Do you fish for the limit, or the experience?
Most anglers want to catch a lot of fish on every trip. But is a quick limit more important than the experience?
That’s the question Capt. Brandon Freeman of Gator’s Outdoor Adventures posed for anglers after a fishing trip he guided earlier this week. Three generations of a Maryland family booked him for a striper trip on Lake Murray, and the matriarch, 92-year-old Annabel Kayser — aka Nanniechops, reeled in the first striper she’s ever caught. And it wasn’t her last.
Kayser caught the fish on a live herring in about 60 feet of water within sight of the Towers. She was a little concerned that she got too much help from Freeman, who only supported the rod for her as she reeled. So the next time a fish hit, she reeled this one in on her own.
“Having a 92-year-old lady with three generations on the boat catching her first rockfish with me was a great feeling. And it also helped me realize why I don’t try and get you limited out in 45 minutes and back to the hill and move on. Memories aren’t made like that, just money is,” said Freeman, who guides in freshwater and saltwater throughout both Carolinas.
Sore ribs means great fishing, lots of laughter
They caught plenty of other fish during the trip, and Freeman said even when they lost fish, it wasn’t a big deal to him or his clients.
“We were sitting on a big school, but guess what? Four hours of laughing, taking pictures, losing fish because we were laughing and taking pictures, and the school stayed right there with us the whole time. And we enjoyed every minute of it. Not one person got upset over losing a fish because of it.
“We didn’t care we were losing fish — lots of fish. I’m talking dozens. But we were enjoying ourselves and making memories. Her ribs are hurting from reeling fish in. Mine are hurting from laughing the whole day,” he said the next morning.
Freeman loves to catch fish, and he loves to help others catch fish. It’s one of the big reasons he became a guide. But this trip reminded him that it’s about more than that.
“That’s a great day when your ribs hurt the next morning from laughing,” he said.
What motivates you to get on the water? Do you fish for the limit, or the experience?
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