CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- When I grow up, I want to be Patric McDaniel. He gets to fish.
McDaniel, 67, recently landed the 200,000th fish of his life, a black crappie caught from a lake near his Orlando, Fla., home.
Don't pass that number off as a wild estimate. According to an article in the Orlando Sentinel, McDaniel has recorded every catch he's made for the past 54 years.
Size doesn't matter to the retired lab technician. He keeps meticulous records on every fish he catches, from tiny bluegills to deep-bellied bass.
Not only does he log each fish's species and size, he also notes the location, the amount of time he fished, the water temperature and the day's weather. He stores all that information in a computer database.
According to McDaniel's log, he has spent at least 558,640 minutes fishing. To equal that mark, someone would have to fish 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for a full year plus 18 days.
Reading McDaniel's story got me thinking back on some of my own experiences.
Before family obligations began to encroach on my fishing time, I sometimes spent as many as 20 to 25 days a year with a fishing rod in my hand. Most of those were on weekends, and most were trout-fishing trips - which in turn meant they were all-day affairs, because back then the nearest trout stream was two hours' drive from the Kanawha Valley.
I know how much I fished because, like McDaniel, I kept a notebook.