Gearing Up, Getting Inspired and One Crazy Coincidence (Or was it?)

Do you believe this was all of 13 pounds?
Do you believe this was all of 13 pounds?

Fishermen know that there are few problems in the fishing universe that can be fixed by buying new gear. Fishermen also know that we will try to fix most problems by buying new gear. It’s our nature. Your dog is going to sniff the same stuff in the yard even though little has changed, your mom is going to ask how you’re doing and we’re going to gear up when fishing’s not going our way. Some things you can’t change.

So with that in mind I hit up Bass Pro Shops here in Florida to see if I could add anything to my arsenal that would better my chances, as well as get some intel on the local lakes and places to fish them.

If any angler has ever walked into a tackle shop (especially one the size of a mall on steroids, like Bass Pro) needing one thing and walked out with only that one thing, then I haven’t heard about it. So I’m loaded for bear with soft-plastics, new spinnerbaits, PowerBait worms, a topwater soft-plastic frog and offset hooks for the worms. Will any of this matter? Highly unlikely. But if by chance something works I’ll have that purchase and the wisdom that went into it to thank.

What I didn’t count on was the tank full of bass that had me ogling for … well not hours, but a while. Talking with a staffer there I found that the bass are donated by anglers in the state who catch them. According to him, the Tallahassee Bass Pro has the only shoal bass in captivity in the state.

This BPS seemed to be geared more toward saltwater, which I understand, but it was a little frustrating in the most beloved bass state in the nation. Still, I got the gear I came for.

To cap off the night and hopefully meet some fishermen, I found a local dive bar. The name is what stopped me in my tracks. It was called “One More.”

My father, when asking me to do push-ups during commercial breaks if I was watching TV, always said: “Do as many as you can and then one more.” He used that phrase, ‘one more,’ in many aspects of his life. He always took one more client, earned one more dollar, and hung on one more year battling cancer. I talked about that approach to life in his eulogy and I have the words ‘one more’ tattooed on my right forearm.

And here I am, struggling to find fish, starting to lose faith, scrambling for gear that’ll make a difference, and out of nowhere appears a bar called “One More.”

My drinking days might be over but you still can’t beat a flavored bar crowd on a Friday night. I met more than a few fishermen and shared my story and got a few pats on the back.

This will sound corny and cliche and poke fun if you want, but it was a sorely needed pick-me-up that’s kept me going.

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