Fishing has been around since the Stone Age and is one of the most popular sports on the face of the earth. Fishing has evolved from sticks and vines to rods and reels that can easily top $1000 each. From hollowed out tree trunks to $70,000 bass boats that can reach speeds of over 80MPH. From fishing for sustenance and survival to fishing for a career and winning millions of dollars a year. With all this glorious changes throughout the centuries, one thing hasn’t evolved like the equipment that we use to play in this sport we love so much. What is it you ask? It’s our love and respect for other anglers.
Okay, before we get started let me say that overall anglers are a great family and one that I hold very near and dear to my heart, but as in life, all families have issues occasionally. Issues that need to be brought to light so that they can be fixed and this doesn’t go for everyone in the angling community but by the time you are done reading you will know if this “rings your doorbell.”
Over the last 20 years I have noticed that as a whole anglers aren’t forming the bonds that we use to. Not sure if it’s just the world moves faster, the age of the Internet, social media or the competitiveness of the sport. It has gone from anglers hanging out before and after tournaments, laughing and cutting up and sharing winning techniques to people driving off as soon as they figure they aren’t in the money or anglers too busy to stop and check on anglers that are broken down on the water. If we don’t take care of each other who will?
Losing sight of the comradery of our sport is essentially loosing sight of what the sport is all about. Fishing is more than fast boats, cash and prizes, 1st place and becoming a professional angler. Fishing is about making friends, learning from those friends and growing old with those friends. Yes, it’s about competitiveness but not to the point of losing friends or making a bad name for yourself or our sport. We all have an overwhelming passion for the sport of fishing and we should all have an overwhelming passion for all the anglers within out sport. Shouldn’t matter what species they chase or how they go about doing it, whether from boat or bank we all deserve to be treated as family.
In closing, we all live in a very different world than we did twenty or thirty years ago but regardless of changing times WE have to be the ones that make a conscious effort to do the right thing on and off the water. Respect isn’t based on the truck we drive or the boat we fish out of but rather how we treat each other. It’s so easy today with social media and the proverbial “pissing match” of who is the best to forget what fishing is all about. We all need to realize at the end of the day, all that truly matters isn’t how well we caught them that day but rather how well we treated others in the process of catching those fish.
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