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Bob Dixon

Agency Manager


Middlesboro, KY 40965


Go Big Blue!

OUTDOOR TRUTHS: A Fishing Trip On The River

By Gary Miller

Mike is a striper chaser. He’s one of those guys who know where the stripers are at any given time of the year. As a result of his persistence he is also a reliable guide for those who want to have a great day on the water. My son and I had the opportunity last week to fish with him. He was gracious enough to do just about everything for us except set the hook and reel the fish in.

Our goal, that day, was to try to land a few stripers or hybrids and then see if we could wake up a few walleye on up in the river. It all went just about as planned except for the walleye. I think the hot weather may have turned them off for a few hours but by noon that day we were heading home with a cooler full of fish.

This was not my first time fishing with a striper chaser. They are a unique club that are more inclusive that most others. Instead of hiding our success, Mike was radioing the other chasers to let them know where we were catching fish. You can imagine how things like that can increase the odds of success for everyone.

But that is not the only characteristic that make these guys good at what they do. They basically live with these fish. There are days they go on the water just to see where the stripers have moved. The time of the year will also determine which bait works better. And speaking of bait, most of the time, they catch their own bait each morning before the fishing actually starts. They are the lake version of the fly-fisherman. My takeaway from this active observation is this – catching fish is actually the least important part of success. It is only the culmination of a series of carefully planned actions and collaborations. Time spent actually catching fish is minimal compared to the time spent finding them and knowing how to catch them. And I am absolutely positive this applies to other successes as well.

It seems that we live our lives in a hurry. I know I do. As a result, sometimes I am forced to make decisions on the run or without much information, or I make decisions based upon what is convenient and typical. As a result successes are unsure at best.

There is no doubt the most successful people make things look easy, but what is always unseen are the hours of preparation leading up to making it look like anyone can do it. My fishing trip was easy because Mike had done the work. And great accomplishments happen the same way. Email me and if you would like to fish with Mike.

Gary Miller can be reached via e-mail at

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