Have you ever heard someone referred to as a good angler? In your opinion, what does that mean? I’ve never really been a fan of that term because fishing is so subjective and comparisons usually don’t make sense. It’s much easier to say that someone is a bad fisherman, but we’ll get to that in a minute.

So, what criteria should we use? Most people consider someone a good fisherman if they catch big fish, but that’s unfortunately a huge oversimplification. The reason for this is that fishing comes down to probability and luck. That’s it – we just need to increase the probability of catching a big fish. The main factor that helps us do this is time. This is where the crux of the matter lies – we often confuse good fishermen with those who spend a lot of time on the water. You don’t have to be a mathematician to quickly calculate that two fishermen with the same skills but one has 10 times more time on the water will have completely different results. Simply put, the one who spends 10 times more time on the water will catch 10 times more big fish. Fishing results are mainly a function of time spent on the water.

So, how can we compare fishing skills? It’s not possible to do it accurately. Probably the best way is through fishing competitions because everyone is fishing under the same conditions and has the same amount of time. However, this is not a perfect method because those who know the water better, i.e. have had more time to practice, have an advantage, so again, time on the water is important. Additionally, there’s luck involved, but if someone participates in competitions frequently, the average luck and bad luck even out. So, what are the rules in competitions that determine a good fisherman? Is it someone who catches a lot of small fish in a short time, or is it someone who can catch big fish? Maybe both?

Okay, so what about the term “bad fisherman”? This is a simpler matter – I’m sure we all know someone who couldn’t catch a fish in a barrel of chowder 🙂 In this case, it’s not about bad luck.

What’s your take on this? What does it mean to be a good fisherman?