Usually when you hear about somebody retiring there always seems to be a reference to fishing. It is almost a tradition that a reference will be made to the retiree being able to go fishing. I think most people think that fishing is a lazy, non-stressful, easy event. Well I’ve got news for you fishing can be all those things and yet none of those things.
Let’s start off with the kind of fishing that the retiree might participate in. There are those people who live near or on the coast and fishing to them may mean going onto the ocean or onto a bay to fish. Well, first, you’re going to need a vehicle and a boat besides a large array of fishing equipment. Let’s start off with the boat, for going onto the ocean or you are going onto the bay, you’re going to need a good-sized boat and some very good engines. There are boats called bay boats which can be as small as 19 feet. Usually the small boat is a center console boat. Well if you want a new one or even a used one, you going to pay $25,000 to $125,000 for that boat. And just like people who buy motorcycles and then add a bunch of bling to their motorcycle, you will do the same with your boat. You going to need a depth finder, and anchor. You going to need some flotation devices which include life vest and some form of a flotation device that can be thrown out off the boat to a person in the water. Now let’s look at the propulsion or the engine you’re going to need to push the boat through the water. All states require you to have a paddle. All I can tell you is that I hope you never need to use that paddle to move your boat from one point to another. Especially, if there’s any wind to be dealt with. Then you must decide on the motor. It might be an inboard motor or an outboard motor. Either way, who going to spend a lot of money for that motor. And especially if you’re going to be out in the ocean, you’re going to want the biggest motor possible. Many boats have two outboard engines on them just in case one would fail. Then you’re going to need a place to store the fuel for that engine. And it has been my experience that you’re going to need some standby tools and replacement parts like engine belts. And if you’re really experienced, you will store a secondary fuel tank. Almost every experienced fisherman has gone through the panic of running out of fuel while on the water. If you are on a large body of water, like the ocean, you’re going to need a marine radio and items like in airhorn to attract other boater’s attention. Now let’s say you’re $40,000 or $50,000 into owning the boat and everything you need to run the boat. If you going to be on the inland waterways or the ocean you’re going to need maps and probably some sort of GPS device. If you’re boat is very big you will either hire a captain or take some courses on how to handle traveling on the water. This will cost you more money and now you start thinking about emergencies which will cost you more stress. Once you’re on the water you’re going to need fishing gear. Well especially the rods and reels for ocean fishing are big and strong and very expensive. The best you can hope for is that some older senior citizen has given up fishing and is selling all their equipment at a garage sale. Otherwise, you’re going to go to places like Bass Pro shop or your local fishing store to buy the equipment. Let me also mention, the fishing line that you’ll need to buy. If you think you can put fishing line on a real and that will last for years you’re wrong. The more you use the line the more it starts to wear and the more that it wears the more likely it is to break when you have that fish on the line. Now let’s talk about how you will get your boat into the water. If you’re not going to store the boat at a local marina, which will cost you money. You going to need a large vehicle to pull the boat. You probably not buy a VW bug and put a hitch on it to pull even the smallest boat to the water. Usually you’re going to buy a truck and it’s not going to be a small pickup truck. If this is a ocean fishing boat, at minimum you going to buy ¾ ton truck which probably has four-wheel-drive. Just like those people who buy large 5th wheel RV only to realize that they need to buy a big truck to pull the RV, you will have to do the same to pull your boat. Let’s say that you don’t want to keep your boat at a marina. You are going to need a place to store it. And after the first six months of joy and a lot of use, you are going to want to keep your boat out of the weather and in a safe storage location. If you are lucky you’ll be able to do that on your property. Otherwise, you going to have to find a storage unit, this will also cost you money and from time to time you’ll worry if anyone is messing with your boat when you were not there.
Okay, let’s say that you are going to just fish lakes and streams. That is something I did when I lived in California and did not want to go on to the ocean. This too is going to cost you money and effort. First, you’re going to need the equipment such as rods and reels, tackle and bait. And if you’re using bait going to have to buy it from somebody just before you go fishing. Hopefully, when you get to the bait shop you will not hear those words, were out of that bait. Or you don’t want to buy the minnows or fish eggs only to find that they are dying or withering away even before you put them in the water. Now, you got the rod and reel and your bait is ready to go. You need to find a place to fish. You’re going to need a license and going to have to follow all the instructions that go along with the location you’re going to fish. I enjoyed Lake fishing in California. But I also enjoyed stream fishing. Well to go stream fishing, you got to go where the streams are. And usually they are in the mountains. It is rare that you’ll just go for an afternoon stream fishing adventure. Usually you’re going to go to some area that’s going to require camping. Well, camping will require camping equipment. And like most people you will probably start off with the tent, sleeping bags and maybe even a cot. You going to need some funky looking pots and pans. And if you’re going to someplace like California and want to have a campfire, you need to bring your own wood. And I believe after a few trips, you’ll end up buying some form of camper. Maybe a cab over camper or a towable camper. Again, you’re going to need a vehicle to pull the camper.
Let’s say you just want to lake fish. Well here we go again, you’re going to need a boat. Now, there may be a time in life when you try to fish just off the shore. But as you’re sitting on the shore and you watch the people buzzing by with their boats, you are going to want to fish out of a boat. So, let’s start off with the boat. Small fishing boats do not have to cost much. But if you’re like most people, you are going to want a boat that will allow you to stand up and fish from the front or back of the boat. Many seniors, by pontoon boats. These boats are easy to move around on and are user-friendly for small children or anyone that’s going to need a portable toilet while on the water. Well, I owned one of these pontoon boats and they are really good for motoring around the lake. But if you going to try to fish with one of them you had better pick a day when there is no wind. They are just a large box, a heavy large box that is easily pushed around by the when which makes it almost impossible to fish off. Your best hope, is that you’ll anchor over a submerged tree and fish for crapping or catfish. If you’re getting into small fishing boats you’re going to need some of the equipment that the big boats use. You’re going to want a depth finder and a trolling motor. Many first-time boat buyers will buy used boat. While the problem with the use boat is not the boat, but is the motor. There’s a small thing called a water pump that is one of the first things to wear out on a boat motor. When the water pump stops working the boat motor overheats. When the motor overheats, it stops working and usually the cost of getting it working again is very expensive. If you are fishing on a populated lake you will probably have to experience the people who on the ski boats and their activities which usually includes large wakes pushing your boat around. Again, you need to buy rods reels and fishing lures. If you’re using live bait you going to need a bait tank with an aerator. On the boat your trolling motor and your boat motor will all run off of a battery. Well, the battery is one of the first things to wear out or quit working on most boats. Experienced boaters will have some sort of backup battery. Of course, you still got the paddle and the flotation devices should you get into trouble. Once again, with a lake boat you are going to need some sort of vehicle to pull the boat to the lake. I’ve seen a BMWs was a little trailer hitch on it for a small boat tow. But as you evolve you’re probably going to buy a larger vehicle and usually a truck.
In all, when fishing you’re going to need a license. You are going to need equipment. You’re going to need insurance on that equipment. If you have an old boat you probably won’t get any insurance. You’re going to need a place to keep your equipment. Even if it’s just your rods and reels plus your tackle box, you’re going to need a place to put them. My guess is, you probably won’t keep them in your house. If you’re lucky enough to have a garage or basement you will probably keep your equipment there. Like most equipment, you are going to need to keep it up or replace it if you use it at all. Many people who go fishing do so with other people. There are many times that I see retired couples fishing on the lake. More likely I’ll see a couple of men fishing on the lake. So you will have to put up with their personalities and wishes.
This brings me back to my opening thought; many people think that when you retire your activities is going to be fishing, it is easy and non-stressful. It used to be a simple activity that anyone could do. Well, if you’re able just to walk down to the old fishing hole, put your feet in the water and your ass on the sand with a drink and you catch some fish then you are indeed lucky. Fishing requires time, and supposedly when you retire you have a lot of time. What you probably don’t appreciate is your time. If you’re going fishing you will need the equipment and the time.
I have mentioned before that when I go fishing I don’t think of anything else but fishing. For me, it is a way to forget about my stress or anything else and just appreciate the view and of course the occasional fish that allows me to hook it and bring it into the boat. Fishing for me has been a lifetime activity. What you might find unusual is that I don’t normally eat fish. I practiced catch and release.
Well, fishing for me is worth all the expense, effort and time. But, I have been building up my equipment and my technique for years. I did not just retire and decide to go fishing. I continue to put money into equipment and of course, I always wanted a bigger better boat, truck, equipment and locations. I have lived on a lake, which was good for me as a fisherman but bad for me as a husband. As much is your mate may tell you that it’s okay to go fishing, they will not say that if you’re out there eight hours a day five or six days a week.
Fishing is not for the lazy or the incompetent. But it is an activity that is been attracted to retirees for years and years. Just know this, you’re going to spend you some money to be able to go fishing. If you think you’re going to fish on several lakes and in several states, you should know you going to need a license in each one of those states. If you’re lucky it will cost you nothing to launch your boat to a lake or stream. But sometimes there is a ramp fee or use fee attached to using that body water. Let’s not forget that there are limits to size and the number of a certain species of fish to be caught. California is totally overregulated on what you can catch. But even Texas has a size and bag limit to the fish caught.
Now that’s my thought for the day. I do enjoy fishing and all the beautiful views that I experience. If you’re going to retire and you have not been fishing before, just get ready for an eye-opening experience to go along with the peace and joy that can come from fishing

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