If you can ‘almost’ catch a fish can the fish ‘almost’ get away?

Is this guy catching a fish or almost catching a fish? (Contributed photo)

I admit to being a poor fish counter. Sure, if I’ve only caught one or maybe even two, I can probably remember those exact numbers.

Once I get three or more, all bets are off, and if I have to keep track of both my fish and those of my fishing companion, it’s even worse. That’s why it seems so odd when I hear someone say, “We were 8-for-12 today,” meaning they actually caught eight fish, but they almost caught four other fish.

If I can hardly keep track of three or four, how can they not only know exactly how many were caught, but also keep tabs on the number they almost caught? Perhaps it’s a Type A/Type B personality thing.

All of this begs the question: What’s an “almost” caught fish?

I know what a caught fish is. The bait or lure is dangled in the water and the fish bites it, gets hooked and subsequently is boated or landed. It was caught, period. “Almost” caught … I’m not sure.

If your bobber bobs and you pull up quickly but the hook doesn’t stick in the fish’s mouth, did you almost catch the fish? If you make a cast and feel a fish bite the lure you are retrieving but when you rear back to stick the hooks home the fish is gone, is that almost catching a fish?

“Almost” seems to be a broad, gray area. A fish following your lure but not biting it or one turning off its strike at the last second doesn’t count as “almost” in my reckoning. I’m sure some “almosters” would disagree – especially muskie anglers.  “Not only did I catch one, but I had three follows.” Each follow was an “almost,” I guess.

I will admit to saying the words “almost caught” plenty of times. “I had a nice fish on the line, fought it all the way to the boat and it was almost in the landing net when the hooks pulled out.” Or, “I almost caught a nice steelhead today. The fish bit an orange spoon being trolled behind a Dipsey Diver but it jumped and threw the hook about three seconds after it bit.”

Are those “almost” catches?

I’m sure if fish could talk to their buddies the steelhead would say, “I was almost caught today. I bit one of those tasty-looking orange minnows and it got stuck on my lip. It turned out to be a fishing lure. Luckily, it popped out when I jumped.”

The fun part about writing blogs is they don’t have to tell a story. Sometimes, just getting the reader to ponder is enough.

I’m “almost” certain you are thinking about the last time you “almost” caught a fish.

Categories: Blog Content, Michigan – Mike Schoonveld

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