Striking balance between fishing and fatherhood

Posted at 2:50 PM, May 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-24 14:50:19-04

It's been quite a while since I checked in here, mainly because it's tough to write a fishing blog when you haven't been fishing in nearly two months.

Yeah, you read that right, it's been nearly two months since I went fishing. In fact the last time was for the regional opening day of trout in Pennsylvania with my brother and a few friends.

The reasons are pretty simple: As a new dad, it's tough to find the time to slip away for a few hours and hit the water. Leaving my wife home alone with the baby while I get out to relax and enjoy something I love seems unfair at best. At worst it leaves me riddled with guilt for shirking my responsibilities as a parent.

The other reason: The weather. It's been downright miserable around here the last three weeks with all the rain we've seen. Sure, I could go out in the rain, but I'd rather not get soaked (go ahead, call me a fair weather fisherman, I don't mind). Plus, it means taking our daughter Jane with me is out of the question. What kind of dad straps his infant daughter into a car seat, then promptly lets her sit out in the rain just so he can chunk a lure into his favorite body of water for a few hours? Answer: Not this dad.

So our first trip together wasn't to the lake or the river. Instead it was up to Bass Pro Shops where she got to stare into the fish tank for a bit and I got to replace the life jacket I lost last summer and pick up a new trucker hat to replace the Orioles hat that had been my workhorse for the last seven or eight years. Trust me, it was time to retire that thing to the Wall of Fame in my workshop.

Speaking of the workshop, in the few hours I've been able to slip away, that's where I go. The funny thing is, I haven't built any for me. More than two dozen jigs and nearly four dozen soft plastic baits have been cooked up over the last eight weeks and none of them have gone into my tackle box. They've all been created for my current neighbor and former neighbor.

And there you have it, what I've been up to the last few weeks and months in terms of fishing... or rather not fishing. Which leads me to this question for all the moms and dads out there who love to hit the water and chase their passion: How do you find the balance between doing what you want to do and doing what you need to do?

* Jeff Herman is the assistant news director at WMAR | ABC2. His main passion while not at work is fishing. This column is part of a series of columns he writes for our outdoors page. You can read more of his columns here.