Hooked on You: Fishing with Your Significant Other

Fishing is not just a hobby of mine; it is a passion. Since I could remember, I have been fishing with my friends and family, but I didn’t just fall in love with it overnight. My youthful impatience caused boredom to strike me during every fishing trip as a child. Over time, I grew more patient and fishing began to interest me more. Now that I am an avid angling adult, I love to share my passion with everyone, especially those that matter most. This brings me to this post about fishing with your significant other.

All women, like men, are different as some have patience while others have none. Some are outdoorsy and some are completely happy with life in the big city. If your significant other wants to fish with you, be careful not to mess up the opportunity because she cares enough to take an interest in what makes you happy. This brings me to the first weekend in March and how it was this couple’s fun first fishing experience.

After a long Saturday full of festival fun and a family gatherings, my girlfriend, Abby, and I drove a long trek home from Rockmart, Georgia. At 10 PM, I arrived home and walked through the darkness of the yard to my red front door. A Facebook message hit me from fellow Man Can Blogger, Donny. He wrote me that the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) had stocked one of my favorite rainbow trout streams early. Like a kid on Christmas, my face lit up with the news of this. My curious girlfriend interested in my recent excitement asked, “What’s up?” I told her and she was enthused with my joy. I asked her if she wanted to go and she said yes.

I spent the next hour rigging and prepping items for the fishing trip. Her passively chatting with me as I packed lures and gathered rods. By the time we were done, it was midnight. We were exhausted but excited about our first fishing trip together.

The next morning, we loaded up our items and headed to the Johns Mountain WMA in northern Floyd County, Georgia. The trip was long but full of questions and answers on the trip. One was about regulations. Following a small chat about limits and required license/stamp, she bought her first fishing license and downloaded the Outdoors GA app. With our gear laying in the back of the truck, we drove through the hills along Highway 27, passed Rome and turned toward the WMA.  The road to the WMA and stocking area of John’s Creek were curvy and “buttermilky” or rough and bumpy. After we drove several minutes from cell service, we reached our destination a parking area near a blue PVC stocking tube.

We arrived at the first spot a short hike from our parking, casted out our line and waited for the first bite. With several casts and no bites, I was concerned that the stocking report was an error. 25 minutes and a few lures later, I decided to move to the next 


section. Walking pass a bridge, I used my polarized sunglasses to look into the cold mountain creek. To my joy, I saw several stocker-size rainbows swim back and forth like over-caffeinated children. I backtracked and waded in the water with a perfect cast past the hole where the trout were swimming. As I reeled in, my rod curved with a hit. The Joe’s

Fly short strike had hooked a rainbow trout. The next few moments were euphoric as the colorful fish danced on the water.  The fish was landed and fish fever had set in, but something was not right. In my excitement, I had left my girlfriend on the bank casting in area with no known fish and no support and advice to where to cast.

Immediately, I got out of the water and walked down to the next hole hoping to find an area for both of us to fish, together. The hole around the bend was deep, clean and looked fishy. It was clear of trees due to a local beaver and it was ideal for bank casting. Because her fishing experience was limited to catfish and bass, I coached  her and gave her trout fishing pointers on casting my lighter setup before I left her to fish. I began to walked to a spot that I could wade close to the hole, and the next thing I knew she hooked one, then another, then another and finally a big one that I netted for her. 


Her eyes lit up in joy and I felt proud for her too. She had just not caught her first trout today but several more including the biggest one of the day.

This may have been her first fishing trip with me, but it won’t be her last. We enjoyed the rest of the day surrounded by green leafy trees in the warm sun catching our limits of trout.

The lesson of this blog is not to get wrapped up in selfishly catching fish for yourself, but focus on spending time with each other. Be patient, talk to each other and help each other. If you don’t catch any fish, you will still catch memories of your time together in nature and that is more important in the long run.


Big Browns on the White River

IMG_0015.jpgIn the tranquil wilderness of northern Arkansas lies a honey pot of river fishing. A mecca to all anglers, this portion of the White River is located by the Bull Shoals Dam and is home to several monster brown trout that feast upon the baitfish that get churned up from the hydro generation. This trout haven was my next fishcation and bucket list adventure.

A long weary 10 hour drive from West Central Georgia through multiple states and 2 hours of sleep couldn’t stop me from dropping my line in this cold wet fishtopia of trout. Within 10 minutes, my simple Berkley lighting light rod setup with 7 pound test line and nightcrawler on number 8 hook began to twitch. I had my first but far from my last trout bite on this week long White River Adventure. FYI, I caught that stocker size Rainbow.

The bulk of the trip was chartered with Cranor’s guide service out of Gassville, Arkansas. Captain Cranor is a master brown trout fisherman that has fished the White River all his life since a teenage boy, and he can put you on some big fish. Our group was averaging 17 quality browns a day and by-catching tons of rainbow trout with a cutthroat or two mixed in the rest.

The first day was a dreary winter forecast as we pulled up to the Cotter boat ramp. We were fishing with minnows for the trout and the key was to feed the fish to the trout if the bite was happening. As the minnow casted from our boat swam, my rod tip began to dance so slightly with a curl. The grey skies and cool temperature were all background noise as I let my open face reel feed line to the greedy fish. Cranor instructed me to close the bail after 20 seconds of line feeding, an eternity in my mind. With the tip in the air, I slowly lowered my rod to relieve the tension. The clever browns will let go if they feel any line tension. As the rod tip was level with the horizon, I waited for the line to tense up one more time. The tip bent slightly, and I set the hook!

The fish swam hard to get away from me, but I let the drag handle the work. As the fish stopped, I took each foot of line he stole from me. Bringing the fish closer to the boat, it began to run again making the drag whine like a spoiled brat. I continue the dance with my stubborn partner and took more line into the boat. The fish broke surface and it was a brown.  A beautiful brown with colors and spots that decorated the fish’s boats like exotic prints. As the battle continuedIMG_0016.jpg

, Cranor readied the net and dipped it in the ice cold water. The Brown sprinted at the sight of the net but was cut short by it’s own exhaustion. I took the line back that the brown stole and Cranor dipped the fish in the net.

Each day of fishing was filled with moments like these. With variety of setups from jigging, bait fishing and walking jerk baits, the fish were caught with ease. The White River was truly an angler’s paradise.

After fishing three days with a guide, our group ventured on our own. I waded in the ice cold river with my light rod setup and shot this video to show the ease of hooking up with a rainbow on the White River.

For more information on Cranor’s Guide service, check out his Facebook page here.