A Philosophical Approach To Lure-Fishing

Almost every angler tend to expand their equipment by buying new products from the fishing market all around the world. While some -including me- is able to control this intention, some is unsuccessfully not… Indeed, each and every year, thousands of new fishing materials are released to the market pool. Therefore, it is not fair to say it is easy to handle the way of buying for an angler. From surf-casters to spinners; jigging anglers to live-bait users; the case remains mainly the same. However, as the styles that require lures have options almost tending to infinity, so to speak, and these pieces are not lowly-priced in general, lure-fishing case is a big packet to open up.

So the market based on lures has been gradually growing up, as a trend for the last decade particularly (See: What is like spinning in 1953?). Accordingly, we often see plenty of anglers owning lures just much more than ”needed”. From any brand, any model to any color, even customized ones… But, what about the reason behind this irresistible feeling of keeping buying new lures? Undoubtedly, this is a worth to account question…

I am not going to present any deep down arguments on why we simply fish other than feeding, but rather reason the lure situation…

First to put shall be a universally and absolutely true statement regarding human nature that says human is a self-centered creature like all other individual living, to some certain level. This leads to the fact that most/all (a distinction) behaviors of a human are somehow motivated on how much benefit or satisfaction that one can get from it.

Thomas Hobbes, in Leviathan, maintains that:

For no man giveth but with intention of good to himself; because gift is voluntary; and of all voluntary acts the object is to every man is his own good…

This is one of the strongest claims of psychological egoism, which is a fraction of egoism and with a broader sense Epicureanism. In simple form, it basically asserts:

All ultimate desires of humankind are directly or indirectly egoistic.

The term ”ultimate” stands for defending against the opposing argument of psychological altruism that alleges our actions are extrinsically motivated. For instance, consider a man who saves a kitten from fire… At first glance, there is no real profit of such a behavior for the man; he might have a life threat indeed. But is that really so? Psychological egoism supports here the man is driven by having praise and being respected from others, avoiding social reprimand that would follow he had not helped it or elsewhat related… In a way, the human always seem to try to appreciate their own well being. Knowing that this thesis is heavily an empirical one and somewhat shy of falsifiability criterion as the definitions of some terms like ”self”, ”motivate”, ”satisfaction” are recursive and therefore the theory itself is called closed, I will not digress towards these details; rather claim that I genuinely endorse psychological egoism as my approach herein.

Hereby, setting psychological egoism as the base, I shall relate the lure-fishing issue within a context:

I established the main idea of this article in my mind not so long ago. In fact, the exact moment my mind was lit up was recorded during The Expedition: S1E5.



Around 2:10 timeline in the video, just after the fish is hooked, there I say ”Got it, with Bay Ruf Manic indeed!”. It sounds like an ordinary shout but it can be transcribed through my feelings as ”A dear lure choice of mine has worked! Never even seen that with this special color used in freshwater. Now I have it!”

This is apparently an unconsciously mentioned self-praise. Further, I completely remember the moment I bought the lure, thinking it would fit very well for freshwater, in particular for pike and perch. And then it became the real thing! If I arbitrarily had the lure in some other way, let us say, a random present from someone, I would not enjoy as much as I did, a for-sure thing…

Aside from non-catch-and-release attitude, how much expertise one has built on lure-fishing is a big determiner for the level of joy one has by it. And of course, there are just too many aspects to expert on; equipment, specific techniques for every other species (e.g. jigging branches into vertical, slow and shore types…), reading weather conditions for the target, getting encyclopedic information of species etc.

-I do need to claim here, the reason why non-catch-and-release behavior is excluded is that joy this time heavily derives from eating the hunt as well. But even in this case, the main assertion of the last paragraph is valid to a certain level. –

I suppose the justification for the lure case is quite fair so far. Yet, why not generalize it when possible?

Like lures, there are also many other pieces that we use with the same regularity… Rods, reels, braids, snaps, related accessories… Is not it true for all these as well? Then why is not there such an ongoing talk on ”addiction” for these?

First reason that lures are the top alluring equipment pieces for anglers is the fact that they encounter the species as frontmost and so connect the target directly. Therefore, we nolens volens fall under their spell after seeing a fish with a lure in its mouth.

Another cause (which will strongly support the general idea) is that they are the most customizable unit of a fishing setup. You can not/need not change rods, reels or braids during a fishing session whereas you have to adjust lure choices for certain conditions and targets. And this is exactly where one shoots his expertise on the spot. Consider an incidence: All anglers on the shoreline come up empty casts and you read the blur of the water and see some live preys of your target species and choose a lure from the box accordingly and catch it at the end. What a unique fulfillment and joy by all means!

Taking all into account, fishing is where a great number of people -including me- real-ize themselves in their own fashion and lures are obviously its biggest stage that one can show his/her competence. Here an approach should not be stocking all possible lures with the easiest way to avoid failure, rather be staying minimal as a more sublime challenge for one.

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