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OUTDOOR TRUTHS: Fishing for Tasty Catfish

By Gary Miller

I just took another fishing trip with my favorite striper guide and friend, Mike Allen. There were four of us who met at the dock early that morning. It was an overcast and windy day with periods of light rain. Regardless of the not-so-favorable conditions, we started off with three quick catches – one a 19-pounder. This was going to be a good day. We’ll, yes and no.

Despite our early fortune, our upward success immediately turned south. For the next couple of hours, we would sporadically catch a stray but we never landed on a spot that we would call very productive. Mike would locate the stripers but they were just not interested in eating at that particular time. Our only hope was to wait or to change plans. Waiting meant we would, well, wait; wait until they decide to bite. Changing plans meant we would try for another species of fish. Mike knew where some big catfish hid and he thought we might be able to entice them to some fresh bait. He was right.

So, for the rest of our time we caught some nice, big catfish and had a great time doing it. We didn’t get all that we came for but we got plenty that we didn’t. Both fish fit nicely in a freezer. If we had chosen to continue striper fishing, there is a good chance we would have left that morning without ever having the success we had planned for. There is a nearly a 100 percent chance we would have left without having caught any catfish. We simply took what was given us.

I find that principle to be true in many areas of my life. My expectations are one thing; reality, another. My hopes of a certain prize are replaced with another prize I never saw coming. The ones I had hoped to reach, I didn’t, but I reached those I never imagined. Most of the time, these unexpected successes are a result of me conceding to my present conditions instead of stubbornly fighting them. I think it’s God way of putting me where he wants me at that moment.

Are you getting discouraged by the lack of success you are having in your present pursuit? Are you stubbornly hanging on to a plan just because it was your good and original one? Have you discovered another pool of potential but have been unwilling to move because it’s not what or who you came for? You can do two things. You can wait and perhaps success will eventually come, or you can move to an area where success comes easy. Sometimes that move may only be temporary but for that moment it will be the difference between going home empty-handed or going home with an unexpected blessing that may not only be for you, but for others as well.

Gary Miller is the author of three books that are compilations of the articles he has written for nearly 15 years. He also speaks at game dinners and men’s groups for churches and associations. He can be reached via e-mail at

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