It’s that time of year again — time to write down a list of New Year’s resolutions. Most years, I’ve forgotten my resolutions before the first bass are spawning in the shallows. But 2015 will be different. You see, I have discovered the key to success in the resolution department: Lowered Expectations.
I know now that in years past, I’ve always given up because I set my sights too high. Therefore, this year, I will aspire to lesser heights. I have picked goals I can more reasonably expect to attain, as you will see in the list that follows.
1. I resolve not to prepare Catfish Sutton’s Super Secret Stinkbait using my wife’s kitchen blender. Or her new Tupperware.
2. And while we’re talking about bait, I also resolve not to use the toilet in the guest room as a live bait tank.
3. I resolve to improve my fishing skills by using only the best equipment available to outdoorsmen, sparing no expense.
4. Because I never have enough money to buy the fishing equipment mentioned in Resolution #3, I resolve to get free “evaluation models” from the manufacturers by shamelessly selling out my journalistic integrity via this column.
5. I will not sleep while waiting for fish to bite … not every day.
6. Attention Ranger Boats. Would you guys like a nice, impartial review of your new 2080VS Angler? How ‘bout the 1680 Deep V? I mean, otherwise I'll have to get in touch with the folks over at Skeeter or Tracker.
7. I resolve that when my fishing companions drag me out for an evening at a strip bar, I’ll stop pretending to be Bill Dance so I can get free lap dances.
8. At camp, no more cabbage or Beanie Weenies before bedtime.
9. I won’t store night crawlers, mealworms or leeches in the fridge at home unless the container is properly marked and hermetically sealed. And if I happen to forget that I left a cage full of crickets in the back seat of my wife’s car, and I also forgot to pull the little string handle up so the crickets wouldn’t crawl up it and escape, I will not tell my wife that crickets singing from under the car seats sound a darn sight better than that Alan Jackson crap she listens to on the radio. Because she might hurt me. Again.
10. I resolve not to throw rocks or cast Jitterbugs at those teeny boppers roaring past my fishing hole on their PERSONAL WATER CRAFT, even though they’ve nearly capsized my johnboat 23 times in the past 45 minutes. Not that I'm counting or anything.
11. How ‘bout you guys over at Abu Garcia? I’m sure I could give a good review of your Morrum ZX baitcasting reel as long as I have a chance to give it a thorough, on-the-water evaluation.
12. I resolve to inform my friends before they eat if gar fillets have been substituted for trout when I cook a shore lunch. And I won’t use grinnel, carp or mudcats in the chowder ever again. Hardly ever.
15. I WILL NOT pack Junnie’s Wicked Sticky Catfish Sewer Bait in my carry-on luggage.
16. I resolve not to hide the Victoria's Secret catalog in my tackle box, even though the one and only reason me and my buddies even look at the Victoria’s Secret catalog is to discuss the pros and cons of this year’s intimate fashion trends.
17. Finally, and I mean this most sincerely, I resolve to be a better person, to accept all people, to strive for world peace and work to make the world a better place even if it is full of nitwits. (One last chance, Ranger. E-mail me.)
Happy New Year, friends. May all your troubles last as long as your New Year’s resolutions.