I went out fishing yesterday with my neighbor to his secret farm pond. We flipped over his boat from its winter storage and cleaned off the seats before loading it up and paddling out to the middle. Armed with two scoops of minnows and 7 poles (he has a “five pole minimum”) we began our first expedition of the season. The first half hour produced a few bites, but no fish. As the sun rose higher and the water warmed they began to hit; first the crappie, then the bluegill, and finally the bass. Birds were singing all around us as the temperature continued to climb and a steady breeze kept us cool. We enjoyed the easy going banter and joking between the two of us as we continued to fill our bucket with crappie. After using almost all of our minnows we decided to head back. I had “fishermen’s thumb” where about an inch square was ragged from bass teeth as I held them to retrieve my hook.
During the drive home I was thinking about this post and how I would compare what you pay for store bought fish verses the time, effort, equipment, bait, license fees and gas used to catch your own. As I added everything up in my head and considered the day I had just experienced the question arose: does fishing save you money? I had to be honest with myself as I pondered my answer, which came to me pretty quickly: who cares?