I was thinking the other day that no one ever talks about fog delays. We have them all the time but the only thing you hear is that there was one. I’m here to tell you there’s more to them than you might think.
If you’re going to understand what they’re really all about, you have to understand our culture. We all know each other, and the families know each other, and for the most part we all get along, but the actual time we spend talking and socializing is short.
True, there are a few anglers and families that are really tight. But that’s the exception. Mostly we know who the other guys are, we exchange pleasantries and then we go fishing. The fishing part is, by definition, a solo activity.
The fog delays change all of that. We can sit around on the boats or on the dock and talk for however long the delay lasts. Some of the best stories I’ve ever heard have been told during fog delays. I’m a talker so I love that part of them.
Another thing that sometimes happens is that we get to eat breakfast. This last time on Dardanelle, one of the guys from a service crew went to McDonalds and brought back egg and sausage sandwiches. I don’t suppose I need to tell you how popular he was that morning. (In case you’re wondering, we can’t go anywhere. You never know how long the delay will last.)
The other side of fog delays isn’t so pretty, however. They really affect the fishing. It isn’t so much that we lose the early time. Rather, it’s what causes fog delays and what happens after them.
Heavy fog develops when the air is colder than the water. Fog is water vapor suspended in the air. Cold air is normally associated with a cold front. That means a light blue, cloudless sky and a bright, burning sun.
When the fog burns off, it doesn’t do it slowly or over a period of time, not usually anyway. It happens in 10 or 15 minutes. So when you launch, you do it under tough conditions, conditions that have set in immediately. That doesn’t have much of an effect on the fishing but it sure hurts the catching.
And there’s no time added to our day because of a late launch. That means less time to fish. That’s never a good thing. You know, we all think things would have been different if we’d only had a little more time.
Before I go, I want to say something else. Don’t ever take a chance and leave the dock when there’s heavy fog. It doesn’t matter how bad you want to fish or how big the fish are. Fog is dangerous. No matter how well you think you know the lake or river you’ll quickly find out that you know nothing when a thick, white cloud settles over you.
Fog delays are part good and part bad. Regardless, they’re a part of what Mother Nature has given us. We have no right to complain about that.