How To Fishing: Why Is Fishing Fun?
Welcome to today’s edition of “How To Fishing: Why Is Fishing Fun?”
That question has multiple meanings, and this post will only begin to start answering a few of those. So look for more ramblings on this topic in the future!
Non-Fishing Folk Asking
First, let’s address those asking because they are mystified by why the heck people spend so much time, energy, and money, just to catch a fish and the let it go!
Such a question comes from those who either have:
Never gone fishing (in which case they need to at least catch a few fish to see if they would indeed love the sport), or
- Been fishing, caught some fish (that is crucial — just going fishing may not be enough to get you “hooked” on the sport), but still can’t understand why anyone would bother to continue if they didn’t need the food (to avoid starvation).
Never caught a fish?
If you’ve never caught a fish, you may indeed be puzzled. Though in the spirit of full disclosure, I should point out I was in love with the idea of fishing even before I had ever caught one of the slippery little rascals.
Indeed, I remember spending rainy days standing on my porch (pretending it was a fishing vessel), and casting my rod with a clothespin tied to the end (the fish). I had buckets placed randomly on the lawn, and would try to cast the clothespin into the buckets. When I did, I had “caught a fish.”
So, Reason Number One:
- Casting is fun!
If you enjoy any kind of target game:
* Bow & arrow
* Rifle / pistol shooting
* Golf (well, maybe that’s a whole other bucket of balls)
If you’ve enjoyed playing any of these games, then you can appreciate how trying to hit a certain spot, and then doing it, can be fun!
When I’m NOT catching fish (fishing is always a lot more fun when you ARE catching fish), then I focus on hitting exactly where I want with my lure. I don’t always make the mark, but at least it sharpens my casting accuracy.
True enough. I often went fishing in the creek behind our woods (part of our Vermont dairy farm’s ample swamp land), where there were simply not any fish (our creek went completely dry parts of the year).
My father would ask, “So when you go fishing in the creek, do you use bait?”
“Of course! Otherwise it wouldn’t really be fishing!”
So, Reason Number Two:
- Water is fun! And good for you!
It’s just fun, and beautiful, to be around water. Indeed, scientists have coined the term “Blue Mind” to refer to the healing power of water. Just being near water helps us relax, putting us into a meditative mood, and increase happiness and creativity.
You can buy a book on Amazon entitled: Blue Mind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do.
Clearly, being around (and in) water is good for us. I mean, just look at the title.
Imagine how happy, healthy, connected, and good at what they do the fish must be. No wonder they can be hard to catch!
Just wading around in the creek, with crystal clear water flowing over green, green grass, gurgling and splashing, was fun for me. And could be fun for you!
Caught Fish Without Getting Hooked (Yourself)
But most puzzled must be those who have caught a fish (or 2, or 3, or more), but don’t know Why would anyone want to keep doing this?
Well, there’s just no curing that kind of lack of comprehension.
What’s the big whup?
I guess the best I can do to understand the folks who don’t get “hooked on fishing” is to consider my own attitude towards one specific type of fishing: ice fishing.
I’ve been ice fishing.
I’ve caught fish ice fishing.
I don’t understand ice fishing.
Cool towards ice fishing
Too many of the elements I LOVE about fishing seem to be lacking with ice fishing. Those are:
There’s no casting in ice fishing. Period. End of story.
- Working the lure.
Often, there is no movement of the lure in ice fishing. None at all. When there is movement, it’s jigging. That is, you are raising and lowering the lure through the hole in the ice. Up and down. Up and down.
- Working cover.
There’s no working cover. The “cover” is the ice, and that caps the entire lake! Now, I’m sure serious ice fisherfolk have strategies and techniques and find specific areas to work, but I freely admit I don’t know what these are.
- Beautiful location.
Snow, and ice, can certainly be beautiful in their own right. But I love the green of the tree leaves (until fall, when the trees take on the colors of a bowl of Trix cereal), Water Lilies, Floating Heart, Duckweed, Thoroughwort, Burr-Reed, Cattail, and other vegetation in and near the water.
- Playing the fish.
If you’ve ever seen an ice fishing rig, you know there’s not really a lot of playing the fish. Rather, you pretty much haul it up through the hole.
So I’m not really sure I can totally appreciate why these folks don’t love fishing, and I’m absolutely certain I cannot do justice to the intricacies and joys of ice fishing, and I can’t help wonder, is it all related to genetics?
Maybe it’ some sort of deep, genetic trait, not unlike my balding head. I had a friend who’s hair went grey in his teens. He told me, “I’d rather have grey hair than no hair.” I said, “Do you imagine I CHOOSE to be bald rather than grey? NO! Baldness was thrust upon me!”
And maybe it’s the same for the thrill of feeling a fish tug away on the other end of a piece of string you have flung into the water. Maybe only some of us find such a yank by a totally different species appealing, breathtaking, and overwhelmingly stimulating.
But too often we seek that sensation for hours until finally it happens, and then, before we even realize what’s happening, it’s over! We’ve caught a fish without being aware of it.
Have fun when you DO catch a fish!
So for those of you trying to have fun catching a fish:
Tip For Fisherfolk (confirmed and hopefuls)
* Enjoy the sensation of the fish’s strike on your lure.
* Take time to appreciate the entire experience of reeling in your catch.
* Delight in the fish’s bending your rod and wagging his head.
* Wonder why others don’t enjoy the experience you love!
Obviously, I’ve only been able to scratch the surface on this topic, and I will certainly be back with more, including a future post on:
How to have fun when you’re NOT catching fish!
Until then, please share why YOU love to fish, or, why you don’t!
If you enjoyed this post, please follow me! And share on your social media.
And spend your time fishing having fun!
Tight lines and remember to have fun out there!
Roger, The Smiling BassHole