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Learning how to fish is important

Learning how to fish is important Learning how to fish is important
By Bill Vanderford

A phone call from a Cumming resident recently reminded me of the pitfalls parents have trying to teach their children about fishing and the outdoors. Though their intentions are always good, parents who push their children into the complex world of bass or striper fishing before they have developed both a love and understanding of angling, are making a mistake. Instead of giving their children a good experience that will turn them into lifetime lovers of nature, these young people usually leave with a bad taste in their mouths about being in the outdoors.

Parents often fail to realize that one has to acquire a love for fishing to be successful. Large reservoirs, fast rivers, or offshore fishing are difficult and tedious undertakings. Most youngsters become bored quickly from a lack of action, and sometimes make the trip a disaster for the parents and the fishing guide.

The best way to introduce anyone to the marvelous sport of angling is by using simple techniques and seeking an easy to catch quarry that is available in great numbers. Catching sunfish while watching a float or bobber on the surface of the water teaches newcomers to the sport, regardless of age, to put fishing on the top of their list as an exciting pastime.

The anticipation of a strike, or how big a fish might be when the bobber disappears, adds an air of mystery to the experience. The ensuing battle and landing of the fish brings one a sense of accomplishment and pride, which gives a beginning angler confidence and boosts their self esteem.

Today’s world of high-tech electronic devices, exotic materials, and volumes of computer generated information often robs newcomers of experiencing the real joys of fishing. Simplistic fishing is much more than just catching fish. It is a common denominator that can break down barriers like race, religion, age, job, or even physical handicaps. It teaches youngsters the important lessons of patience and perseverance, gives the elderly an easy and relaxing way to enjoy nature, and often builds bonds between people that last a lifetime.

Fishing a small, local pond is usually the best way for someone to be introduced to angling. One only needs an inexpensive rod and reel or even a cane pole, an adequate supply of worms, crickets, catawba worms, or other small insects, a few bobbers, and some tiny hooks to spend a peaceful day catching fish and enjoying the great outdoors.

Quality time spent fishing with youngsters in smaller bodies of water until they learn to love both angling and nature is the best way. Such experiences develop life-long bonds between parents and children and a healthy respect for the outdoors and its creatures. Therefore, even though guiding people is my job, and fishing guides can always use the money, I generally try to discourage parents from introducing their younger children to fishing from a bass boat on Lake Lanier.

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Mark Taylor | Posted: April 4, 2006

Very good. Thanks.