Life Lessons From A Legend

Craig James | June 30, 2021

Last year, I had the opportunity to spend a couple of days at Clarks Hill Lake with bass fishing legend Hank Parker. As a child I spent many Saturday mornings glued to the television set watching Hank share fishing tips, many of which I still use to this day.

Making the three hour or so ride to the lake to meet him, I eagerly anticipated what I might learn from some time on the water with one of bass fishing’s all-time greats.

Once I arrived at the lodge and we went and had some dinner, Hank and I sat out on the porch so I could ask him some questions for the GON story I was working on.

The legend Hank Parker on Clarks Hill Lake.

I began to work my way down the list of 25 or so topics I had prepared to talk with Hank about. Halfway through the list, I asked Hank how he felt about social media and its effect on the fishing community.

His answer to that question stopped me in my tracks.

“It’s the best.. worst.. thing that has happened to the sport. It’s the best because it has brought exposure to fishing and we’ve really been able to grow it, but the bad side is sometimes the focus of what it is all really about can get lost.”

Hank continued to explain and I laid my pencil down focusing on every word.

Fishing Clarks Hill with Hank Parker

“Social media has a way of making us think that a fishing trip is only successful if you’re able to take a picture with a big 10-pounder or you end the day with a cooler full of crappie for the social media world to see, but always remember this. Every fish you catch should make you want to smile. Every day you’re on the water should make you happy, and the day it doesn’t… quit. Because you’re missing what the sport is all about.”

Riding home from Clarks Hill that next day, Hank’s words echoed in my mind, and I’m not gonna lie… they kind of hit me in the chest. I don’t know how many times I’ve been guilty of getting caught up with focusing on “success” instead of the bigger picture. I think most reading this would agree that the “success” trap is easy to get caught up in, not just with fishing but in life in general.

Just a thought for the day. Hope it helps you as much as it has me.

Become a GON subscriber and enjoy full access to ALL of our content.

New monthly payment option available!


Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.