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The Good Life: Gone Fishin'

For Tennesseans that love to fish, it doesn't take a lot of convincing to get them out the door and on the water.  This month, the Good Life is "Gone Fishin'" on Chickamauga Lake.

Ask any angler, "Why do YOU love to fish?" and you'll find out pretty quickly that it's not always just about catching fish.  

Those that enjoy the sun, wind and water say there no place they would rather be.  Anxious to find a good spot to set the hook, Candi Burrows hits the gas, smiles big and says, "Doesn't get any better than this!"  

The March weather is still a little chilly but I'm feeling the same way. 

Candi and Dickey Porter have been fishing together for about three years.  They're both are members of the Chattanooga Fishing Forum, and Internet discussion forum especially for area fishermen (and women).  

Candi says, "I'm amazed at the things he's taught me in just a short period of time. We talk about Tennessee football. We talk about anything and everything and  I get to sit and listen to all the fish that got away from him through the years.   He has some great fish tales." 

I catch the big grin on Dickey's face. 

Crazy superstitions go along with the territory in an angler's world. They come in the form of "boat rules". Every fishing fanatic has one.  Candi is quick to offer up hers.  

"My boat rule is you have to kiss the first fish".  

Candi is quick to hook the first one of the day.  Pucker up little fish.  She's NOT kidding.

Candi feels the good life is something that feeds your soul.  Fishing is a sport that fits that description.  Most days Candi works as a cardiac nurse. 

She says, "When I'm working and it's really hard and I've got somebody's life in my hands and it's stressful and there's times I think...tomorrow I'll be on the lake. "If you're out here [on the water] and it's not fun, then you don't have your priorities in life right".

Dickey feels the Chattanooga Fishing Forum is his ministry, of sorts.  It provides a place to share his knowledge and help anyone wanting to know more. Dickey has mentored many anglers, including Candi. 

Excited to have Dickey teaching me a few tricks, I can't wait for my turn to 'shoot the docks'.  It's something I've never done before. My first couple of casts get hung up on the dock post. A few more tries and and finally I hear, "Perfect! Now flip the bail. Flip the bail! Now lets count to 5. Perfect cast right there. I'm go watch your line like a hawk . You can begin reeling it in very slowly, Beth. Hey, set the hook! You got a bite. You got a bite and you missed it." 

Good thing Dickey is a patient man!   

You've got to find the fish before you can catch the fish.  Fortunately, this area of Tennessee is known for incredible diversity.  

Candi says, "I've learned a lot in the 3 years I've been out here really fishing. There's just not one fish that you can get good at catching on Lake Chickamauga. Crappie, bluegill, striped bass, white bass, largemouth and big monster catfish!"  

Really big ones and she's got the pictures to prove it!

At the end of the trip, I didn't get lucky with a big catch but I do believe the saying, "A bad day fishing is better than any day at the office or...doing house chores."

To find out more about The Chattanooga Fishing Forum CLICK HERE.

By: Beth Neuhoff

The Good Life: Gone Fishin'

Monday, March 31 2014, 11:33 AM EDT

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