The Fish Whisperer

Has this ever happened to any of you? You do a little something – an everyday something to you – involving a friend (or not-friend) and it ends up being something much, much more? Well it happened to me this past summer and I just feel the need to share it…while acknowledging just how big a deal this average day became to me.


Bill man-handled this beautiful Walleye on board that first day we went fishing! Not bad for his 1st ever Wally!

William Lobb (Bill to his friends), is the author of one hell of a book, The Third Step. It is a recommended read for anyone that has struggled with addiction.

The Third Step Cover


Well, Bill is a friend that I met a few months earlier during one author event or another. After learning that he hasn’t taken a vacation since 2009, or some god-awful amount of time like that, I asked him to join me for a day of fishing. I chuckle to myself as I remember back to just how difficult that first fishing trip was to schedule. He’s very busy with family events and work so it was easy for him to be too busy for a day on the lake.

That was the case until the first fishing trip happened. I broke him in easy by picking him up at 6:00 AM. I usually like getting to the boat landing around 5:00 AM this time of year. I really think if I had started him off with a 4 AM pick up he would have suddenly had an urgent business matter to attend to that day…so, alas, I decide to relax my strictly, self-imposed rule of an early departure.

We had a good time, but I’m not writing this post to tell you about it; I’m writing this post to share a very special gift I received from Bill. It ended up being a much more important day to him than I could fathom. I do this all the time, so while I still love to open the throttle up on my bass boat heading for the first of several fishing holes I like to try early in the morning, I forgot just how therapeutic a good day on the lake can be. Bill wrote an article for his blog, titled The Fish Whisperer. It was an account from him of what he thought of our day on the lake and I have included it for you guys to read, and hopefully enjoy as much as I did:


The Fish Whisperer

Saturday I did something completely out of character… I went fishing. I don’t fish. I’d not gone fishing since I stopped drinking and taking any chemical I found laying around (many years ago).

I’m way to busy for fishing and such things. I spend most of my life wondering where all my time goes. You find out on a boat, on a lake, completely disconnected.

My friend and fellow author, Mike Hoard, took me. The dude can fish. I swear to God he’s the fish whisperer. I mean it was spooky. On a nine mile long lake he knows where the fish are. He knows. I never have ever seen anything like it. He doesn’t know the general area, he knows on what side of the log and how deep. Seriously spooky stuff.

The fish must be terrified when they hear Mike Hoard’s pickup driving up to the lake…

I spent a few hours with my phone in his truck glovebox. That was the closest to withdrawal I’ve felt in almost twenty-four years.

It was nice, it was freeing, once I stopped sweating. Other than pondering how the hell Mike could possibly know the location of every fricken fish on a thousand acre lake…

“Bill, we are going to find some crappies here…let’s fish for some Walleye here… some rock bass over there.”

I pondered what life was like before I was married to this device in my hand right now.

I remembered acid and amphetamine laced trips into the backwoods upstate where I’d disappear for a week or more with no outside contact, just a verbal agreement for someone to pick me up at an appointed place, at an appointed time.

Somewhere between those days and now is a better place to live. Thanks Mike, it was an eye opening Saturday. And damn, Sam, them Louisiana boys can fish!


Pretty freaking cool, huh? I guess I wanted to post this because I wanted to remind you all, and myself, that it’s the little, everyday things in your life that can often times brighten another persons day to the point that they will never forget it.

The second time Bill and I went fishing I picked him up at 5:00 AM without hearing any complaints. Even though this day wasn’t as successful as the first he agreed to allow me to pick him up at 4:30 AM on our third fishing trip. But that was not to happen. Personal issues have caused this trip to be postponed, but by-golly, it will happen again soon!

Thanks for the new title you have given me Bill! It really is cool. You would be surprised at how often people call me the Fish Whisperer now!