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Worthwhile advice offered to newlywed fishing couples

Last weekend two prominent fishing couples from the Park Rapids area tied more than an improved clinch knot together. Kenny Barr and Suzie Johnson wed at Deane Point, while area fishing guide Jeremy Anderson exchanged vows with Kayla Hochhalter just a few hours later in Nevis.

These two couples, along with many other fishing focused couples nationwide, optimistically embark on a journey through life; one filled with much more than angling. Yet since the great outdoors encompass such a prominent portion of their lives, I offer a few tips, small, insightful treasures of experience that can assist any outdoor loving couple.

1. Wash

An active school of crappies or the aftermath of a single filleted fish can transfer the sweet smell of success on any angler's hands (pants, shirt, shoes, etc.). Make it a point to thoroughly wash your hands before any public displays of affection. A handful of wet sand aggressively lathered between the hands before leaving the lake can eliminate the majority of odors, since the small sand granules scour the hands clean. Well, almost.

2. The "good" dish towels don't make good boat towels.

Stop at the thrift store or a garage sale to pick up some weathered towels suitable for drying wet seats, wiping fishy hands and sopping up the occasional spilled coffee.

3. Fish entrails go in the freezer until garbage day.

You can try to bury them in the garden, but if you own a dog, they'll not only dig up the fish within the hour, they'll become sick soon afterward. And if you don't' own a dog, a nearby neighbor probably does.

It's almost guaranteed that you'll somehow forget about garbage day until the following week if you simply throw the heads, scales and tails into the garbage receptacle, which isn't a big deal in December, but can create some odiferous issues in July. Double-bag the entrails in plastic and place in the chest freezer. Pray that there are no long-term power outages.

4. Minnows left underneath the pillow for the "fish fairy" will NOT boost your angling success.

You'll just have to trust me on this one.

5. Plan for the worst.

It's important to give your spouse an itinerary when heading out on the water. If you say you're going to be home at a certain time, be prepared to encounter other boaters launching or taking in their boat at the access, the occasional tree in the road, or a tractor slowing traffic on the ride home. For the record, flat tires and vehicle/deer collisions are exempt, so long as you execute a courtesy phone call quickly.

6. Strive for balance.

No, I'm not talking about the desired balance of a spinning reel and its accompanying rod; I'm referring to life's balances. It's wonderful that a couple can focus upon a common goal, like catching fish, together. But it's also important to concentrate on each other too. Set aside time to talk, listen and love while the boat's parked in the garage. The fish will still be there tomorrow.