June 17, 2012

William of Occam and Fishing Louisiana’s Coast for Speckled Trout

We are blasted every day with the things we need to buy. Before you pull out your wallet, understand what you really need to be good at fishing.

"It is vain to do with more what can be done with less."

-William of Occam (Originator of Occam's Razor)

My fishing trips are successful because of the things I have. These things that cannot be bought.

Since I have them, I don't need anything more.

So let me tell you a story, and we can make sense of this together.

A chip off the old block

I am fortunate to have grown up fishing under the wing of my father. Learning how to fish the prairie marsh of Louisiana instilled values in me that I still use to this day.

If I had to choose one, it would be doing more with less.

That's exactly what he did on those fishing trips. My father was successful, but not for the reasons most anglers are.

He lacked the cutting-edge equipment, angler's network and inshore knowledge I enjoy today.

In fact, he started from scratch and had to learn a lot of things the hard way in a small, but tough, aluminum flatboat.

Enter your text here...

GnarTooth the Flatboat

Picture from the early 90's.

Despite those disadvantages, he still put limits of redfish and speckled trout in the boat. Why?

Because he knew intangible things like determination, heart and mindfulness were more important than the tangible things. This is what he taught me.

Fast forward to today

Years later I inherited the boat.

She was just a slow old flatboat with a rotten deck and smokey two-stroke engine, but she ran reliably and didn't need much work.

A tank of a boat

A pine tree committed suicide on it during Hurricane Katrina. After the dust cleared, we found the flatboat humbly sitting there, as if nothing had happened, with said pine tree broken across the middle of it. 

In short order I fixed her up and began spending my free time running amok across the marsh.

I fished a lot

I'd get to Breton Sound Marina first thing in the morning and fish all day, usually until the sun went down.

The marina owner, Glenn Sanchez, called me "Marathon" because I'd fish all day.

I lived to fish. It was just me, my flatboat and the open marsh. Nothing was holding me back.

Crossing Stump Lagoon on a chilly November morning

My rods and reels were mismatched and old, but they worked.

I'd pride myself on using a spinning reel that was sixteen years old. One day it locked up during a trout frenzy.

Despite this meager outfit I returned with impressive catches. I loved it!

I didn't have great equipment. I didn't need it.

What I did need was the gumption to tackle the marsh and fish my ass off. I had that in spades.

gnartooth flat boat

The boat isn't big and the rods aren't that great. But with a little heart they got the job done.

Some things are just tools.

A Power Pole is nice, but it has nothing on a determined guy that is willing to stick and unstick a cajun anchor a hundred times in a day.

That guy will catch fish while others fawn over their equipment.

There wasn't room for another cooler. So the beer and trout gotta share. Trout-flavored beer!

The marsh will do things for you that few others can.

Valuable life lessons are out there, hidden between blades of oyster grass, where memories are forged on the water and last forever.

In The End

There is a greater return on your investment from dropping dollars on a launch fee and full tank of gas than overpriced electronics or another fishing rod.

Time on the water is the best investment an angler can make.

Do not forget what William said so long ago:

"It is vain to do with more what can be done with less."

Captain Devin

About the Author

Devin is a former fishing guide and lifelong inshore angler. He founded Louisiana Fishing Blog in 2012 to share his ideas as a charter captain and still writes in it today. Since then he's created a fishing university — LAFB Elite — where he teaches inshore anglers how to safely navigate Louisiana's coast and catch more fish.

You may also like

  • Great read!! Some day soon I’ll be in the market to purchase another boat! From the information gained I’m thinking invest a little but fish a lot.

  • {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

    Never Miss Practical Fishing Tips & Tricks for Louisiana's Coast