Can you possibly fish too much?
If you love this sport as much as we do, your answer to that question is probably a decisive “No.” However, most people would tell you that too much of any good thing can be bad, and if that’s the case, then maybe “fishing too much” actually isn’t impossible. Here are 10 indicators you can use to determine whether you’ve officially crossed over into overkill territory.
View the slideshow to see if you qualify as an angler who fishes too much.
1. Your idea of “monthly essentials” always includes new fishing gear
When most people – your spouse and family members included – think about monthly essentials to include in the budget, they’re thinking of stuff like groceries, utility payments, electricity, etc. If you have a hard time going a whole month without buying new fishing gear, be it a new rod and reel combo or a cutting edge GPS unit for the boat, you might just be addicted to fishing. After all, there are simply too many attractive little fishing gadgets and gizmos on the market today to only ask for them as gifts. Sometimes, they’ve got to go into the monthly budget – even if that means cutting back on a few of the other so-called “essentials.”
2. You have a perpetual sunburn
In the summer, it’s hard to get us fishing die-hards to spend even one day indoors. When the weather heats up and the sun comes out, there’s simply no place you’d rather be than at the lake, river, or open water. Sure, you take brief sojourns from fishing for obligations like your “job,” but you’re still grabbing every free moment to head out on the boat and fish – especially on the weekends. This is a beautiful lifestyle to live, but if you find that you’re consistently wearing a pink coating of slightly scorched summer skin – or if you’re going through sunscreen faster than gasoline – then it might be time to dial things back a bit.
3. You have a perpetual layer of bug bites
This one is the same as number two, but for evening anglers. Generally, daytime anglers get sunburn and evening anglers get bug bites, though there can certainly be some overlap within that generalization. Evening fishing outings can be nothing short of life affirming and are the perfect way to unwind after a long day. With that said though, if you’ve been spending too much time out by the stream at dusk, you’ll probably be able to tell by your sheer count of mosquito bites. From there, you have two options: cut back on evening fish or wear insect repellent. Just kidding, that’s no choice at all.
4. You put more miles on your boat than you do on your car
Who needs a car and the highway when you’ve got a boat and a lake? If you’ve been covering more distance in your fishing boat recently than in your car, that probably means one of two things: either you live remarkably close to work or you haven’t been working enough. Either way, most people would tell you you’re fishing too much. We’re not judging.
5. You routinely reach daily bag limits
Part of the reason we love fishing so much is the generous bag limits we are given, usually on a daily basis. Nothing against deer hunting, but there’s certainly something very bittersweet about landing a trophy kill and then realizing that you’ve reached your bag limit for the season. In fishing, you can go to a state like Texas and freely fish until you’ve reached the daily bag limit of five bass and 25 catfish, provided that they’re over certain lengths, of course. If you’re routinely reaching daily bag limits despite length restrictions, then that’s about as good a sign as any that you spend too much time fishing.
6. You don’t smell so good
One of the most frequent complaints about fishermen from non-fisherman is the smell. The smell of fish, the smell of the lake or the ocean, perhaps even the smell of sweat. If your friends and relatives are consistently wrinkling their noses at your presence, then it’s time to shower. If you don’t have time to shower, it’s time to start fishing less so that you can have time to shower.
7. You can’t do laundry often enough to have clean fishing outfits
Piggybacking off the previous point, staving off the smell of fishing isn’t all about showering. On the contrary, you also have to stay on top of your laundry pile, and if you’re fishing every day of the week, that can be tough to do. If you can’t keep up with the laundry in a way that consistently puts you in clean clothes for your fishing expeditions, it’s time to add a day off into your weekly cycle.
8. Your unlimited spool of fishing line isn’t looking so limitless
Picture this scenario: you’re tired of consistently ending up with odd lengths of fishing line due to spools that run out too soon. The spools are running out too soon because you never remember to replace them. Frustrated, you buy in bulk, going for one of those jumbo spools that gives you 10,000 yards of line in a single package. You figure subconsciously that you’ve found the source of limitless fishing line because you can’t envision ever using all of this stuff up. Mere months later, you’re wondering where it all went. If this scenario describes you, then yes, you do fish too much.
9. Your list of favorite fishing spots needs an Excel document
Most of us just like to keep a mental list of our favorite fishing spots, whether those spots are local day-to-day fishing areas or spots reserved for weekend road trips. If you’ve built an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of your dozens (or hundreds) of fishing spots, then you’ve officially ascended to the heights of fishing royalty.
RELATED: Top 10 States for Bass Fishing
10. You only listen to country music
A time may come when you are so obsessed with fishing that you start looking for songs written about the sport so you can live in fishing narratives even when you’re not at the lake. That search usually leads to country music, perhaps the only genre where the songwriters are as into outdoor sporting pursuits as we are. When your once dynamic listening habits are completely dominated by fishing songs – and therefore, country songs – take it as a sign that you should diversify your hobbies a bit.