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Looking forward to another year on the lake

The new year is as fresh as it can be, full of promise and opportunity for those who look ahead to whatever awaits up around the bend.

New year’s optimism is kind of the way I also see fishing. The slate is clean. Disappointments are in the rearview mirror. Like the angler who sees the next cast as the one that will hit pay dirt, we look to the new year as the one that will deliver new highs.

Let me say up front that I’m not going to complain about 2021. Some days were better than others (in general and on the water), and all of them were worth every breath I invested in them.

But the adventure that I know 2022 will serve up is so tantalizing simply because I believe it will be packed with fun.

The starts of new years often tempt columnists to write lists of predictions or past highlights. I do have a short list to share today, but first I ask you to let me know what you consider your best 2021 fishing experience and perhaps even your hopes for 2022.

Let us know whatever you like. What was your best catch last year? What new water do you plan to explore? Who is your favorite fishing buddy? What new technique did you learn? Email me your thoughts at the address listed at the end of this column. I’ll include them in a future column.

For me, meanwhile, 2021 was a wonderful year on the water. I didn’t keep a log to record the highlights, but off the top of my head I can tell you that I …

¯ Visited old familiar waters and tried a few new tricks.

¯ Bagged a bunch of largemouths from wake-tossed Conneaut Lake on a hot July Sunday.

¯ Caught the largest yellow perch of my life, not on Lake Erie as you might expect, but the Ohio River.

¯ Yanked a two-foot-long walleye from a Mosquito Lake weed line.

¯ Wore out a brand new Chatterbait on a summer day when the largemouths were chomping.

¯ Enjoyed one of the most spectacular smallmouth strikes of my life when a Lake Erie giant erupted under my popper.

¯ Experienced big thrills one morning when the northern pike were more interested in my buzz-toad than the largemouths I was hoping to catch.

Looking back, it is clear to see 2021 was pretty darn cool. I was especially happy to celebrate the publication of my new book, “The Common Angler,” and was honored to hear from numerous readers that they enjoyed their read.

I will be equally pleased to hear from you now about whatever tickles your fishing fancy.

Happy New Year!

Jack Wollitz enjoys emails from readers. Send a note to jackbbaass@gmail.com

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