I think there is an old saying that goes, “Behind every good fisherman is an understanding woman.”

Now I don’t necessarily qualify as a good fisherman, but I am an avid one. I’m very grateful that my wife is so understanding about the passion I have for my hobby (see rule #1 later in the article). Hence, I’ve learned a few things over the past 40-plus years.

If you are one of those guys who need to get out at least once a week, there are certain things you need to know. These tips will insure (or at least give you a fighting chance for) quality fishing time. Here are some strategies and a few hard and fast rules.

  1. You should consistently praise your wife about her gracious attitude in allowing you to go fishing. It does not have to be altogether true, but it is a sound tactic.
  2. When you ask to go, be sure it is when you are sweating profusely while pouring concrete (or any other difficult task related to her pet projects around the house).
  3. Ask while you are eating at Red Lobster and are on your third libation.
  4. Always ask, never put your intentions in the form of a statement.
  5. Another good stratagem is to call her after you’ve already left and gone down the road a good piece and tell her again how much you appreciate being able to go. If you call later in the day to say “I love you” (in between casts) you have just enhanced your chances for another day.
  6. Buy an expensive piece of equipment (boat) so you can have a legitimate reason to go fishing and a way to shame her into letting you go.
  7. If you are planning a long fishing trip out of state start building up brownie points at least a year in advance.
  8. If your wife is naïve concerning the fine art of fishing and you happen to come in late just tell her the pond had lights (this might work for you golfers as well).

There are a few other things that might help in your sporting endeavors. Be prepared to pay dearly in yard work for the fishing time granted you. The normal ratio is about one day of work for each hour of fishing allowed.

Also if the fishing is particularly hot and your chances of getting authorization seem to be slim, just go on to the lake and grovel like a dog for forgiveness when you get back.

Additionally here are some things that definitively prove you wear the pants in your family when it comes to fishing:

  1. You tell your spouse that you are going fishing the evening of your child’s high school graduation.
  2. You give your life long partner a fishing trip to Lake Okeechobee as an anniversary gift and proudly announce that this is going to be a yearly tradition.
  3. You buy a new boat and it promptly takes the place of the family car in the garage.
  4. You decide to buy a new car and tell your significant other that the foremost requirements of the new vehicle is that your six-and-a-half-foot bass rods must be able to fit comfortably inside and that the engine is large enough to tow your boat.
  5. You demand that your trophies won in bass tournaments and all the fish you have had mounted will now be displayed in a place of honor. Preferably in the formal dining room.
  6. You make sure that your boat payment is higher than your house payment so that the family is clear on priorities.
  7. You independently decide to add a room onto the house to store your fishing equipment and it is larger than your living room.
  8. On your own initiative you stock the pool with fish so that you can see how they react to different bait presentations.
  9. You come in from a fishing trip, dump your catch in the sink, and proceed to clean them in the kitchen.
  10. You get an overwhelming urge to go fishing and leave your spouse a note that says, “Gone fishing, be back Monday.”

In conclusion let me give you a couple more ideas to consider. Never, never come back from a late night fishing excursion with your Sunday loafers on, and second if it’s consistently too easy to get permission to go fishing, maybe you just better stay home.

E-mail your fishing stories to

dar8589@bellsouth.net

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