The awesome dilemma of choosing a favorite freshwater fishery
I have a fishing buddy, a die-hard walleye angler who believes the only decent fishing pond on the planet is Lake of the Woods. He would spend every second of his free time chasing this species there if his family allowed him.
Another fishing friend loves lake trout. If some of those lakes in Canada that produce those huge lakers were closer to his home, he would be there exclusively. But since he lives right on Lake Superior, that he deems to be his favorite freshwater fishery.
We all have our favorites. When I lived on Lake Minnetonka, I spent the majority of my time fishing that west metro water body. Now I have a place on Lake Superior and have transferred my allegiance from Minnetonka to the largest of the Great Lakes.
Growing up in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, I found humor in my father’s dilemma each time he went fishing. Did he grab some chicken liver and a lawn chair to sit on the banks of the Cedar River and wait out a catfish or two? Should he load the boat and hit Coralville Reservoir to see if the walleyes were biting? Maybe pile the kids in the car and head out to Lake McBride for some bass and panfish from the shoreline? It’s tougher to choose your favorite fishery with multiple options available.
There is no shame in changing favorites. As we travel to other bodies of water, we discover new resources. After I found the tremendous smallmouth bass fishing in Lake Superior’s Chequamegon Bay, I was so smitten with this fishery that I made it a mission to get there as often as possible. It became my new favorite freshwater fishery. Now I have a place on Madeline Island where I spend my summers to be near “The Bay.”
One of my fishing buddies loves chasing largemouth bass. After a trip 10 years ago to Toledo Bend Reservoir on the Texas/Louisiana border, he moved there permanently. Every year he catches bass 10 pounds or better. His goal is to land one over 12 pounds before he dies. He’s been within an ounce or two and believes it’s just a matter of time.
One thing I have discovered during my interactions with thousands of anglers over the years is that it’s not always about the quality of the resource. It’s often about location, location, location. Maybe it’s home to the family cabin or a water body where a person spent quality time with a loved one. It may be about memories or traditions, but one thing is for sure: These destinations fill us with hope and love, and for that we are blessed.