Dave Sikora, who works in campus physical plant administration, has a passion for fishing — and photo albums to prove it. Mention fishing to him and Dave gets a twinkle in his eye. He fishes about four times a week, year round. Here’s why he loves it:
1. I find solitude. It’s just relaxing. The bottom line is being out by yourself, being out in the wild where there’s no phone and no traffic and nothing to bother you. You get a better outlook on life after going fishing.
2. Fishing was a major part of growing up. I remember going with Dad after work. We’d go out to the river or the lake. We’d pack a lunch and fish right into dark. I’d learn a lot of lessons, and not just about fishing but good father-son things about respect, integrity and being yourself.
3. I enjoy actually catching fish. I’ve fished for just about every species there is in the last 55 years, including trout, bass, perch, pike, bullheads, salmon, walleye.
You’ve got to know what type of species you’re fishing for. Each species has different traits. Trout like nice clear water. When the sun comes out, they like to hide under banks. You’ve got to know what they eat and how they survive and when they feed to increase your success.
In the middle of the day when it’s hot, you may as well stay home and read a book. You’re only going to catch a fish when he opens his mouth, and he opens his mouth to eat. You’ve got to be there when they’re hungry.
4. Everything I catch, I eat. It’s an added bonus when you catch a nice fish and take it home. I enjoy the bounty of fresh fish.
5. I have a scrapbook of all the fish we have caught and places we have gone to fish. It includes a picture of a 41-pound king salmon caught Sept. 19, 1989 on Lake Ontario. That’s one of my favorite successful fishing stories. I went with my uncle, who was sick at the time. And a week or 10 days later, he passed away. Catching that fish together was like a gift from the gods.
6. I’m teaching my grand-daughter, who is 9, how to fish. She really likes it. I take her fishing along Owasco Lake, on the shore, for bluegills and sunfish. When you have a little child with you, they want action. They want to catch fish after fish after fish.
7. There’s no such thing as a bad day fishing — even if you don’t catch a lot.