I guess we are all made slightly differently, and some anglers and indeed people live for dreaming about and doing their utmost to experience a bit of something more out there - and some people don’t. I reckon I’d happily lure fish for bass until the day I can’t do it anymore - or until there are none of these fine fish left in the sea - but within me is the need to see different places, meet different people, and fish for or at least see different species of fish from time to time.
Via my working in fishing I have been lucky enough to see and also catch many different species of fish, and some I’d describe as about as good as a purely fishing experience is going to get - tarpon have to be up there as just about the most perfect sporting quarry a human being could target with on bait, lure or fly for example, just as say bonefish surely have to be the most perfect skinny water species going. Closer to home of course we have our bass, but I’d put a decent pollack from an out of the way place right up there as well as something that more anglers need to experience. Not just for the fish, but also for the places and people you meet whilst chasing down these dreams - the overall experience. Hell, if it was only about the actual fish I don’t think I’d still be fishing.
What do I mean by that? When everything comes together in a kind of sensory overload, when at that moment in time fishing means absolutely every single thing and you want to bottle it all up and stay right there for ever. It’s not as if bass are the biggest fish in our seas for example, but for me it’s always going to be a combination of so much cool stuff that comes together which makes me obsess about fishing for them. But the world’s a big place and there are some fish out there which to me are kinda not entirely normal.
We’re talking about fish that are so ridiculously powerful and dirty and almost scary to go and hook that when you see or connect to these things your mental guidelines for what true fish power really means are instantly and forever realigned. Carp obviously get big, but would anybody be almost scared by their power and aggression? Same with catfish etc. Me thinks not. Nope, some fish punch way, way above their actual weight and sit there as a kind of ultimate warrior that demands total dedication, skill, serious tackle, time, effort, money, luck and any number of other factors in order for the angler to come away with occasionally getting one over on them - and note the word occasionally!
Watch the video above from those gloriously mad Morning Tide anglers and I defy you not to go weak at the knees at how insane that fishing is, indeed if it doesn’t freak you out when I would suggest you need go and see somebody. Chucking lures at GTs from the boat may for the most part produce the absolute biggest fish, but having done a little bit of it - and of course loved every second of it - for me it doesn’t reach the extra level of buzz at catching these insane fish from either the rocks, or what I have seen the most which is fly fishing for them on shallow sand flats. I did land a GT from the rocks a few years ago on a lure very much like a GT Ice Cream, and whilst the fish from memory was “only” about 40-50lbs, I do remember the frigging thing nearly pulling the rod out of my hands while the waves were also knocking us clean off our feet at the same time. It’s not remotely everyday fishing, but thanks to pretty damn cool videos like this we can get a taste of what else is out there in the waters of this amazing planet.