The Skunk - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-22-2018, 08:53 AM Thread Starter
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The Skunk

My fishing started extremely slowly today and although I wasnít worried about getting skunked, I thought about how it happens, the last time it happened to me, and how others view it.

I remember at the beginning of one year, I told my father that it was my goal to get all the way through the year, without getting skunked. ďThatís not a realistic goalĒ, he said with disdain.
I have not had a zero-trout day since August 2003, a stretch of 14 Ĺ years. On the day it last occurred, I only fished for 45 minutes at the end of a day where I had driven around looking for a stream that wasnít high and muddy after heavy rain. I should have just gone home, but I happened on a tiny limestoner and decided to try it in the limited daylight I had left. I had two trout hit and get off before I ran out of daylight.

Like my father, many anglers just assume they will be skunked from time to time and think nothing of it. Sometimes it happens in a situation like I described above. Some anglers prospect for big trout and use 5 inch Rapalas or 4 inch streamers, knowing they will get big trout or none. Some fishers use dry flies only and, on some days, when the trout just arenít rising, a zero-trout day can be the result. Similarly, Iíve seen some anglers who fish only one spot and stay there, whether the fish are biting or not. Since I use spinners and plugs, and most hits occur on the first or second cast, I need to keep moving and cover a lot of water. That increases my chances of catching trout. Bait and fly fishers can afford to stay in one spot much more than lure anglers. If the trout arenít hitting on my first stream, I will leave and go to another stream. Not everyone does that or has the option to do that if they can only fish for a short time.

What is your view? Do you accept that the occasional skunking is inevitable, or do you despise the very thought of it?
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-22-2018, 10:00 AM
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I only fly fish, so when I first started(about 4 yrs. ago) there was many times where I'd fish for 5 or or 6 hours and only catch a fish or two. I hated it.. once I started to figure things out that changed.. now most of the time I can at least manage about 5 or more and outing
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-22-2018, 10:07 AM
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It happens and i accept it just revelling being out there enjoying the beauty of God's creation. :-)
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-22-2018, 10:19 AM
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Setting a goal of a "no skunk" season would put way too much pressure on me. I concentrate on enjoying the experience, the fish are just an added bonus.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-22-2018, 10:50 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by simoncool View Post
Setting a goal of a "no skunk" season would put way too much pressure on me. I concentrate on enjoying the experience, the fish are just an added bonus.
I set that goal a long time ago, but itís a yearly one. My fishing goals are flexible for the most part. At the start of each fishing year, I think about what new streams Iíd like to fish as well as some fish catching goals. Every year I hope to catch a 30Ē trout but I have yet to do it and likely never will. I travel a fair distance on almost all of my fishing trips and catching trout is an integral part of the experience for me. I understand that not everyone looks at it the same way I do.

Last edited by Trout Traveler; 02-22-2018 at 04:31 PM.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-22-2018, 01:03 PM
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A 'Skunk' is really relative to a situation. I couldn't tell you the last time I really had a skunk but I definitely have several days a year and that head to the stream only to find it high and muddy, make a few casts over 5 minutes just to confirm my suspicions that the action is gonna skink, and then just saw screw it and head home. That's not a skunk to me though. For a skunk it would have to be an honest effort where I am determined to catch a fish and simply can't no matter how long it takes.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-22-2018, 04:23 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Trout 2003 View Post
A 'Skunk' is really relative to a situation. I couldn't tell you the last time I really had a skunk but I definitely have several days a year and that head to the stream only to find it high and muddy, make a few casts over 5 minutes just to confirm my suspicions that the action is gonna skink, and then just saw screw it and head home. That's not a skunk to me though. For a skunk it would have to be an honest effort where I am determined to catch a fish and simply can't no matter how long it takes.
Iím sure itís been a very long time since you fished for trout for more than an hour or two without catching a trout. Iím guessing that itís rare for you to have a troutless hour at any point of the day.

I donít think that Iíve ever fished for a few minutes and then quit for the day. Iíve had a few days where I tried a stream for a few minutes and then went to another stream.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-22-2018, 07:53 PM
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Anymore, I fish on my days off and that's it. Sometimes conditions are just not good and it is what it is. I probably average getting skunked one day every second or third year. Who cares? Even if I catch no fish, every day outdoors has something to offer and beats the heck out of being at work.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-23-2018, 01:10 PM Thread Starter
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Even if I catch no fish, every day outdoors has something to offer and beats the heck out of being at work.
I definitely agree with that.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-23-2018, 04:30 PM
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When I first saw the thread title I thought it was a about the rooster tail spinner known as "The Skunk".
Actually a fisherman who tries to catch a stocked trout the day they are stocked can get skunked from time to time. I've had it happen occasionally, especially on a warm day in May when the fish come out of the cool water in the fish truck and are put into much warmer water in the stream. It's a shock to their system and they just won't bite.
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