Sunday, April 21, 2024

You Can’t See the Trees for the Forest – Jason Houchins

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You Can’t See the Trees for the Forest- By Jason Houchins

With all the tournaments and a 55,000 acre lake at my doorstep, I am reminded of a saying that I hear often. People always say you can’t see the forest for the trees. Well I think sometimes it’s the other way around, you can’t see the tress for the forest. What I mean is just because I live on a large body of water, I need to remind myself that some of the best fishing can come from the smallest places.
Recently a couple of my friends have sent me pictures of some of their catches from small ponds and lakes around the house. Wow, is all I have to say. While I’m running up and down the lake, chasing fish for miles. These guys are walking around with one rod in hand, and regularly catching trophy size bass during an evening stroll to the pond. Yes, I know that tournament fishing and pond fishing are two totally different things, but the catch of a lifetime may be right under your nose.
As a child I can remember dad taking us to Natalie’s pond just out by the battlefield. Many summer evenings were spent walking around that bank in search of one of the allusive 4 pounders that swam within its banks. I always had my trusty Cardinal 753 with one of my two lures of choice, a small big O and a motor oil Manns jelly worm. If I didn’t catch them on one of those two lures, they were not there. The sheer numbers of fish and overall size was astonishing, when I look back on what we regularly caught, its eye opening. And back in those days, that was supper. If the fish was a keeper up to 2 ½ pounds, they left on a stringer and feed the family. Yet the body of water always seem to produce some of the best fish and more importantly the best memories.
Obviously this is true today in most ponds and small lakes around our area. Go into to any tackle store and look at the bragging wall. You will see many pictures of large bass, say over 5 lbs. and up to 10 lbs., and I bet that most of them were caught in small ponds or lakes. I can probably say that they were not caught on the latest and greatest equipment and I know it didn’t take $100 worth of gas to find them. I also think it’s apparent that just about anyone can fish in a pond and have a great chance at catching a large fish. You don’t have to have ultimate skill to effectively fish a pond, my daughter who is 4 is just as likely to hook into a giant as I am. And when it all comes down to it, that’s really what it’s all about.
So, after careful consideration and many evening texts that read, “Hey, look at this”, I’m going to leave the boat at home and take a walk every now and then. I need to quit being Johnny Joe bass pro sometimes, grab the kid, and keep it real simple. I need to remember how this obsession all began, and how important pond fishing was in shaping my fishing today. Oh yeah and it wouldn’t hurt to catch one of those trophy bass that my friends keep showing me pictures of. Then maybe, just maybe, I will see a few of the trees within the forest.

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