Done with fishing, time to take up golf

December 22, 2012

OK. That’s it. I’ve had it. No more fishing for me; I am taking up shooting golfs.

Last Friday, I was up at 3 a.m., on the road by 4 a.m., and in the water at Cape Charles, Va., by 7:30 a.m. Three of us fished until 3:30 p.m. before heading home without so much as a bite. Others in the same area caught rockfish, but not us. We had the same success a week or two ago when we trolled all over the mouth of the Delaware Bay without result. Add to this the embarrassment of only catching one keeper flounder all year and the frustration of having the season for the only fish I had any success with, sea bass, closed indefinitely, and I have decided fishing is just not my sport. Since my deer-hunting success has been just as bad as my fishing, I might as well give that up too.

I have never shot golfs before, but I know several people who do and they don’t seem all that bright, so I should fit right in. They do wear some funny-looking clothes, but then again I am not exactly a fashion icon when I head out the door to go fishing or hunting.

As I understand it, there are no limits or seasons on golfs. You can shoot all you want without the National Marine Fishery Service, Atlantic States Fishery Management Commission, U.S. Fish and Wildlife or the Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife stepping in to limit the take or shorten the season. No license is required, as anyone can shoot golfs whenever they wish.

One thing I will have to get used to is the scoring. I understand the fewer golfs you shoot the better your score. I got used to catch-and-release flounder fishing, so I suppose I can get used to this as well.

Since you don’t need a gun or fishing rod to shoot golfs, I can unload a lot of stuff. I guess I will need to buy some clubs. That should add a bit more fun to the day as you evidently beat the golfs to death with a club rather than using a hook or a bullet.

Another positive thing about shooting golfs is you don’t have to consider the tides, currents, sea conditions or wind direction before selecting where to go and what to target. No more cancelled trips due to small-craft warnings or faulty forecasts by the National Marine Weather Service.

Another welcome change will be not having to get up at zero dark 30, drive for hours then stumble around trying to get a boat in the water or find a deer stand. Golf shooting is done at a reasonable time of the day and ends before the sun sets. You can even reserve the time when you want to shoot. Try that with striped bass or deer.

Since I no longer shoot or catch animals I can join PETA and The Humane Association of the United States. Perhaps I can get in on one of their demonstrations where pretty young ladies wearing only a lettuce leaf or nothing at all parade around and pose for photos. What the heck, I have a camera and I am getting a bit tired of taking pictures of ugly men with dead fish or deer. Young ladies in produce would be a refreshing change.

I do understand that the best golf shooting is done on private lands. These facilities charge a membership fee and have dues to maintain the property, but how much more expensive can they be when compared to owning a boat or joining a hunt club?

I hear there are golf pros that can give instructions on the best techniques for shooting golfs. That is like hiring a guide or charter captain to help you find fish or game. There is even a golf channel on cable TV. I will have to start watching that and drop my outdoor channels. I bet the golf channel is not nearly as boring as watching some guy catch a bonefish from a Florida flat that looks just like every other bonefish on every other Florida flat or shoot a deer from a stand built on private land in Texas where they bait the animals within range of a pellet gun.

No more disappointment when I lose a big fish at the boat or miss a huge buck at 30 yards. If I miss the stupid golf it will still be there in the same place just waiting for me to hit it again.

Just told my wife about my conversion to golf shooting, and as wives are wont to do she found a flaw in my thinking. She pointed out that if I give up fishing and hunting, I will no longer be able to write articles about hunting and fishing. Since this fine publication already has a golf writer, I would lose my job and thereby lose my income.

Oh well. Looks like it’s back to the same old grind.

Happy Holidays!

  • Eric Burnley is a Delaware native who has fished and hunted the state from an early age.  Since 1978 he has written countless articles about hunting and fishing in Delaware and elsewhere along the Atlantic Coast.  He has been the regional editor for Salt Water Sportsman, Field and Stream, Outdoor Life and the Fisherman Magazine.  He was the founding editor of the Mid-Atlantic Fisherman magazine.  Eric is the author of three books; Surf Fishing the Atlantic Coast, The Ultimate Guide to Striped Bass Fishing and Fishing Saltwater Baits.  He and his wife Barbara live near Milton, Delaware. Eric can be reached at