The allure of fishing: Fight the big ones and savor the moment

By Corey Sparks

Note: This story was produced for JCOM 2160, Introduction to Online Journalilsm, which emphasizes hand-coding HTML.

When most people hear the word fishing, they automatically queue up a mental image of some fat, redneck-looking man, sitting on a bank somewhere drinking a beer and fishing by himself all day. That's a fine image and all, but not everyone who fishes is like that. Not that there is anything wrong with fishing and drinking beer, if you are only fishing on a lake, there's not a whole lot that a little inebriation hurts.

But that's not how I tend to fish. I get bored sitting in one spot throwing a little bobber out into a lake over and over again. I tend to spend most of my time fishing on a stream. Swift water moving all around me and trying to see what lurks beneath the surface really make me appreciate being out there.

I've been spoiled over the last few years, and have had the opportunity to fish in some incredible places. A few years ago I had the great pleasure to fish in Alaska for both salmon and halibut. Salmon spawn in incredible numbers, and when they spawn, whole cities in Alaska shut down and everyone it seems is out fishing. People are shoulder to shoulder next to each other trying to get a fish, and when one person hooks one, everyone has to give them room. Halibut fishing was amazing. They're incredibly tasty to eat, and when you are pulling them off the bottom of the ocean, it's just like hauling a 100-pound piece of sheetrock off the bottom.

The author and the mako shark. / Photo courtesy of Corey Sparks

Last year for Christmas, I was in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, and we took a day to go out on the ocean to do some deep sea fishing. The first fish we caught were mahi-mahi. They are very aggressive fish, and at one time we had three different fish on at once. We then headed out to deeper water to try to get a striped marlin. On the way there, with our lines still in the water, we got our big surprise for the day, we hooked a mako shark. Now, normally catching a shark on normal line is abnormal, because sharks can use just bite through the line, but for some reason, this shark decided not to. After hauling the shark on board, and taking many picture posing with my new trophy, we headed for the striped marlin proving grounds. Hauling in a 200-pound fish, normally is a lot of work, but hauling in a 200-pound fish that runs, jumps, and fights like there is no tomorrow is an entirely new experience.

Celebrating the catch of a marlin. / Photo by Corey Sparks

Let's just say after fighting with one of these animals for 20 minutes is a work out like none other I've ever experienced. But at the end of the whole ordeal, you can just sit back and appreciate what you've accomplished and savor the moment.

Now I know that for some people, fishing is a barbaric form of evilness, since what kind of sick people get their enjoyment from putting a metal hook in some innocent fishes mouth. But most of these fish that I caught are predators, and they eat all of the cute friendly fish. And yes we did eat all of the fish shown here, and the striped marlin is even mounted in an office in Layton.

Fishing is like any other hobby out there. Some people are crazy for it and will always take time out of their busy lives to just sit back enjoy it. And there are some people out there who will never quite be able to figure out what the allure is to it. For instance, I have no idea how someone can sit on a couch and crochet all day without going crazy. But for me, and certain other people, nothing is more relaxing and fun then spending some time fishing. There really is nothing else like deep sea fishing and trying to reel up some unknown creature from deep within the sea.