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The Life of a Fisherman’s Girlfriend

If you know me at all, I'm not much of a fish person.  I squirm at the thought of touching a worm and really only would like to see a fish seasoned and grilled with a nice lemon wedge to garnish.

This other side of fishing, I will admit, threw me for a loop.  The first time I went fishing with Ryan and wrestled in a 25-pound fish, I'm pretty sure that was my "in" in this relationship.

Not to mention when I posted the picture of me holding the fish, most of my friends (and parents) were convinced this was some sort of photoshop prank.  I remember refusing to touch the bait and of course my only job was to sit and look pretty until it was time to reel something in.  Regardless, it was fun and a great way to spend some extra time with Ryan.

I had known Ryan was in to fishing when I first met him, but it was a shock to the system as I learned the ins and outs of dating someone who loves to fish.

Here's what I've learned so far..

1. You get to take nice pictures.

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If you spend a lot of time with a fisherman, chances are you'll get to see some beautiful sunsets (or sunrises if you're a morning person), maybe a whale or some animal out there, a colorful fish or some nice sea glass or shells you find wandering the beach.

The picture above was taken one evening at the lake near our house when we just wanted to get out for a bit.  The evening turned out to be absolutely gorgeous and thankfully I had my camera.

Tip:  Invest in a camera.  While he's fishing you can occupy your time by snapping photos.  It's way better than just sitting there waiting for a fish.

2.  Getting hung up on.

The first time I talked to Ryan on the phone, I was mid-sentence before I realized there was no one on the other end of the line.  I was horrified!

Typical thoughts ran through my head...I was convinced I bored him to tears and he finally just hung up.  But not to worry, it's only because there was a fish on and he needed to get that darn fish set on the hook immediately if not sooner.  Lesson learned.

3.  The Bait Situation

fresh sand eels for bait on cape cod

What is worse than opening your fridge in the morning to find hundreds of little eyes staring back at you?  Nothing.

I find bait in my fridge more times than I would ever prefer and I must remind myself to not be horrified when one crawls out of the box and into the actual fridge.  More times than I'd like to count, I have transported buckets of eels and boxes of worms in my nice car too.

Once Ryan found an old shriveled up eel that died a terrible death under the front seat of his car.  It was probably there for a few months before he found it...which is horrifying.  Lesson learned?  I check the seats and my fridge frequently for strays.

4.  There's Always an Opportunity to Fish

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A pretty little sunfish caught out of a little pond near our house - always an opportunity to fish!

No matter if you're hiking up a mountain far away from the sea or not, that fishing pole is going with us. There is always a very small chance that we will stumble upon some small pond or stream that might possibly have fish in it...and we are going to find out.

Want to go on a romantic kayaking adventure with a fisherman? You'll have to share his attention with the fishing pole too.

5.  Fishing Season

I understand now that planning any big event between the months of April through early November is pretty much off-limits.

That is fishing season and whether it's for stripers, tuna or nothing at all, it's fishing season.

6.  That Fish Smell

4am is not an acceptable hour to be awake for most anything - unless you're going fishing.

For those of you who are new to this:  you will probably wake up some mornings to find yourself alone.  Just shrug it off and go back to sleep, because when he returns, he will wake you up with the sweet smell of fish guts (and probably an iced coffee).

7.  Photography

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The first time Ryan took me fishing - I think I was good luck that day!

Another thing I have learned? Fisherman have photos of themselves holding fish all over the house. Ryan even has a picture of just a striped bass - not even a person in the picture with him - framed, next to his bed. I was baffled.

I have figured out that by dating a fisherman, your relationship will go like this:

When a picture of you holding a fish makes it into a frame and placed somewhere visually appealing, you're in.

When a picture of you not holding a fish at all makes it into a frame and placed somewhere visually appealing...START PLANNING YOUR JANUARY WEDDING. (Side note, we are not getting married in January).

8.  When the Conversation Quickly Turns to Fishing

When out with other fishing couples, I have learned to get all the words I want in within the first 10 minutes, because after that, all hell breaks loose on the fish-talk front.

I have learned how to discuss the tides, the size of the fish, location of fish, bait used, where the wind is blowing in from, the drama that happened at the docks that morning...I could go on forever.  I just smile and nod and pretend to know what they're talking about.

9.  Appearance

In winter, his hands will be soft and smooth and well-hydrated.  By July, those babies will be battered and beaten to an inch of their life.

When you stick your hand down enough fish throats in a season, I would imagine your hands need to start toughening up...such is life as a fisherman.

10.  The Weather Channel

I have become the weather lady.

I now know the difference between a north-east versus a southwest wind and I could explain to you which one is better than the other.  When checking the weather for my own personal knowledge, I am immediately hounded with what the wind is like in some far off place.

11.  Shopping & Presents

These guys are so easy to shop for!

Rods, reels, goretex...even a bunch of fishing line will make them swoon!  Also going to Bass Pro Shops is quite fun - aquarium and shopping all at once?  I'll take it.

12.  He Will Feed You

During the height of the season, we consume a lot of fish, and that's never a bad thing.

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The fresh caramelized bluefish we had last week was terrific!

Plus with prices so ridiculous per pound at the grocery store, you'd be thrilled too if your fisherman is bringing you high quality, freshly caught fish...for free!

lauren and i dinner backyard

13.  Popping a Hook, Getting Tangled...Basically Ruining Something

If you're new to the fishing thing and he takes you out, hope that he is a patient man.

I have done it all.  Just don't get embarrassed if you're like me and you try to cast a line as far as you can only for the bait to land 5 feet in front of you with a ton of loose line dangling in the wind.

14.  You can hang signs on your door like this one:

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Best gift ever!

So all in all, not so bad, I just wish someone warned me first 😉

Through the eyes of a fishermans’ wife, I’m excited to share my cooking and photography with you here on MFCC. I also teach busy mothers how to plan, prep and cook delicious & healthy meals for their families.  You can learn more by visiting my website Creatively Delish.

  1. Lauren, Do you have any sisters?? That was a great blog.

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  2. My new wife (see pic) loves: the beach, sun, swimming, knitting and reading on the beach. While she does this I fish.
    I match made in heaven. She is my dream come true. DCT!
    I just need to learn to fillet the fish for her.
    Other times she shops and we just meet up.
    Thank you Jesus.

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    1. That sounds great! It’s good when we (the girlfriend or wife) can find things to do while you guys are fishing!

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  3. Very nice article! This January (2016), my wife and I will have been married 22 years – best catch we ever made! January weddings are great! Highly recommend them! Looking forward to more posts!

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    1. Congratulations on your upcoming anniversary! And yes I think a wedding in January sounds beautiful with all the snow etc!

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  4. Bass Pro is my new favorite store! Spot on with this blog. Same things could be said said for huntin’ season…

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    1. Haha I know it’s a great store! Thanks for reading – I don’t know much about hunting season but I would assume it’s very similar!

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  5. Perfect! I married my fisherman last December. He is a charter boat captain in MD whose striper season is April until the beginning of December some years…and you hit it spot on! I always loved fishing, crabbing, and really just being out on the water so I thought it was awesome he did it for a living…until April…we are called fishing widows down here the first few months..doubles during trophy season so he’s literally gone from 4am until 8 or 9pm everyday! And god forbid you have a wedding to attend around that time!! Thank goodness he fishes out of a marina with a fun tiki bar so I can pass the time until he gets in on weekends 🙂 Wouldn’t trade it though!

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    1. Oh I know, reminding him of some event we have to go to during the season is something I tread lightly with lol! Thanks for reading!

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  6. I love this. It is totally my boyfriend. But I have to disagree with #5 because here in Nebraksa when open water season ends, ice fishing begins. We had a wedding to attend in March and it happened to be on the last “good ice” weekend. I am still thanking him for going to the wedding with me. But I wouldn’t change my life with my fisherman for anything.

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    1. Ryan has talked about trying ice fishing – instead we are headed to a much more tropical place this winter for some fishing (thank goodness)!

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      1. Lauren, I’ve been addicted to this sit for so many years and have loved your inside story. I’ve always been the woman put down by people thinking I don’t know what I’m doing even though I’ve been fishing and boating since 3. Now 42. Thank you for your strong words and support

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        1. So glad you enjoy my stories! 🙂

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  7. Ha! This took me back to before I said “I do” and was seeing everything through rose coloured glasses. Fast forward 8 years to when you are trying to remember why it was you said “I do” to being alone all the time. “I do” to being the one having to clean, run errands, cut the grass, run the kids around, cook while he gets to enjoy his free time on the weekends.
    “I do” to never being able to take a family vacation together that doesn’t affect the fishing schedule.
    “I do” hope that you are able to find balance because it isn’t easy.

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    1. Well thankfully I’ve found the most patient and understanding person ever and I too have a crazy life with the horses, so we balance well 🙂

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  8. What a great story. Im gonna share it with everyone I know.

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    1. Haha thanks Kim!

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  9. Lauren, that was a great read that really made me laugh. Ryan is a lucky guy to have such an understanding person for his condition. All the best.

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    1. Thanks Danya!

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  10. Awesome article! We fish together now , since we met we have been enjoying this ! I love to fish always have even before we met 12 years ago! I wouldn’t have it any other way myself?

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    1. That’s so great, it’s wonderful to share your passions with someone else 🙂

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  11. I loved your post! All of the points mentioned applied to me, and I’ve been married for more than twenty years 🙂

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    1. Wow 20 years! That’s great! I’m so happy that others understand me lol

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  12. Ha! Absolutely! My I’ve been with my fisherman for just about 5 years now and he runs a charter boat in NJ for a living. My comeback to when I get told “you wanted to fall in love with a fisherman!” after I complain a little about no time together is “I wanted to fall in love with someone who liked to fish, NOT a fisherman, there IS a difference!” LOL Nobody warned me either, but it probably wouldn’t have mattered. Love is Love… fish gut smell and everything! >{

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    1. So true!

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  13. This was an excellent article. I was cracking up the whole time! So very true. When you get married, nothing changes. You still have to go get bait. Wash the boat while he filets the fish. Make him PB&J the night before so he can leave at 4am. Luckily I was able to get married in July! 🙂

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    1. Haha yes I too was instructed on how to wash the boat properly and learn what foods to stock his cooler with!

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  14. This was hands down the funniest blog I’ve read in some time. Spot on all the way through! I have been with my fisherman for 15 years, our very first date he said and I quote, “I fish. I fish a lot. Like everyday a lot.” We lived in PA at the time and I thought, “Okay, I like to fish, that’s awesome.” Then I realized he wasn’t kidding! He would fish locally AND drive 2 hours to the beach when he could. We now live in NJ where he runs his full time charter business taking others fishing. Fishing is literally our life. I wouldn’t have it any other way! 🙂

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    1. I’m so happy you enjoyed the article! I loved every minute of writing it and thank goodness others agree with me! I wouldn’t have it any other way either! 🙂

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  15. Love this article. I’ve been with my fisherman 7 years. I’ve taken many “fish” pictures, baited many hooks and have even caught a few nice ones myself. Wouldn’t trade any of it. They truly are a different breed. ;). ❤

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    1. I ride horses for a living so I always thought my world was crazy but I never imagined what the fishing world was like before I met Ryan! I’m definitely still learning 🙂

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  16. Your article is very sweet, funny, and totally on the mark. I can relate from the other perspective as a person who likes to fish and it feels like a lot of time is spent fishing, analyzing, and talking about fishing. Your patience is remarkable!

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    1. Thanks Jane! He has quite a lot of patience too for the fact that he tries to teach me all this stuff!

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  17. This just made me laugh out loud at work…

    “Ryan even has a picture of just a striped bass – not even a person in the picture with him – framed, next to his bed. I was baffled.”

    I may or may not have something similar to this in my apartment.

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    1. I’m not surprised if you do! haha yes the first time I saw the picture I did a double take.

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    2. Good to hear I am not the only crazy one!

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  18. Great post . i have had some lost relationships over my fishing and some that never begun as well lol . I will defiantly use your writing to break in the next one and give her the warning lol

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    1. Thanks! I hope this helps with the next one!

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      1. Relationship advice on MFCC, I love the potential here!

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        1. i see a side project in the future lol

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  19. I forwarded this along to my girlfriend. She says “absolutely spot on”. Great read.

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    1. Thanks William! I laughed the whole way through writing this and I’m sure I could add more to it!

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      1. No I think 14 points are enough Lauren! 🙂

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  20. Ryan. Clearly you’re not quite the fisherman I thought you were. When you have a keeper on the line you should know it. You need to hook this one and taker her home. Time to tighten up the drag. January sounds fine to me. I’ll clear my schedule.

    On a side note. It was surprisingly hard to write this comment with fishing references with out accidentally making one that sounded inappropriate.

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    1. I’m very impressed by your fishing references and yes keep January open 😉

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      1. No catch and release in this particular situation Alain! Lauren may be coming out on the boat later this weekend – I will make sure to ice her down well.

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