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Feeling Lucky? 

By Joey Havens

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Eagle Lake in Vicksburg, MS, is one of my favorite crappie lakes. Beautiful oxbow lake right off of the Mississippi River. This past week, the crappie have been feeding on shad and I have had three days of excellent catches. Today, I’m headed out a little cold at 48 degrees, but this should be a good day. I have my lucky light blue Ole Miss hat on. I’ve had this one for almost three years now, so it is pretty dingy as I rarely fish without it. I think you need every advantage when it comes to catching fish.

Pulling my favorite lucky hat down tight on my head, I hit the throttle, and away we go to the south section of the lake where I’ve had the most good fortune. As the boat slices through the morning fog on the lake, the sun begins to peek out from behind the clouds, casting a dazzling array of colors across the sky. SWOOSH! There goes my luck. Swiftly turning the boat around, I grab my net and begin searching for my lucky hat before it sinks. This hat has been rescued twice before. Panicking, it’s nowhere in sight. Crap. Now I’m faced with a day with no hat, fighting the sun but most of all, I lost my good luck.

I admit that my attitude went negative — this is going to be a long day. I probably won’t catch 10 fish. Maybe I should just go back to camp rather than fishing without my lucky hat today.

Fighting off those negative thoughts, I make it to the south end of the lake. And in the words of Paul Harvey, the rest of the story is… I caught the limit today and left the lake early!

So what did I learn?

When we incur a roadblock, an obstacle or even fall out of bed starting the day, putting negative thoughts aside and pushing forward always brings better results. I had become hooked on having my lucky hat with me. But I caught my limit without it, and this time even quicker. Maybe it was luck, maybe it was skill, or maybe it was simply embracing change and forging forward — regardless of the hat on my head.

In the grand fishing story of life, perhaps our so-called ‘lucky charms’ are just life jackets we cling to, when in reality, we are all capable swimmers, just waiting for the right moment to dive in and swim on our own. So, here’s to swimming, to changing, and to new hats bringing even bigger fish to fry. As for my old hat? Rest easy, old friend, your lucky legacy continues.

What “lucky charm” might be holding us back today?

CeCe, I lost my favorite lucky hat fishing today!

Well good, that hat was nasty! I wanted to throw it away. Use that new blue one I got you for the Peach Bowl!

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