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Volume XVII, Issue 1 - January 1 - January 7, 2009
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Fish Are Biting

Some hardy salts managed to boat a few big rockfish in the last few days of 2008. A 65-pound giant, just under the current state record, was taken near the gas docks off Calvert Cliffs in mid-December. That is an awesome fish. However, winter weather has kept all but the larger boats in port. When it did warm up enough to get smaller craft onto the water, the warmer temperatures were accompanied by either lots of rain, lots of wind — or both. Maybe next year. The season for stripers in the Bay ends December 31 but remains open year round oceanside.

An Angler’s Resolution

Accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative

Bring it on! I have made my 2009 New Year’s resolutions and

am looking forward to the challenges ahead. My resolutions represent a continuation of my strategy for 2008.

Before last year, a long string of abysmal failures populated the many years of my New Years’ resolutions history. Then in 2008 I chanced upon one of the secrets of success. It was right in front of me all the time, but I hadn’t had the wit to see it: Promise only things that are positive. Any resolutions that start I will not … are destined to fail.

The human subconscious does not recognize negatives. A study in the Northeast used a winter weather driving class as the test model. Half the student drivers were instructed using a negative imperative in responding to loss of control on snow: Never use your brakes. The other half were instructed in positive actions: Maintain speed and steer slowly into the direction of your skid.

The students who received the negative instruction failed when suddenly experiencing slippery surfaces in their automobiles. Three out of four immediately hit the brakes when starting to slide. Of the students who received positive mandates, 90 percent successfully responded to the emergency.

So instead of attempting to assert I will not have second helpings at dinner, I have made a commitment to Start my fishing season earlier this year. Now that is a positive resolution that has a chance of success, assuming of course that the weather cooperates this February, when the yellow perch begin their run.

Another potentially negative resolution — I will not squander more money on new fishing lures — was scrapped in favor of: I will thoroughly analyze the latest angling innovations and only acquire items grounded in the very best concepts. This resolution will have a chance of success.

A suggestion two weeks ago by my wife that in 2009 I should not bring any more damn rods or reels into the house was of course doomed to the failure of negativity. Not too long afterward, I had to patiently explain to her that human recall under stress does not recognize the negative. That accounted for the new casting reel I had just acquired for myself while Christmas shopping, a particularly high-anxiety activity.

My overall list for 2009 is a monument to positive commitments both past and future: I will seek out at least one new sporting destination each month is an especially successful resolution carried over from 2008. I am doing my part to build on lessons learned.

A totally new New Year’s commitment on my list is Always give fishing precedence during periods of good weather. That may seem all too obvious to some; however, when I think about all the beautiful days last year wasted by so many people mowing lawns, washing cars, raking leaves and cleaning out garages and rain gutters, I am reminded that you can’t be too careful about maintaining priorities.

And as far as my remaining financially oriented resolutions for 2009, I can only paraphrase an old 1960s’ axiom: Fishing will get you through times of no money far better than money will get you through times of no fishing.

That’s my story for the New Year, and I’m a stickin’ to it.

© COPYRIGHT 2009 by New Bay Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.