By Montana Grant

Posted: July 6, 2023

Every fisherman has a bad day, occasionally. Getting Skunked Stinks! Not catching anything is not an intentional choice. We don’t wake up thinking, I think I will go fishing and not catch anything. Our goal when fishing is to catch a fish, any fish, big fish, small fish, some fish.

After guiding and teaching others how to catch a fish, I have probably used or thought about what excuses I could use. When I guided, my clients were never Skunked! They came close. A small or trash fish may have come into the net, but they were not completely skunked.

There are many ways to look at getting skunked. Every fisherman has their go to favorites. We have all heard these lines before!

Weather    It was too cold, warm, rainy, windy, snowy, wrong barometric pressure, sunny, cloudy, or …

Effort    I wasn’t really trying. I could have caught fish, but I don’t have to. I was just practicing.

Fish’s Fault    The fish weren’t hungry. The fish were biting too short of the hook. Only little fish. The fish are too smart.

Other Fishermen     Too many fishermen. Other fishermen scare the fish away. All the fish were already caught by the other fishermen. My guide was not very good.

Fishermen also tend to lie a little. The size and numbers are usually exaggerated by at least 20%. This also means that if the angler got skunked, they may tell a little lie.

Positive thinkers    The good news is that you don’t have any fish to clean! I was just enjoying being outdoors. A bad day of fishing is still better than working. I don’t have to catch a fish to enjoy the day.

State agencies     The state did not stock enough fish. The fishery guys ruined this spot.

Tackle   I brought the wrong rod. My line was old, cheap, to heavy.

Bait    The fish wanted worms and I just had corn. The hatch never happened. My worms were too big.

Never mind that you were skunked because you suck as a fisherman. Everyone has an off day. The great thing about fishing is that there will be another opportunity. Take advantage of good fishing to learn. Honestly, we learn the most when we fail or get skunked. Honestly evaluate why you caught nothing and don’t do it again.

There is always one more cast! The next cast may just change your luck. A good fisherman never gets skunked, they just run out of time!

Tight Lines!

Montana Grant

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