish to get caught.

So I practiced my cast often and over the years have gotten pretty precise with it.

Getting Used to New Gear

But in comes a new reel to throw. It is completely different from the bait-casting reel I have been using for the past six years to
a spinning reel. Just as with a new gun, it takes a little while to get used to it. It handles differently.

The first few casts were not very pretty. But like we say when we coach, we are not training the gun; we are training the hands. After I learned how to put the line on so that it would retrieve, I was able to practice my cast. As I said, this is all different.

So each day I have been practicing casting with the new reel and it is now starting to feel like an old friend. Although it was a bit
frustrating at first.

My whole routine of casting had to change. My hands had to do something different and hold the line. Before you take the rod back to cast you must flip the bail or it won’t throw. Well, duh.

There’s been a lot of conscious thinking for the past few weeks, but it is starting to come together. I don’t have to think about flipping the bail and reeling with the left hand as much. It, too, will come with proper practice.

The next fish I catch with this new rod will still have some luck involved because my left hand is not used to doing anything except move the gun to the target. But I know if I can put it in the right place and if he bites, he will get caught. I will score ugly for a while but will persevere to become good at casting this new reel because I love to catch and eat fish.

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