Fishing alone can be fun, but sometimes you just have to get away from everyone. When you've had it up to your ears with noisy crowds, smoking automobiles and TV reality shows that dig into your very last nerve! That's when a few hours on the water with just you, the lake and possibly a fish, could just save your sanity! Catching something is not necessary for a successful convalescent get-a-way, but it could increase your inventory of big fish stories.
Sometimes though, you just want company, if for no other reason than to show off your fishing skills to someone who hasn't seen them before. There's only one rule to follow when selecting a companion for on the lake. Make sure the person you have in mind, has good sense and doesn't talk a lot. I usually fish by myself!
Carpenters, plumbers and other guys who work with their hands are at the top of my fishing buddy list, and when they speak, they usually just grunt a little without even trying to get a conversation started. They have a natural feel for fishing; know the type of cover fish need to survive and the kind of bait to use. They also have an innate knowledge that too much talking can spoil a fishing trip! These guys are usually respectful of their fishing partner's boat and tackle and treat them as if they were their own. They don't always come home with a boat load of fish, but for the most part, they're not prone to needless conversation.
Sales people are the other side of the coin. I've had a couple of short time friends in the past who were great salesmen, but they knew little about fishing. That didn't stop them from trying to convince everyone that they were experts on the subject. Regrettably, neither of them learned much about catching a fish, but either of the two could fill a bass boat with fish if talking them to death was possible.
Fishing is always a stealth sport. Whether you're surf fishing for stripers, casting for bass or trolling for marlin, you sneak up on an unsuspecting fish and entice it to bite your bait. Simple isn't it? It's not easy to do that if your mouth is continually open and your voice carries to the next town. The fish can hear you coming for a mile and swim for the next county.
Engineers are one of my favorite categories of anglers. I don't like to fish with them, because they drive me nuts, but they're a lot of fun to watch. They ones I've been with were fairly new to fishing, but they threw themselves whole heartedly into their new activity. They asked questions. Lord did they ever ask questions!
Most guys want to know what kind of bait to use and how to rig up a fishing line. One fellow asked me how far above the hook should he place the sinker? When I told him about six inches or so, he asked me if I had a tape measure so he could be exact. This is not rocket science, but a lot of the folks down here at the NASA facility are indeed rocket scientists. I haven't seen many of them make good fishermen. Mostly the ones I've know were decent enough guys, but they engaged in a lot of excessive thinking which can ruin any fishing trip.
My favorite fishing partners are women. Women are tenacious in fishing. They don't like to waste much time in preparation; they just want to know the basics so they can get down to the serious business of fishing. The women I fish with mostly are my daughter and daughter-in law. Both of them are very competitive and are at the top of my buddy list. They don't talk a lot when we're fishing and they don't do a lot of excessive thinking, they're too busy trying to catch more fish than me. Sometimes they do just that!