I didn’t fish this week. I got back from Seattle on Thursday night, and I’ve just been happy to be back home for a bit. So I’m going to have to reach back into my blogger bag of tricks and draw on something I learned when I first started So Cal Salty…do a list post.
There are many reasons why fishing is so important to me. Here are my Top 10.
10. Anyone Can Learn How To Fish
I fished a lot as a kid and a teenager when I was growing up in Washington State. My dad used to tell me about how I’d get out a fishing pole and fish a puddle when it rained. I’m not sure what about fishing at that time really connected with me, but it did. Then I went away to college. I graduated and entered the job market. I got married and started a family. During the course of doing those things, I lost my way with fishing for a good chunk of my life.
In 2007, I took my family up to visit my parents and my dad suggested taking my son Jacob to a trout farm. Jake had so much fun that when we returned to Southern California, he wanted me to take him fishing. At the time there wasn’t a lot of information out there, so it was a bit of a struggle at first. There is so much information out there now though…the articles here on BD Outdoors, the fishing groups on Facebook, YouTube etc. And don’t forget the crewmembers on a boat or the more experienced anglers. It’s never been easier to get started fishing. Do some research. Find good mentors…that’s my surf sensei Randy Toji (right). Just do it.
9. Something Great To Do With Kids
Those were great times when the kids were little and my son was pushing me to go fish. So many fun memories. And I think the kids benefitted from it as well. Being outdoors instead of in front of a tv or videogames. Seeing the whole process of catching a fish, to fileting it, to cooking it and putting it on a plate was a super valuable lesson for my kids. I feel like a lot of kids are really detached from their food they eat. Seeing that whole chain end-to-end was good for them. The thing you want to keep in mind is patience. All those times my dad kept his cool while untangling the birdnests I made…Thanks Dad!
8. Enjoy Eating My Catch
At this stage of the game, bringing home meat isn’t as high of a priority as it was when I first started. Often times, I’m happy just to get the picture, or tell the story to one of my buddies. But you can’t get any fresher than catching it yourself and preparing a meal that evening. And there’s just something about catching it yourself that makes it taste that much better.
7. Competitive Outlet
I played a lot of sports growing up. I was also competitive with my grades. I always wanted to win at Monopoly or Yahtzee or whatever games I played with my brother and cousins and friends. In my professional life, I was in sales, so being the top guy didn’t just satisfy my competitiveness, it paid out real money. But now that I’m not in that competitive professional sales world, and after having two knee surgeries that keeps me from playing any pickup ball, vying for jackpot on a trip or trying to catch more bass than a fishing buddy is a good replacement.
6. You Can Do It Even As You Get Older
Drafting off #7, you won’t see me frequenting any parks to mix it up on the basketball court anymore. I’ve accepted that I’m just not physically up to it. And I sure as heck am not going to be putting on football pads…ever again. Just trying to stay in decent shape is a struggle at this point. My dad played golf for a long time and I’m sure it satisfied for him a lot of the things that I get from fishing. For me, I know this is something that I’ll be able to do for a lot more years and I’m glad I’ve found that thing. Everyone should have that thing, whatever it is for them. It’s fishing for me.
5. Always Something New To Learn
Even if all you do is saltwater fishing (which is me for the most part), there is so much to learn. And then when you get the basics down, there are so many little things that added up make for that slightest bit of edge to be better. I love that! Every year, I try to focus and improve on some aspect of my fishing game. This year it’s bluefin. In past years it was getting better at throwing surface iron, or learning how to sight fish corbina, or getting better at leadhead and squid bass fishing. There are so many aspects to just the fishing we do in Southern California. If you ever get around to mastering all it, then there’s all the other fishing that’s done all over this country and the world. Committing to a lifetime of learning is good for your brain. Why not learn something new while fishing?
4. Every Day On The Water Is A New Puzzle To Solve
This is different than #5 because it speaks to the randomness of each trip. Sure you might be expert level at picking a good bait and flylining it out, but what if they don’t want that today? Or what if they do, and you don’t have the right combination of line weight and hook? Or maybe you need to adjust how you’re hooking your bait? Figuring all that out, and doing it fast enough so that you put fish on the boat vs. “I’ll have to try that next time” is better than completing the LA Times Sunday crossword puzzle (which I used to love to do).
3. Fishing Cuts Across Age/Gender/Race/Socio-Economic Class etc.
I’m proud to say that I literally have friends from 15-80+ from fishing. I have really well-off fishing friends, and ones that are dirt poor. I’ve got fishing friends of every race, religion, and political leaning. There is nothing else in my life that exposes me to such a broad range of people. I may not hang out with all of them outside of being on a boat, but while we’re fishing, we all get along. Exposure to a diverse range of people is something that in my opinion this world needs a lot more of. Fishing does that.
2. Belonging To A Community
Everyone wants to be a part of something…a team, a fan-base, a political movement. Ask anyone who they are, and they’ll probably tell you about something they feel strongly about because it provides this sense of community for them. This sense of belonging isn’t always a good thing (like for example being in a cult or criminal gang), but fishing does that for me and it’s harmless and positive.
And #1 Fishing Gave Me A Job Where I Don’t Have To Go Into An Office
What else can I say? I’m pretty dang happy that things have turned out this way for me. It’s a dream come true.
What reasons keep you coming back to the water? Drop me a line and let me know. Or say hi on a boat and tell me about it between stops.
I’ll be back out this week. Hopefully, you will too. Good luck if you get out there!