Take a Grown-up Fishing
One of the many joys of our sport is sharing it, and taking a kid fishing is a tradition offering a prime example.
They take to it enthusiastically and readily, and it often introduces them to a lifetime of enjoyment. Or at worst, it leaves them with good memories and a valuable encounter with the natural world.
But kids are not the only candidates. Not every fishing trip must be staged with the intensity of a tournament, and sometimes fishing partners can be more than someone who splits the fuel bill.
The SWS staff recently returned from our annual retreat, where we plan the next year’s issues, and on the backside we get in a couple of days of fishing, which is something the full team seldom has an opportunity to enjoy together.
A few of us spend considerable time on the water and know what’s in store. But to others in our publishing team the actual fishing remains an abstraction. Some of the vital roles in putting out a magazine every month and keeping a website stocked are filled by people who, while experts in their own craft, may not have had the chance to experience the passion others of us have for the sport. Given the right opportunity, that’s easy to remedy, and these rare outings provide the perfect venue.
And it’s an easy sell. Fishing holds an innate appeal in the quest and the hunt. Whether or not you are a hunter, per se, we’re all ingrained with the mandate; it’s in our genes. The expression of that may entail shooting birds or deer, chasing inshore fish in shallow water, plumbing the depths for pelagics, looking for arrowheads along a dirt road, or ferreting out bargains at the mall; it’s all the same drive, regardless of the preferred outlet.
Taking an adult out for a remarkable experience doesn’t necessarily produce a driven fishing enthusiast, but it does provide the experience to someone who may have never fully understood what it is that drives us: a genuine feel for the water and the environs where the remarkable and always changing patterns of nature unfold. And once invested in that through experience and understanding, those converts become a constituency for our waters and fish. Initially, it’s the thrill of the catch that enthralls and fascinates, but along with that inevitably comes a sensitivity to the resources that seem to be constantly under attack. And we need all the warriors we can enlist.
The conversion also begets the recruiter. As the challenge and wonder — bait schooling, birds wheeling, fish jumping — of our days offshore unfolded, we watched the experience spark a fire in the initiates. We also watched the excitement and encouragement of other team members, who only a year or two ago sat in the novice seat. Now they were the ones giving advice and sharing in the pride of someone else’s first sailfish.
Over the course of our venture, nearly everyone caught more fish than I did. But no one had a better or more gratifying time on the water.
So, certainly take every opportunity to introduce a kid to fishing. There’s magic in watching their uncertainty and apprehension give way to nascent skills, confidence and accomplishment.
Even when they’re full-grown.
Not every trip must be staged with the intensity of a tournament, and fishing partners can be more than someone who splits the fuel bill.”