Fishing is a versatile activity; you can do it alone or with family and friends. You can compete with others or with Mother Nature. You can do it for sport or as a therapy to get away and relax from boredom and routine. That is why most of us make of fishing our primary recreational activity and that is why it is becoming so popular in America as well as in other countries.
According to some surveys, more than 60 million Americans preferred fishing above some other sports like soccer or foot-ball. Like any other sport, fishing also has rules and among the most important ones are letting go the fish you won’t eat and getting a fishing license before going to fish.
To get a fishing license you have to check for the requirements and regulations your state and/or country have. In some cases you need a “conservation license” before getting your actual fishing license. The age is not important to get a license, but usually kids up to 11 years old can get the license for free.
I think one of the most important things for making fishing a memorable experience is learning –if you have never fished before- and planning.
If you are new to fishing you can start by doing some research on the Internet. There are some good sites where you can find useful tips for beginners. Another thing you might want to do, is going to a fishing store and ask. Usually they have directories, guides or instructors, you might even find there someone who is willing to teach you.
Be mindful of your budget, you don’t need state of the art gear to learn, you can get inexpensive “second–hand” gear until you are experienced enough to choose the best tools for you.
Once you get a grip on the basics, you can keep practicing almost everywhere, the backyard can be a good place for practice if it is big enough, but be careful if you decide to do it at your work cubicle, you might fish something nasty inside the coffee cup of a co-worker or poke out someone’s eyes…specially your boss’.
The next step on making fishing a memorable thing is the planning stage. Planning is as important as having the knowledge on fishing. In my experience the first thing to consider is LOCATION.
You do not want to go to a “fish desert”. Location also involves the type of fishing techniques involved and the gear you’ll be needing like boats, tools or special fishing-wear, the kind of bait you will be taking and the most important, where you, your family and friends will have a great time. For example, Alabama promotes their lakes and open banks for fishing; in some of them you don’t even need a boat to fish.
But, why is it so important taking your family with you?
Firstly, according to “Family Life First” – an organization dedicated to promote the need of spending quality and useful time with families – in the last 20 years, children have been spending less time doing outdoor activities and parents reducing the time they spend with their families all together.
Evolutionary Psychologist also points out the importance of family or group bonds and member collaboration, as well as teaching-learning skills handed from the parents. Getting every member of the family involved on the trip planning creates a stronger bond between all “the group”, it also makes everyone happy. I still have some memories from my fishing trips with my family and family’s friends.
Besides going out fishing in a group to help to tighten “family ties”, it also has some therapeutical values like stress relief and to becoming more structured in your life if it’s done properly. This without mentioning the enjoying values and benefits of interacting with nature.
Another ability you can get from fishing is cooking. There is nothing like preparing and grilling or baking a fresh caught fish, using, creating, modifying recipes and “taking out” the inner Chef in you.
Fishing is good for you, and is fun in group. The more you do it, the more you’ll like it and learn from it. You will also discover that fishing is not only taking a rod and a bait, you can also “Bear fish” or even use a bow!!!
“Tony the Tuna” is a fishing enthusiast and a regular contributor writer for Fly-Fishing-North-America.com. If you want to learn more about fly fishing visit http://www.fly-fishing-north-america.com