August Pier and
By Jiggin’ Jerry
The Fountain of Youth
Young Anglers in Action
A question I am asked often is, “Why fish?” My answer involves a story, an explanation and a question. So, where do I start? With myself, I guess.
You could say I was one of the lucky ones whose interest in fishing started at a young age. While walking around a reservoir as a little boy, I spotted a largemouth bass close to the bank and started wondering if I could catch it. Looking around the lake, I first noticed a long stick, then spotted some old fishing line tangled in a bush, and finally saw a hook caught in a tree branch that someone had lost. I then tied the line to the stick and the hook to the line and started turning over rocks in hunt of worms. Once I found a worm, I put the worm on the hook and then it all began. I lowered the hook in the water near the bass and waited patiently.
Minutes went by as I relaxed and felt the wind in my hair and the sun on my face. I watched birds flying around and saw different species of turtles swimming. All of a sudden, I felt the long stick bow; and in that moment, my heart jumped out of my chest and started to beat rapidly. A smile grew on my face as I reared back on the stick. That large bass came to the top of the water thrashing strongly, battling me. As I stepped backwards and pulled the bass onto the bank, I realized I was hooked for the rest of my life.
As I grew older, I studied all different types of methods of fishing, but I realized that there was so much more to the sport. I also began studying fishing reels, rods, species of fish, and species of bait and then advanced into artificial lures, etc. So, why fish? Whether you start at a young age or when you are an adult, fishing has the same effect on just about everyone.
As you glance at a child catching his first fish, you see the glow on his face. His eyes wide open. A smile so strong his cheeks could crack. He starts to dance around. He just can’t wait to see what he has caught. I could make this exact same statement again and just remove the word child and replace it with adult because no matter how many fish you catch, every one of them is like your first time. The excitement never leaves you; and as you grow, you also realize that it is more than just the fishing. It becomes about your surroundings and everything around you.
You find yourself observing animals you think you would only see or find in a magazine or on some type of wildlife channel. You experience sunsets, sunrises and thunderstorms that will overwhelm your imagination. And you realize that you would never have experienced these marvels of nature had you not been out fishing.
If there were a Fountain of Youth, I would have to say fishing is its doorway. Why? Because no matter how old you are in life, you always feel young when you’re fishing.
So, instead of asking, “Why fish?” I challenge you to ask yourself, “Why not fish?” Just remember you can take fishing as far as you would like. You can sit back with one rod and a 5-gallon bucket and enjoy the day, or you can invest in some of the best gear, study your heart out, and fish like a pro golfer would play golf.
Until next time, good luck out there and have fun fishing!