Get Out There
I hear stories from friends who have lost the passion or energy to go get the boat out and go fishing, and it is hard for me to understand. I’m on my 60th trip around the sun, and I still get jacked up about taking my boat out on the ocean, whether it’s to fish or just cruise with family and friends.
This summer I’ve been out chasing fish just about every week. Thankfully, my little Cabo 216 – the original Cabo – with a 175 hp four-stroke outboard is pretty efficient, so the $4+ gas here in California doesn’t crimp my style too much.
Do long days of saltwater fishing beat me up? You bet, but no more so than when I was in my 30s. Fact is, I think I handle it better than when I was younger. This spring I fished my boat four days in a row on the Pacific – something I probably would have struggled with in my 30s.
And I do most of the work myself – from getting the boat prepped to washing it in the dark. Luckily I taught my best fishing partners – my three sons – how to clean fish, and now they fillet better than I ever could.
I like the feeling of being dead-ass tired at the end of a long day of ocean fishing – it actually charges me up, physically exhausting but emotionally rejuvenating. I sleep my best after a day of fishing on my boat, and work harder than ever in the days that follow.
Admittedly, I caught the saltwater fishing bug early in life (my first fish was a bonito at age 5) – or should I say it caught me and never let go. Fishing on my own boat keeps me young. Maybe I’ll change my tune at the end of my next decade, but my spirit will always pine to be on the boat. On the ocean. Out there, fishing. I hope my body is willing for at least another 10 years, maybe longer.
To my friends who say they’re turning 50 and running a small boat is too tough on the their bodies, I say with due credit to the poet Dylan Thomas, “Do not go gentle into that good night; old age should burn and rave at close of day; rage, rage against the dying of the light.”
Get your ass out there and go fishing.
For more on staying young at heart through boating and fishing, check out these links:
Boating Contributor Will Be on the “Growing Bolder” PBS Show
Tips from Grandpa