This is a series written by anglers about why getting young people outdoors & fishing is so important!
Between video games, cell phones, social media and yes - even fidget spinners, our youth are not being exposed to the great outdoors nearly enough as they should be.
Screen time has increased, and the only exposure of camping or catching a fish is by watching the Discovery Channel. Is it their fault or is it our duty as Outdoorsmen and women, sportsmen and women, and anglers to present better opportunities to be outdoors?
I mean if we all think back to how we've become so passionate about the outdoors and fishing, we remember who took the time to show us. Maybe your father, an uncle, a grandparent, a neighbor or friend, and we appreciate not only the memories, but all of the life lessons learned:
Patience; while waiting for the fish to bite, Resilience; when they don't. How to adapt to changing weather conditions and one of the most important of these many values, Respect; Respecting what beautiful natural resources we are blessed with right in our back yard.
Many of this is not taught in front of the screen and today's youth need more exposure than ever to destress from the high demands of today's society.
Recently I took one of my 6th Grade students and his brother out to catch bass earlier this Summer. All of the teachers were asked to volunteer their time to be auctioned off for our annual fundraiser and I volunteered to take a student out for a day to catch bass.
Needless to say, it was amazing. Not only did we catch fish, we made memories that will last forever. It was all due to catching some bass! It was a scorching summer day and the bite was not on at first. I was trying to figure out a pattern for them and it turned into a teaching lesson on its own. These boys originally thought we'd be using bobbers and earthworms, but when they saw jigs tied on, they knew it was about to “go down“. Eventually it turned into a swimbait pattern and they caught over 30 bass.
As we trolled back to the launch that day, they wanted to know when we were going to do it again! Right then I knew they were hooked! It reminded me why I love to fish.
We started our day off with a low because we didn't catch a fish for the first hour and a half, but throughout that day we laughed, talked sports, vacations, and even our favorite movies. See... it wasn't just about the fish, it was about our company. Through our stories and jokes, it kept our morale high and made the experience enjoyable. I even tied on some top water frogs hoping for some explosive strikes that I knew they’d get a kick out of. Fishing brought us together and it allowed me to show my students that being outdoors and angling is cool and fun.
If we can present these types of opportunities more often with easier accessibility for today's youth, we can get even more “hooked”. With the amazing new generation of technology, products like GoFish Cam, allow you to capture these experiences and share them. Kids nowadays are more tech savvy than ever before, and being able to edit footage by adding background music, slow motion and color adaptation allows them to make fishing “cool” and enjoyable even when they are off the water. In fact, see why Fishing Cameras are Recording All Time Highs in the Fishing Industry right now.
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