I have had the pleasure of fishing on both land and water. It wasn’t always that way, though. I had never been on anything other than a canoe until I met my husband. Until this time, I had only known what it was like to fish sitting in a lawn chair, or on a rock, at the edge of the water. The first time I was in my husband’s John boat, I was a bit scared. After a while, I got used to it. So much so, that he tells me; he can’t believe I was ever scared of boats. Years after our marriage, we purchased a second boat. This one is much larger and fits our whole family. We joke that we have his and her boats when most people boast about having his and hers closets.
If you couldn’t tell, our family enjoys being on the water. Although we don’t always fish from a boat. Fishing from land or water should still render the same results. Both ways result in a fish fry. But there are significant differences between the two. The first one being the ability to cover more area with a boat. On land, your fishing area is constrained by how far you can throw your pole. If the fish aren’t in this area and ready to play today, well you are bringing home an empty cooler.
If you are lucky enough to land your hands on a nice new shiny fishing boat you are sure to have a million bells and whistles that make fishing a whole lot more convenient. Some of the typical items are the same like pole holders and a place to put the fish after capture. Some of these features have been altered in a way that well, just makes fishing better. For instance, a live well with a pump. Automatically filling the tank with the flip of a switch. That is a convenience in a tiny box. Imagine not having to buy ice, or fill a cooler by hand. We have had to scoop water from the lake with a cup before, and believe me it doesn’t compare to filling it by flipping a button.
Fish finders are an amazing invention. Simply coast along the water, and watch where the fish are. They will tell you where to throw a pole. While they are designed to work from a boat, with a little creativity you can utilize them for shore fishing too. The chairs are more comfortable, shade is easier to maintain, and the breathtaking scenery doesn’t compare to that of the view in a chair sitting shore side.
Casting can be a bit tricky to get used to. Unless the boat you are on was specifically designed for fishing some things like a windshield, or bimini top can become a bit troublesome to avoid. Multiple people clustered together in a small space, can be hazardous if you aren’t careful. I have a scar on my left shoulder from a two-year-old with a treble hook. Casting from the shore, you have basically unlimited space to cast your pole. So much so that you could take a running start if you really wanted to.
Not having access to facilities for a man, isn’t as much of an issue as it is for a female. It can become a problem when the bladder says hello, remember me. It isn’t fun to trying to hold it, rush to bring in the anchors, and get to the closest johnny on the spot. Although, remember those tools and features I was bragging about earlier? Most newer pontoon boats have the option to add a restroom to them. So in all fairness facilities shouldn’t apply here, but not all boats are treated equally, and not everyone can afford those fancy upgrades. So for me, this is a negative.
Space is at a premium when it comes to fishing on a boat. There isn’t always enough room to bring the whole party on board. On land, you can invite just about anyone your heart desires. As long as it is a public place, within appropriate fishing times, and well okay with all those rules. This leads to another plus for fishing from a boat. You set the rules, sort of. I have yet to hear of a lake that was closed after dark if you are on the water. Some fishing areas and public beaches are closed, but usually, the dock is 24 hours.
All of those luxuries do have a limit. They need power to operate them, and the boat needs gas to run. Gasoline doesn’t last forever, and neither does the juice in a 12-volt battery. Things can go wrong or run out when this happens, you are stuck with only one option. Row, and row some more, unless there is another boater nearby that is willing to tow you in. Usually, they are, but if you have been night fishing and didn’t pay attention to how long you were out, there probably won’t be many boaters there to help. When this happens you are stuck rowing the boat, with six people laughing more than they ever have. Only to find out two years later that the boat had a pull start on the motor.
On another fishing trip of ours, we met a guy who had the best acronym for boat that I have ever heard. I don’t know if it is the sure fact of truth that makes me laugh, or what but B-O-A-T stands for Break-Out-Another-Thousand. This is extremely true, boats are expensive.
No matter which way you look at it, boats are great to have but are expensive. Fishing from the land is cheaper, convenient and always available, while fishing from a boat may not always be possible. It all boils down to preference.