It’s not all about fish

About the author

Michael Iaconelli

Michael Iaconelli

Michael Iaconelli is the only angler to have won the Bassmaster Classic, Bassmaster Angler of the Year and B.A.S.S. Nation Championship.

This post isn’t about fish or fishing. It’s about a week off, seven or eight days of doing nothing in particular except letting my mind and body recuperate after months of fishing and travel. Most of what I have to say comes from personal experience but I suspect it applies to nearly everyone.

We’re — Becky, the kids, relatives, friends — going to the beach to play with the sand as it works its way through our toes. The idea is to do nothing useful except spend time with family and friends. As amazing as it may sound, we’re only going to fish one day for flounder with the kids.

To give you an idea of how extraordinary that is, consider that I ordered special rods and reels so I (we) could fish on our honeymoon. I’m an addict but not this week. This is a week of total relaxation with no thought about my career or where it’s taking us. My thoughts will center on how to get the burgers right on the grill so they’re safe and tasty, not how to make anything bite.

Weeks like this are more important than a lot of people think. Regardless of how much you love your job, or what you do for a living, you can’t live it 24 hours a day. You need to refresh and recharge from time to time. If you don’t, you’ll become stale. That kind of attitude will eventually show.

I love my job but I need time away from it.

Do any of you out there feel the same way? I’m thinking (hoping) that this feeling is universal. I’d hate to think I’m the only person who suffers from burnout from time to time. I’m thinking if you are a lifeguard on the beach all the time you might want to go bass fishing on your vacation. But if you bass fish for a living you probably want to go to the beach.

Besides, what would it matter if you had a great career but missed watching your kids grow up? My answer to that question is not much. I hope yours is the same.

So there’ll be no bass, no sponsors, no tournaments and no weigh-ins for a few days. It’s not that they aren’t important. They are. It’s that I can’t do them justice if all I do with my life is work for them. They get more from me — more of what really matters, anyway — when I’m fresh and have had a chance to think about other things.  

And then, when my mind and body are clear, I’ll start to worry about the Open on Lake Erie. That’ll come soon enough. When it does it’ll get the same level of attention that my week off is getting now. Until then, however, it’s sand and surf with my family and friends.

That’s enough for now. I don’t want the burgers to burn.

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