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A Fisherman's Disease

Trophy Peacock Bass
Jenny Reiss with a trophy peacock bass.

Anglers are victims of an addiction described decades ago by the famed psychologist, B.F. Skinner. We cannot live without our doses of "gamblers reinforcement". We are turned on by the strange process of repeating unrewarded efforts for the sole purpose of eliciting an occasional, random flash of success. Very few people would consider such a strategy for other aspects of their lives. Scientists or chefs, engineers or businessmen, truck drivers or mechanics, certainly wouldn't do their jobs this way. Even fishermen don't go to work, raise their children or plan their lives in this manner. But somehow, with a stretch of water in front of them, these otherwise perfectly normal people will wave a fishing rod over and over and over, casting into a relatively opaque medium, in the hope that a primitive creature will be fooled into trying to eat a bunch of feathers or a chunk of wood attached to a string on the end of their rod. And they'll do it for days on end, every chance they get.

The scary thing is that I not only recognize the strange and futile nature of this disease, but I have happily let myself become further and further immersed in it. If you are a victim, like me, you probably recognize some of these symptoms and side effects; a hidden stash of colorful, flashy, small hooked objects made of plastic, metal and wood, feathers and hair; a strange attraction to water full of tree stumps and fallen timber or rocks, rapids and convoluted shorelines; a kind of mesmerization when reeling, casting and waving fishing paraphernalia in the air; an adrenaline rush when even the slightest variation is imparted to the steady, regular feel of a rod tip or a stretched line in your fingers; The only cure is a fishing fix, more of the same disease. Thankfully, nature has provided us with a world full of beautiful places and fantastic fishes with which to treat our condition. And the most powerful medicine, the strongest drug, the ultimate fishing fix I have ever found is the incredible peacock bass.

They hit harder than they have any reason to, they run more explosively than any angler would expect, they fight harder than their size and weight would seem to allow and they have more stamina than seems possible given their violent style. Although all of these things are strong medicine for the fisherman's disease, it seems that the more of this drug we get, the more we need. Every day you spend fishing seems to make you just want more days and every fish you catch seems to make you just want to catch more fish. The disease is probably incurable and everyone's case seems to be just a little bit different. Some like to pursue their addiction in air conditioned comfort, some prefer moving right into the fish's lair. So the best we can offer you is a fix, not a cure, just a temporary treatment and an exciting way to get at it that best fits your variation of the disease. We operate a full range of trip types to suit all forms of the disease. Read on to see how…

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