There is a large lake on the edge of the town where I live and fishing is very popular. There are many fishing clubs and lots of people hang around the lake partying, people watching, roasting wieners, and fishing. There are all kinds of people and they fish in many different ways. It is a study in human nature just to watch them.

Fishing seems to be primarily a social activity for most. There is little evidence that they actually expect to catch fish. The fishing club is an excuse to be together and socialize. Although a few have lines in the water, I wonder whether they use bait, or even hooks? These social fisherfolk talk a lot, laugh a lot and have a very good time. If their commotion spooks the fish, they don't seem to notice.

Some groups fish diligently but they are clumsy. They splash around in the water with spears and nets. They exhort the fish in loud, scolding tones. Some shoot at the fish. As a result, most of the fish are frightened away from the shallow waters near the bank where the fishing clubs are.

Still others are truly bent on catching fish. They continually refine their fishing techniques. They do their best to get close to the fish without alarming them. They often sit quietly on the bank for days being gentle and kind, letting the fish get used to their presence. Some have purchased sleek, quiet boats to go out among the fish. Many buy sophisticated lures to appeal to the fish. These folk are the best at catching fish, but they aren't catching many.

It's very difficult to catch fish in the lake in our town. There are a great number of people fishing. And while there are lots of fish, they are distracted by a multitude of competing attractions. The fish are wary and not very hungry.

I'm going to share with you a secret now. Out in the country several miles from our town are a whole series of lakes, teeming with hungry fish. Very few people fish there; most of the fish have never seen a fisherman. The lakes are not easy to get to. The terrain is rugged with lots of briars and insects and few trails. It's hazardous. But if you want to catch fish, there are plenty of fish to catch.