Cold Weather Rodney Dangerfield’s
The term “Cold Water Rodney Dangerfield” is not in your dictionary so if we were going to update the American Heritage Dictionary with the term it would probably start out with, “a fool, idiot, a brain-dead mentally deficient person, dummy, nincompoop, imbecile or a blockhead.”
My wife added that this definition needs to include a moron that will leave a warm fireplace and go fishing when the cold frigid Arctic air is cutting across the water, continues fishing when his hands, toes and ears have lost all of their feeling, and is too stupid to give it up when conditions get so bad that the fishing line freezes to the rod guides and icicles are forming in the can of Vienna sausages.
For the next couple of months a number of East Texas/Louisiana anglers will have to admit that they have the above-mentioned traits and love to fish during these Arctic conditions. Who knows why the good Lord gave us this desire to be out on the water during the winter, but one thing is sure …. We won’t be alone.
Sitting in front of the TV all weekend watching stupid re-runs just hasn’t turned me on since that cold winter morning a few years ago when I cast a jig-n-pig near a submerged creek channel and worked the bait s-l-o-w-l-y down into the dark slate-colored water. Suddenly I felt the solid “thump” of the strike and when I leaned back on the rod and set the hook I felt the violent reaction of a heavy largemouth bass. The powerful surge of the brute, the monstrous roll of the fish at the surface and then my shaking hands and weak heart as I lifted the lunker into the boat are moments that will be etched in my memory forever.
Unfortunately discovering that some of the biggest bass of a lifetime could be caught during these frigid conditions also changed my life dramatically and marked me as outcast to normal anglers. From that moment on people would mournfully look at me, shake their heads in pity, and offer condolences to my wife. I would be scorned by the public and find compassion only with those of my own kind. I would be classified as a Cold Weather Rodney Dangerfield and suffer the brunt of many jokes.
But all of those giggles and snide remarks by those stupid people snuggled up by the fireplace mean little to me as I reach into the livewell and pull out a humongous big-mouth bass. Yes my friend, its times like these when being an outcast is all worthwhile. If you would like to join this elite group of brave souls who venture out onto cold waters in search of “HOGS” then you should be aware of the pitfalls involved. The following guidelines should help in making your transition to this lifestyle a bit easier:
Winter Fishing Guidelines –
* Always check the weather report before going fishing. This way you can have a valid reason to complain about the forecast of 2% chance of rain when it’s snowing or that light breeze forecast that turns into a 40mph Northern gale.
* Always wear boots… NOT tennis shoes. Dropping a rod and reel on the end of your half-frozen toe is more excruciating pain than many women experience during childbirth.
* Always remember to put the drain-plug into your boat prior to launching. You would think that this one would need no explanation; however, some of you will obviously get a case of hypothermia trying to get the plug in while out on the water.
* Always go to the bathroom before you put on two pair of long johns, one pair of pants, a jumpsuit, a snowmobile suit, and raingear. Trust me on this one… just do it.
* Always select a fishing partner with about the same mental capabilities as yourself. Dumb and Dumber is a good partnership. Don’t get tied up with an angler that will keep griping and reminding you how cold it is, or even worse, complaining about how crummy the fishing might be.
* Always wear a life jacket. Most of you can’t even swim in the bathtub so what makes you think you can swim in 40-degree water?
* Always go slow when the boat is moving. There is nothing worse than accidentally hitting a rogue wave and drenching your fishing partners with icy water. This is when you could be unceremoniously thrown into the frigid lake by the same people who just moments before you called friends.
* Always carry an extra 20 pair of gloves. Once the first pair gets wet the extras are tough to find. And don’t plan on your fellow fishermen “friends” letting you use their gloves. It just won’t happen.
* Always check your thermos before offering fellow-fishermen a warm drink. You can lose lots of creditability when you try to pour cold and lumpy chicken soup into your fishing companion’s cup.
*Always check the amount of gasoline you have in the boat. Trying to get your partner to paddle a bass boat three miles home with an oar just doesn’t work.
* Always use “manly baits” such as the jig-n-pig, big crankbaits or jigging spoons. A macho image is everything in bass fishing! Forget the fact that you caught that big stringer of bass on a wimpy drop-shot. Just tell folks that you used the “manly” baits.
I hope that I haven’t painted too bleak a picture because winter fishing also has some really good points. You will almost always have your choice of fishing locations, there are very few jet skis out on the lake, launching areas are not too busy and mosquitoes are seldom a problem.
So put on all of that winter clothing, waddle out to your boat, and work that jig-n-pig down there in Mr. Bass’ lair. As it gets colder and colder and colder just keep reminding yourself that you are having lots of fun. After reading these tips and seeing how much fun you are having I suspect that your wife will actually beg for you to take her along on your next outing. Wouldn’t that be great!
Good Fishing – Jim “Cold Water Rodney Dangerfield” Binns
Thought For The Day – Fishing has been so bad lately that even the liars aren’t catching anything.