fishing fun

When you make fun a priority, the catches still come.

When you see photos in ads for recruiting new anglers, they show smiling kids holding up a fish. Or a sunny day with happy people casting into calm waters.

As is the case with many other things, people who fish are spread along a spectrum from just getting started to being completely eaten up with it to the point that they will hit the water regardless of weather and wind conditions. Call ‘em hardcores, call ‘em animals, you see their photos on social media with boat interiors covered in snow as they run the motor, hoods drawn tight, a big smile on their face.

Now, back to the important point along the progression where we find beginners and those of basic skill. They are in it because, so far, it’s been fun. As long as it remains fun they are likely to keep going. If you are a serious angler, you can have a huge impact by helping them build experience and knowledge, helping them learn to catch fish using equipment and methods that put a priority on fun.

Let’s take muskie fishing, one of my favorite things. If you invite a friend to join you on the water, but hand them a heavy 10-foot rod equipped with a huge bucktail with double 10s on it, you can watch the fun wash off their face in minutes. That was a driving force behind our project with St. Croix that led to development of the Legend Downsizer rods. I can hand friends one of those rods with a little bucktail and they can go fishing with me for the day.

fishing fun

And they catch fish! And that adds to the fun for them.

Another thing I love to do is head out over basin water when I know fish are there, my boat loaded with three friends or family members. We put out four lines and troll the basin and make it a social thing. I can choose to explain as much or little as the group wants to hear about how we are figuring out the bite. With that many lines out, given that it’s a peak period, we catch fish.

Being the father of young kids has helped me see, with fresh eyes, how important fun is in fishing. It’s changed fishing for me, for the better. Inside I’m still an animal who wants to go hard all day and even into the night. But I pick my spots to let that animal out of the cage. You find fun in many ways with fishing, and if you focus on it, it’s amazing how many fish you catch and how deeply you get wrapped up in it.

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