“Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after” –Thoreau
This very quote sends chills up my spine…of course we’re all there to catch a 30” walleye, but countless hours spent dreaming and working hard makes these fish a reality. I mean let’s face it, if you caught a 30” walleye every time you went fishing would it really be the same? I’m sure a lot of you are thinking “heck yes, I would be ok with that” but if you really dig down and ask yourself why you’re out there it isn’t the size or number of fish. I think it is different for every person, but for me it is being as close as possible to truth and serenity. With that being said, I am dreaming of all species of big fish every day of my life. In fact, while standing at the spray booth air-brushing jigs rocking out to Tom Petty, I catch at least a dozen trophies a day. Just because I’m not out there doesn’t mean I’m not fishing.
Since being old enough to understand, I have been haunted by the mystic enchantments of fishable water and its inhabitants. Fishing is so daunting to me in that you are constantly getting your butt kicked to better learn your skills. While drifting down the Columbia River in hopes of a 20lb walleye I think Mr. Buchan said it best:
“The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope” –John Buchan
I must point out that after 30+ years of fishing I don’t fully agree with Mr. Buchan. I have learned the habits and patterns (and the magic “Johnson Jig” style) of fish so it adds more confidence than just hoping. If you’re wondering where I’m going with all of this…TAKE A KID FISHING!!! You are hearing words from me, an absolutely obsessed freak of a fisherman brought to you by my dad (a father that took me fishing…a lot.) In fact, we always joke about how he created a monster…funny part is, it’s no joke!!
Myself included, in this day and age there is too many temptations to stray kids away from the outdoors. Just in the last few months the amount of violence and other bad things in the news is horrific. Every person we (you and I, a team) touch and invite into the outdoors is a new advocate for the future of fishing. Our younger generations are the future of this whole darn thing and it’s of paramount importance they follow in our footsteps. Sounds easy right? Not as easy as you’d think.
Handing a child a fish pole and giving them a good luck pat on the back is not going to turn them into a lifelong fisherman. This is the exact problem we are trying to overcome and avoid. I’m not saying you have to hand them every ten pound walleye you hook but my dad sure did for me. And I’ll bet you the rights to the “Yellow Perch” Glass Minnow when I take kids I will do the same for them. The most important thing is to let them have fun and don’t get too hard on them (meaning a pre-spawn walleye trip to the Columbia River in cold weather looking for two bites a day is not for introduction.) An ice fishing trip to your local city park or a day perch fishing in the boat are great ways to introduce kids to fishing. And since all fishing can be tough, focus on the other aspects that make the trip enjoyable. Have a cooler full of pops and snacks and be ready to tell some stories to get their blood pumping. Now being thirty one years old, I wonder if all the big browns that broke dad off were really true…or if it was an excuse for me to keep fishingJ
In the last few years I have had more fun introducing kids to the outdoors than fishing for myself. Like I said, of course I want to be selfish and catch all the big ones…but I have been very blessed with big fish and GIVING the gift of fishing is the biggest fish I will ever catch. Just remember, somebody showed you and if you’re half as crazy about fishing as I am, the passion needs to be passed along to as many children as possible.
A few things to remember taking kids fishing:
1.) Have fun, be positive and encouraging!!
2.) ABSOLUTELY NO ALCOHOL
3.) Practice selective harvest
4.) Praise, praise, praise!!
5.) Make sure you go jig fishing!!
Our mission statement that we stand by everyday:
The mission of Montana-based Kit’s Tackle is to be the leading high-end provider of specialized fishing products for the serious angler. We use only the industry’s best, pre-eminent materials to hand-craft unique, one-of-a-kind jigging products while consciously maintaining and advocating for the future of fishing.