Conventional wisdom says that the Holiday season is to be spent with friends and family, spreading cheer, reminiscing on the years past, and planning for the coming ones. While I don’t disagree with this theory and do enjoy the Holiday season, it does sound a lot like fishing season – minus the Holiday cheer of course.

I came to this realization while fishing with a buddy the other day. You see, spending time with friends and family is a corner stone of the angling lifestyle. Reminiscing about past fishing adventures, often in the form of the dubious fish story, is angling’s oldest tradition. And planning future outings is what occupies all true anglers’ dreams.

Instead of Holiday cheer, fishing season has knowledge to spread which leads to the ultimate cheer; angling succcess. Spreading angling knowledge is very near and dear to me, so much so that I would apply for the Fishing Santa position if they had one. I could float around from house to house dropping tidbits fishing wisdom to be opened by anglers on their next outing. It would be just like Santa Clause…in baggy waders.

Like the Holiday season, fishing season has brightly wrapped gifts, each unique, and some exactly what the angler asked for. Our gifts are in the form beautiful pink and green rainbow trout, brilliant orange and blue sunfish, and those golden bronze smallmouth bass shining in the sun.

For the record, in fishing season it’s perfectly acceptable, even preferred, to “re-gift” by releasing your fish thereby making another angler’s day. In some cases we get to catch our gift and eat it too. You can have the chestnuts roasting on an open fire, I’ll settle for walleye fillets in hot grease.

Instead of Black Friday, anglers have first safe ice. We trade twelve days of Christmas for two weeks of stonefly hatches. Our Holiday dinner is a classic family fish fry with all the trimmings.   

Fishing season swaps sleighs for boats, catchy jingles for screaming drags, and picturesque cards for “grip-n-grin” fish pics shared with all your buddies. In Holiday season, kids wake up at the crack of dawn filled with anticipation on only one day per year. With fishing season, grown men and kids alike share that level of anticipation every time we head out.

We’re taught in Holiday season to always remember that it’s the thought, not the gift, that counts. Same in fishing; it’s not about fish, it’s about the experience.

Bottom line; fishing season has all the benefits of the Holiday season, without all the hype. And when you consider that anglers can enjoy our “holiday” year ‘round, fishing season has the Holiday season whooped.

But maybe I’m biased.

So, Happy Holidays to all, and to all a fish bite!