I’m not the only one who has heard this. Chances are you have too, but did you have the same reaction I did?
My ears cringe whenever I hear it:
“It must be nice having a boat!”
“I wish I could afford all that!”
These remarks are always mean-spirited and laced with spite.
I cannot stand the underlying message that I am somehow privileged and that is the only reason I have a boat and go fishing; as if some higher-being floated down from above and bestowed this place in life to me, “You shall be the fisher-dude-person,” and so it was granted with a wave of her magical wand.
Yeah, I do fish a lot. I earned it. So what? Last year I fished anywhere from three to five days a week. To say I was broke would be an understatement. It’s my passion. It was worth it.
Besides, anyone who launches these sideways-attacks is really just revealing their personal shortcomings to the world. There is no reason for anyone to not have a boat, especially if they love fishing and especially if they live in Louisiana. With inspirational anglers like Clay Dyer setting the example, it’s really hard to say otherwise.
For me, there is one person who comes to mind as the perfect example as to why anyone can get the boat they want and spend time fishing.
Takahiro Omori was born in Tokyo, Japan in 1970. He grew up saltwater fishing with his father, but caught his first largemouth bass in a pond when he was only nine years old. From that time on he was obsessed with “America’s fish.”
This may seem odd at first glance. How could he catch a largemouth bass in Japan? Well, they were put there. Bass are incredibly adaptive and have been introduced all over the world. They thrive in Japan and were there to capture the imagination of a young Takahiro.
In those times, Japanese anglers viewed the United States as being the bass fishing capital of the world. Takahiro and his friends talked about it incessantly: If you could win the Classic in America, you were indisputably the best basser. Eventually the Japanese angler replaced words with action when he began crafting a 15-year plan to conquer the bass angling world.
In 1992 he left Japan for the United States with money he saved by washing dishes and working odd jobs. He only had one tackle box, a few rods and couldn’t speak English at all. His own words sum up his feelings as he made his way to the Texas B.A.S.S. Invitational:
“My only option was to catch some bass and win a tournament or go back to Japan as a loser.”
That’s how he started out. No contacts. No one to help him. He slept in his truck because he couldn’t afford a motel. But Takahiro never gave up. With a positive attitude and a refusal to quit he eventually won the Bassmaster Classic in 2004…in the last five minutes!
What an amazing finish.
At this point you’ve read his story and watched his win. Now imagine walking past someone at the gas station when they launch that weak-sauce remark, “It must be nice having a boat!”
Takahiro came from nothing and soared to levels most only imagine. He didn’t cry about not having a boat, he just manned up and did it. He chose to take responsibility for his life, for his dreams. He chose to be mentally strong.
If an alien to America, who is unable to speak our language and ignorant to our culture, can step foot on our shoreline and accomplish his dream, then why can’t someone who’s from here?
If you love fishing and spending time in the outdoors, then a boat is worth the investment.
A boat is an extension of you and a vehicle to freedom. With a boat you can see the most gorgeous sunsets and blow off stress in ways artificial means never will.
It doesn’t even have to be a boat, it can be a kayak. It’s the same principle.
The only thing holding anyone back from getting a boat, or asking that girl out to dinner, or applying for that position, or whatever, is themselves and the dumb excuses they concoct inside their head.
Devin is a Marine veteran of the Iraq War, entrepreneur and a hardcore inshore angler who enjoys chasing limits of specks and sight fishing redfish.