I haven’t fished this week. I got home from Seattle Thursday night, and I’m just happy to be back home for a bit. So I’m going to have to go back to my bag of blogging tips and draw inspiration from something I learned when I first started So Cal Salty… make a list article.
There are many reasons why fishing is so important to me. Here is my Top 10.
10. Anyone can learn to fish
I fished a lot as a kid and teenager growing up in Washington state. My father used to tell me how I would pull out a fishing rod and fish for a puddle when it was raining. I don’t know what it was about fishing at the time that really concerned me, but it was. Then I left for college. I graduated and entered the workforce. I got married and started a family. During these activities, I lost my way with fishing for much of my life. In 2007 I took my family to visit my parents and my dad suggested taking my son Jacob to a trout farm. Jake had so much fun that when we got back to Southern California he wanted me to take him fishing. At the time, there wasn’t a lot of information, so it was a bit difficult at first. There is so much information now… the articles here on BD Outdoors, the fishing groups on Facebook, YouTube etc. And don’t forget the crew members on a boat or the more experienced fishermen. It has never been easier to get started in fishing. Do some research. Find good mentors. Do it.
9. Something awesome to do with the kids
It was great times when the kids were little and my son was pushing me to go fishing. So many funny memories. And I think the kids benefited from it too. Be outdoors rather than watching television or playing video games. Seeing the whole process of catching a fish, filleting it, cooking it and putting it on a plate has been a very valuable lesson for my children. I feel like a lot of kids are really detached from the food they eat, so seeing it through and through was good for them. The thing you want to keep in mind is patience. All those times my dad kept his cool while unraveling the bird nests I made… Thanks daddy!
8. Enjoy eating my catch
At this point in the game, bringing home meat isn’t as high a priority as when I first started. Often times, I’m happy to have a photo or to tell the story to a friend of mine. But you can’t be cooler than grabbing it yourself and cooking a meal that night. And there’s just something about catching it yourself that makes it taste even better.
7. Competitive point of sale
I did a lot of sports growing up. I was competitive with my grades. I’ve always wanted to win at Monopoly or Yahtzee or whatever game I played with my brother, cousins and friends. In my professional life, I was in sales, so being the best didn’t just satisfy my competitiveness, it made real money. But now that I’m no longer in this competitive professional sales world, and after two knee surgeries, it keeps me from playing any pickup ball, competing for the jackpot on a trip or riding. trying to catch more bass than a fishing buddy is a good replacement.
6. You can do this even as you get older
By drafting number 7, you will no longer see me going to the parks to mix it up on the basketball court. I have accepted that I am simply no longer physically up to the task. And I’m sure I’m never going to put on soccer pads again. Just trying to stay in shape is a struggle at this point. My dad played golf for a long time and I’m sure he satisfied a lot of things for him that I got from fishing. For me, I know this is something I can do for many more years and I’m glad I found this thing. Everyone should have this thing, whatever it is for them. It’s fishing for me.
5. Always something new to learn
Even if you are only saltwater fishing (which is most of me), there is so much to learn. And then when you master the basics, there are so many little things that add up to have a little bit of edge to improve. I like this! Every year I try to focus and improve some aspect of my fishing game. This year, it’s bluefin tuna. In recent years he was improving at surface iron casting, or learning to spot corbina, or improving at lead and squid fishing. There are so many aspects to the fishery that we do in Southern California, and if you ever get to master all of that, then there are all the other fisheries that are done all over this country and around the world. Committing to a life 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 from # 5 because it talks about the randomness of each trip. Sure, you might be an expert at picking a good bait and making it fly, but what if they don’t want it today? Or if they do and you don’t have the right combination of line and hook weights? Or maybe you need to adjust the way you hook your bait? Understanding all of this and doing it fast enough that you put fish on the boat rather than “I’ll try this next time” is better than completing the LA Times Sunday crossword puzzle (which I loved doing) .
3. Fishing decreases according to age / sex / race / socio-economic class, etc.
I am proud to say that I literally have friends 15-80+ from fishing. I have very well-off fishing friends and others who are very poor. I have fishing friends of all races, religions and political leanings. There is nothing else in my life that exposes me to such a wide range of people. I might not be with them all outside of a boat, but while we are fishing we all get along. Exposure to a wide range of people is something that, in my opinion, this world needs a lot more. Fishing does that.
2. Belonging to a community
Everyone wants to be part of something… a team, a fan base, a political movement. Ask anyone who they are and they’ll likely tell you about something they care about because it gives them that sense of community. This sense of belonging is not always a good thing (like being in a cult or a criminal gang, for example), but fishing does for me and it’s harmless and positive.
And fishing # 1 gave me a job where I don’t have to go to an office
What else can I say? I’m pretty glad things turned out this way for me. It is a dream come true. What are the reasons that push you to return to the water? Drop me a line and let me know. Or say hello on a boat and talk to me between stops.
I’ll be back this week. I hope you too. Good luck if you go out!