For many of us the summer months mean different things when it comes to the sport of fishing. There are those who can only dream of clean blue prop wash, flat seas at dawn and an endless expanse of gulf as far as the eye can see. For others the thought of rushing into the bay amid the sounds of working birds and fleeing bait gets their heart pumping in anticipation of hungry trout and redfish by the bunch. Still others look forward to the quiet solitude of anchoring up on their favorite “hole” with a live well full of fresh bait, a cooler full of cold drinks, and their best buddy in the seat next to them. All of the above sound inviting and each group would be hard pressed to change their tactics because in their world their pattern or mode is just right and that’s what summer fishing is all about.

On each end of the fishing spectrum there are two different types of anglers with one common goal, they just go about achieving that goal in different ways. Both groups enjoy the sport and all that comes along with it, they just apply varying methods. On one end you have the high profile folks who attack their sport with a passion that borders on obsession. Tournament anglers fit into this category since they know no boundaries when it comes to chasing their favorite fish.

These folks study charts, maps, and graphs like a student trying to earn a degree. In a very short time these “machines” made to look like humans can decipher nearly any body of water and know it as good or better than the locals, it’s amazing how good some of these folks are.

Case in point, the anglers who fish the Oberto Redfish Cup are easily some of the best anglers who ever fired up an outboard. The lengths these guys go to in order to pattern fish in new locations is nothing short of mind boggling, I am continually amazed at how they consistently find fish on foreign water.

Let’s back up a minute and look at the folks who fall on the other end of the fishing spectrum, the weekend pleasure fishermen. Now don’t get me wrong there are some really good fishermen who just pleasure fish, they just choose to fish for fun instead of dollars and there is definitely something to be said for that.

Nothing ruins a good time fishing for some folks like making it a contest or putting pressure on a relaxing event. Some of the very best times I have ever had on a boat were sitting on anchor drowning shad or shrimp in the Sabine River with any number of friends or family. The social interaction and low stress atmosphere is at times exactly what the doctor ordered. On this end of the spectrum is where you find the family fishermen and kids, this is probably why I like to hang out on this end the best. Kids and summer fishing is a match made in heaven as far as I’m concerned. It really doesn’t make a difference what the fish is as long as it bites for the most part, just ask kids and they will tell you as long as it pulls it’s good. I wish more folks would subscribe to that theory, we could all learn a little bit from kids.

Now so far my summer has been full of both styles of fishermen and they have both been enjoyable to say the least. I have pre-fished for a couple of high profile redfish tournaments with some really good fishermen who have taught me as much as I could ever hope to teach them. We fished together and compared notes for several days and it was interesting to see them bring different techniques to my home water. I always enjoy hearing about other places these guys fish but it’s also really cool when they talk about how nice your own water is, it makes you step back sometimes and appreciate things you take for granted.

Running around the marshes and waterways with high profile tournament anglers is a good time but nothing compares to watching a group of kids enjoying the sport. One special summer moment that comes to mind was when my select baseball team played a tournament in Lake Charles Louisiana. Several members of our team stayed together at a cabin on Calcasieu Lake and every moment we weren’t playing baseball we were fishing. It didn’t matter how hot or tired these guys were, as soon as we stopped the car at the cabin it was a mad dash for the pier. There are few things cooler than seeing a bunch of kids still in their uniforms catching fish and just having a blast. The whole weekend went perfect as our team won the championship title and came back to the cabin and celebrated by catching a bunch of fish. That was easily one of the coolest things I have ever been a part of, hands down.

Regardless of where you fit in the whole sport of fishing it doesn’t matter as long as you enjoy the sport. Once anglers realize this fact we will all be better off in the long run. I encourage every one of you to get out on the water and share your love for the sport with someone who might never have fished before, you will get as much or more out of the trip as they will I guarantee it. Also if at all possible take time to get some kids involved in the sport, take some of your children and their friends or even family members and show them what the sport is all about. Be sure to bring plenty of patience and keep it simple, success is a key to keep them coming back and becoming future fishermen. Enjoy the summer and whatever style of fishing makes you happy.