Let’s start with a question: What’s your fishing dream? Do you want to catch a sailfish, or maybe a grander marlin? How about hooking a roosterfish on fly? A giant trevally on topwater? Perhaps it’s something you could do here in Southwest Florida, like catching your first tarpon.
These are achievable dreams (for the most part; that grander might be tough). But here’s the thing: Unless you chase them down, they’ll never happen. These are the kinds of things you have to make happen.
Sadly, most people never get to live their dreams. There are lots of reasons why, but most of them boil down to not wanting to spend the money or not wanting to take the time. Naturally, none of us have unlimited funds or all the time we could want. But if you want it enough, you can probably pick a goal and make it happen.
The money can be a problem. For example, if you want to go catch a monster black marlin in Australia, chartering the boat will cost you $1,500 to $2,000 a day. The flight will run you $1,200 or so. Add in a few days hotel fare and meals, and you could easily spend $4,000 to $10,000 on an exotic fishing trip like this.
That’s a chunk to drop all at once. I sure can’t do it, and I’ll bet most of those reading this can’t either. But if you save up for it, it’s an easier pill to swallow. If the trip costs $5,000, spread it out over five years and it’s less than $85 a month you need to sock away. Five years is far away – but if it’s the trip of a lifetime, delayed gratification is still gratification.
How about the time? We all have busy lives, with obligations that keep us tied down. But there’s probably a way to schedule something if you plan far enough ahead. Perhaps a friend or family member could help cover the time you’ll be away. If you’re working and finding it hard to get away, maybe a coworker can take on some of your duties, or you could get some done ahead of time.
Maybe your dreams are nothing like that. Maybe they’re more like goals – breaking your personal best snook record, or finally figuring out how to catch tailing redfish. In this case, money usually isn’t the problem, but time can be. Turning this sort of goal into reality generally means putting in a lot of time on the water.
In this case, you don’t need to take days or weeks away at once – you just need to find blocs of a few hours in your schedule, as often as possible. Once you have those hours roped off, just spend them out there learning about your quarry or the techniques that you need. The likelihood of achieving these types of goals is in direct correlation with the amount of time you spend trying.
If you can’t think of any particular goals you’d like to achieve, then just try doing something completely different from what you’re doing. Do you always fish with a spinning rod? Try a baitcaster or a fly rod. If you’re a saltwater angler, give the freshwater world a spin.
It’s never easy to go outside your comfort zone because you have to admit there are things you don’t know – things you’ll have to learn from the ground up. But taking on new things is good for you. It stretches your brain and keeps you from falling into ruts. Keep it fresh.
We all have goals and dreams. The difference between those who have them and those who live them is pretty basic. It’s like they say: No one ever plans to fail, but a lot of people fail to plan. Make a plan, and you can make it happen.
Robert Lugiewicz is the manager of Fishin’ Frank’s Bait & Tackle, located at 4425-D Tamiami Trail in Charlotte Harbor and at 14531 N. Cleveland Ave. in North Fort Myers. Call 941-625-3888 for more information about the shop or for local fishing info, or visit them online at FishinFranks.com.