My brother would spend hours a day on the boat, grasping his Abu Garcia spinning rod and reel, sitting attentively over his 8lb, monofilament line waiting for a single nibble. He would go out on his boat three or four times per week, but declined to be classified as a “fisherman”. Instead, he referred to himself as “a guy with a fishing pole and a tackle box”, and he was content to play such a role.
He enjoyed being out on the boat, but he rarely caught a fish, because he even more rarely made any effort to do so. He lived in a hustling and bustling world of commuting, running, and intense concentration; for him, fishing was a departure from that. He enjoyed the absence of everyday life as much (or more than) fishing itself. He enjoyed not having to make any effort at all, even if for only a few short hours, a couple of days per week.
Perhaps he fished as an excuse for repose. Maybe he fished fearing failure. Regardless of his motives, he would tell me that he was happiest when he was fishing.
We are different people, he and I. I prefer to actually catch a fish once in a while.