With the holidays upon us, happy thoughts turn to family, friends, and children. Of course, in many of our social events, we get to be with our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren even more. As anglers, fishing is always discussed, especially concerning our children. Many of us hope to provide them opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors and of course, fishing.
Personally, as a boy, I was taken fishing frequently by my dad and grandmother. Reflecting on those experiences now brings back a flood of happy memories and so many funny stories. I believe this helped me to become someone who passionately desires to pass this warm feeling to others about a sport I grew up adoring even while serving 25 years in the military. One positive experience can change a lifetime of events and relationships both within and outside of families and their children.
I remember the very first fish I caught. It was a catfish and I thought it was a monster. It really wasn’t, but it hooked me on fishing because my dad and grandma made such a big splash about it and I felt accomplishment. After that fish, I caught almost everything that swims and most of the time we cleaned them and ate them.
Recently, I had the opportunity of a lifetime. I was asked to be part of a production financed by a grant to help show children how to fish for crappie. We caught crappie, catfish, bass and even a gar. This production is now showing across the nation and Canada on public television and will be on key websites soon. We demonstrated how to rig, choose fishing locations, regulations, safety, cleaning, cooking fish, etc. Our goal is to show everyone, everywhere how to blend children into fishing and the great outdoors. Be sure to check this out.
If we all take a child fishing, we turn on one light that will spread to many and I believe it will bring us all together now and in the future no matter our age, demographics, etc. Learning to fish in our childhood, I believe, will build a better world for the future.
Promise me to take a child fishing in 2020 and have a wonderful holiday season!