Taming the dreaded sportfishing ‘jinx’ factor

It was an epic day on Lake Superior for lake trout when Tim, Rae, Brent and Sean Lesmeister dropped the downriggers. It was unexpected since Rae had fired up the jinx factor by looking up recipes for fish that had yet to be caught. Proof that the powerful can negate the laws of physics as they pertain to the dreaded jinx factor.

Seasoned anglers understand that bringing a banana on the boat is a jinx of epic proportions. Even if the weather is perfect and the timing ideal, a rookie angler slipping a banana into their lunch cooler on the boat may repel even a single bite on your line.

Don’t forget the jinx potential when you catch a fish on the first cast. When that happens you might as well just pack up all your gear and head home. Catching a fish on that first cast has led many a seasoned angler to break down into tears when their dreams of a long day on the water catching fish immediately ended. They soon realized they would be relegated to a day of working out with only a follow or two to keep it interesting.

How about the angler who starts bragging about how well he knows a particular body of water? Expounding on every spot that has aggressive fish? When that happens you know the jinx factor will be at peak capacity, and fish won’t touch even your best bait.

No one knows how to negate the jinx factor… well almost no one. I have seen it happen, and it was by a rookie angler – my wife – and it happened just last summer.

Even though my wife and I have been married almost 50 years, she never fished. It was only recently, inspired by some of my female angling colleagues, that she decided she wanted to relive some of her childhood pastimes and try fishing again.

My son Brent and I, along with my grandson Sean, decided to take my wife, Rae, out to some flats on the south side of Lake Superior’s Madeline Island for some lake trout fishing. As the boat sped away from our dock, I glanced over at my son, a seasoned angler, and noted a look of concern on his face. Brent was listening to his mother describe several trout recipes she was looking up on her iPad. Brent’s expression turned to horror as Rae was reading off dishes like smoked trout cakes over greens with lemon vinaigrette, trout with lemon butter herb sauce, and Mediterranean pan-seared trout with tzatziki sauce. Our son asked his mom to cease and desist, then patiently explain the basics of the jinx factor. I, on the other hand had my head down between my knees and was instructing my grandson to get out the first-aid kit because when I passed out, he would have to revive me with the smelling salts.

After all that talk about how we were going to cook all the fish we were about to catch, I anticipated a long day on the water. Rae said she thought the jinx factor was bogus and insisted her positive outlook would negate our weird superstition.

Her power was greater than the jinx.

We had a limit of lake trout in less than two hours. Beautiful fish that hit everything we dropped down. Brent told his mom to look up more recipes for the next day. Now when I go fishing, I beg my secret weapon, my confident bride, to join me. She might have the ability to tame the dreaded jinx, but I have no confidence that I or other mere mortals can.

Categories: Blog Content, Tim Lesmeister

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