Merwin: Lucky vs. Good

When it comes to fishing, is it better to be lucky or to be good?

That's an age-old question, of course, but worth talking about once in a while.

I think the young kid who catches a 7-pound largemouth off the family dock at high noon is probably just lucky. This kind of thing does happen, but not very often. On the other hand, take the guy who has been fishing for a long time, has studied and learned about bass and their habits, mastered a few techniques, and who pulls a 7-pounder out of the same weed beds he's fished for years. He's probably more good than lucky, but maybe a little lucky, too.

There's always some element of chance in fishing. Sometimes you get the right roll of the dice. Sometimes you don't. Being unpredictable is part of what makes fishing fun. But the more you know, and the more skills you master through practice over time, the more often the dice will roll in your direction.

This isn't just a matter of being an old, experienced angler. I know some young people who are excellent fishermen. They've worked hard to get there. That's the key, I think. Work. There really aren't any shortcuts. With time and effort in fishing, as in life, you can mostly make your own luck.