Brad Laabs: Appreciate last fishing year, look forward to next
Happy new year. It is hard to believe we are already at the end of 2013 and ready to get started on the 2014 fishing season. This always seems to be a time of reflection for me. I look back on the year, try and learn from my experiences, and set some goals for improvement for the new year. I try to do this as both a person and an angler, because fishing is also such a significant part of my life.
I consider myself to be a pretty good fisherman, but I know I can continue to improve as an angler I know I am also a pretty good person, but sure know I can improve and be a better person than I am. It is good thing to be good at what you do, but it is a better thing to be a better person.
In looking back at this last year, it is hard not to think of what weird weather we seemed to contend with during every season. We went from a mild mid-winter, to extreme cold, followed by excessive late season snows, and one of the latest ice outs recorded. It helped the low water levels of the previous fall rebound some, but lake levels got even better from some of the torrential early summer rains.
Then we got to fish in some of the windiest conditions in mid-summer that I can ever remember. We fished in scorching July temperatures and had an August that was more like September and a September that was more like an August. October seemed to have all the extremes and November brought us earlier than usual ice. Hasn’t this December seemed like one of the coldest in recent history?
The one awesome aspect to all this weird weather this 2013, is that overall, this was an above average year for most anglers on the catching fish side of the equation!
Regarding the personal reflections and goals for change, I won’t be sharing them with you in this forum. My character defects, deficiencies, and flaws, and my goals for change are known by those close to me...well, actually, I think some of my character issues are known by more than just those that know me...they stand out.
I will share some of my fishing goals for this upcoming 2014 fishing year. One goal is to travel to new water and experience the challenge of figuring out an unknown lake to me. I will also get some extended family members that haven’t had a chance to get out fishing for several years, back on the water, and I will do a special fishing retreat trip with my sons again this year.
Take some time to reflect and appreciate what you experienced as an angler this last year, and set some goals to improve. More importantly, set some goals to also improve as a person. We fisherman can be role models to others on living the good life!
(Laabs runs Brad Laabs’ Guide Service in Detroit Lakes.)
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