I fear I’ve been a bit remiss lately about passing along some valuable information regarding fishing. Truth be told, I’ve had rare opportunity to research the topic thoroughly, but, since lack of information has never deterred me before, I’ll pass along some things I’ve learned lately.

Observation 1: An outboard motor propeller is a poor substitute for a stump grinder. Research into this issue set us back some $600 and kept us from causing further havoc on public waterways for the better part of a month; consequently, future experimentation into alternative uses for outboard motor propellers has been put on hold indefinitely.

Observation 2: When launching a recently purchased used boat for the first time, check for holes in the hull, especially if engine reliability is suspect.

Observation 3. It’s a good bet that the deductible on your boat insurance is not low enough to prevent outrageous out-of-pocket expenses. (See observations 1 and 2 above.)

Observation 4. Hatchery raised rainbow trout are not nearly as stupid as you’d like to believe. So far this year, only three have been dumb enough to mistake for something edible the tiny clump of fur and feathers I’ve tossed at them, over and over and over. Thousands more have snubbed their noses at the fake flies, preferring whatever colorless, miniscule, uninteresting insects covered the water. I suspect that hatchery personnel provide hatchling trout with laboratory learning in what not to eat via the Internet prior to release.

Observation 5: I have learned to fling tiny clumps of fur and feathers, with unerring accuracy, some 35 yards across the river and into tree branches on the other side. Last year I could only reach tree limbs within 25 yards. Progress.

Corollary to observation 5: It’s probably a good idea to stick a chainsaw in your tackle box to facilitate retrieval of $4 lures.

Observation 6: Never hold onto the loose end of a four-foot long boat rope tethered to a cleat while jumping to a dock five feet away. Just ask my friend Bubba.

Corollary to observations 6 and 2: People who fish should know how to swim.

Observation 7. It’s always a good idea to keep a set of dry clothes in the truck. (See observations 6 (with corollary) and 2 above.)

Observation 8. Fish finders don’t find fish. They lie through their electronic and digitized teeth. Ted, my good friend and fishing partner who understands better than anyone the depths of my piscatorial ineptitude, and I bought a state of the art, so we thought, depth/fish finder. In hindsight, we probably should not have bought the Nintendo brand. And we should have been suspicious the first time the screen came on and a large fish icon zipped around gobbling up small fish icons while weird music played in the background. Live and learn.

Observation 9: It’s very hard, after a long, fruitless day on the water, to back a boat trailer down a narrow, twisting driveway with steep ditches on either side, in the dark.

Observation 10: Late at night, with thunder booming and lightning flashing on the not-distant-enough horizon, is not the best time to try to figure out where your car jack is located. It’s also not a good time to learn how to use it.

Finally, if anyone is interested in making an offer on a used Ford Explorer, in good shape except for a slightly bent front axle, just let me know.

But for now, the weather seems to have cleared up, temperatures have risen and someone said the fish are biting on Lake Fork. I wonder if Ted will let me borrow his truck.

e-mail: rsmith@primediabusiness.com