Are you new to fishing? Do you know someone who is? Are you trying to convince a woman or girl that fishing can be fun? Then this article is for you. It’s especially for anyone who may have pre-conceived notions about the sport or may not be attuned to outdoor activities. So let’s debunk the following myths:
1. It’s Difficult or Complicated
No more so than most other activities. Fishing is a diverse sport.
Far more so than sports like golf or tennis. The environments – lakes, ponds, rivers, streams, bays, ocean – are greatly different and contain significantly different species of fish. So there are many tactics, many ways to fish, and many variables that affect results. Given this, if you have no angling experience, and walk into the fishing tackle section of a large discount store, you’ll probably feel overwhelmed by the choices of equipment available, and will not get much guidance from sales help. It will indeed appear intimidating and confusing.
The way to overcome this is to go fishing with an experienced angler to get an introduction to local methods, places, equipment, and the like. Hiring a guide is expensive (between $250 and $500 for a day), but it can be money well-spent, especially if you use that day not just to catch fish, but to learn some of the basics and the intricacies of the sport. Guides are not available everywhere, so you may need to find someone who is not a formal guide that is willing to take and instruct you.
2. It’s Boring
The traditional view of fishing is that of someone lazily sitting on the bank, dunking a worm, waiting for something to happen, like in a Norman Rockwell painting.
Most modern fishing activities are more pro-active than this, although some types of fishing are just this simple. As mentioned, there are many different ways to fish. Boats and boating are a big component of many fishing activities. Casting with lures or flies is popular with a huge number of people, who cannot stand to sit and wait for a fish to find a live or dead bait. You don’t have to sit and stare at the water waiting for a strike.
The most popular species of freshwater fish in the United States is the largemouth bass, and very few people pursue it by dunking some form of bait and waiting for a bass to strike. They move around casting a whole host of lures, the game being one of picking the right lure, fishing it a certain way, presenting it properly through accurate casting, and so forth. Similarly, fly fishing, which is the use of lightweight objects that imitate flies as well as other food, is all about finding fish, casting well, and making the right presentation. None of its practitioners find it boring, even when they don’t have much success.
3. It’s Messy
If you fish with some form of bait, handling it can be messy. A wash cloth takes care of that. Handling a fish, which you may have to do to unhook it, release it, or clean it, may sometimes involve getting slime (it’s actually protective mucous) on your hands. Surely you don’t think that only men can do this? Most of them can’t change a baby’s diaper. It’s mind over matter; if you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.
4. It Can Be Unsafe
Not really an issue. Yes, you deal with hooks that can cause you or someone else harm. So you have to be careful when casting, and when landing and unhooking fish. You also have to be careful every time you handle a knife in the kitchen. What’s the big deal? As for wading and boating and the like, there are comfortable life preservers (PFDs) that you can wear if you don’t swim or if you fear the water. Like driving a car and wearing a seat belt, use good judgment and all will be fine.