Simplifying Life and Fishing

Over the last few years, I have sold, given away, or thrown out between 50-75% of my personal belongings. I am still a long ways from being considered a "minimalist" but the sense of freedom I have gained from doing this has been liberating. For whatever reason, I am just someone who feels bogged down by clutter. The term clutter doesn't just refer to physical objects either. I have tried to reduce other things in my life as well such as commitments, decisions, negative people, etc. Doing this has helped move me closer to my ultimate goal in life which is to be able to wake up every single morning and do whatever it is that will make me the happiest that day.

As someone who loves catching fish, the thing that will make me the happiest on any particular day is often times going fishing. While I have been able to easily reduce clutter and simplify other areas of my life, achieving this goal with fishing has proven to be more of a challenge. My kayak has been a big help with this process. The mere fact that I cant carry much gear and tackle with me in the kayak helps limit my options/decisions and therefore automatically simplifies fishing to an extent. There is still much more room for improvement with this though.  

I recently finished reading the book Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less which talks about this amazing concept of "less but better". Throughout reading this book I kept thinking of ways to accomplish that with my fishing. I want to not only simplify and reduce my tactics/gear/decisions/etc., but also get better results and have even better experiences on the water. One of the things I realized as I read this book is that many of the fishermen I admire already do this incredibly well.

Randy Goad is a fisherman from middle Tennessee and is someone who I greatly admire. He is without a doubt the best ultralight fisherman I have ever had the pleasure of interacting with. Not only does he catch thousands of fish per year, he does it by using one technique that he performs to perfection. This one technique combined with a small selection of Trout Magnet lures allows him to catch fish year round. He epitomizes the concept of "less but better". 

Eric Harrison is another fisherman that I have a great deal of respect for. He regularly catches monster stripers in the Boston area and what is even more impressive is the fact that he does it from a kayak. Eric catches these fish on Hogy soft plastic baits which he throws almost exclusively. By limiting his bait options, he is able to focus his energy on figuring out which technique is going to work the best on that particular day. This has lead to countless trophy fish and numerous tournament wins. Eric is yet another example of a fisherman who has had tremendous success using a "less but better" mentality. 

This is an ongoing process for me but one of the ways I am going to work toward achieving this concept with my own fishing is to give up anchoring for catfish. This is something I have thought about doing in the past and actually have done for periods of time but have never fully committed too until now. Giving up the anchor will accomplish a few things:

1. It will allow me to cover more water every trip.
2. It is one less thing to carry which will reduce weight and free up extra space in the kayak. 
3. It will decrease fatigue since I won't be pulling up the anchor numerous times per day.
4. It will decrease frustration as I often times get mad when I get an anchor hung or when large boat wakes force me to unclip for safety reasons.
5. It will allow me to be safer while on the water. 
6. It will save me money as I won't need to purchase anchor trolleys for future kayaks.
7. Most importantly, I will have more fun. Anchoring is a very effective technique for catching catfish but it is the least fun way to catch them in my opinion. By removing the option to anchor, it will force me to get better at catching fish using the techniques I enjoy more. 

Choosing to simplify my life has been one of the best things I have ever done. I have never felt better than I have the last few years since I began removing the things that take away from my happiness and started focusing more on the the things I enjoy most. I hope to accomplish this same feat with my fishing. Getting rid of my anchor is just the start. 

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