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7 Things You'll Find Out Once You Become a Truly Dedicated Fisherman

Victor Ward/Getty

A truly dedicated fisherman is one who has seen it all and still goes back for more.

It took many years for us to become truly skilled anglers. It involved a long learning curve, many failures, and a commitment to never give up. This passion has become a religion for some, but surely there's some point in every angler's life that they realize that fishing is far more important than just what you catch.

Dedication to our favorite outdoor pursuits is what makes us tick. Once you become truly dedicated, you'll figure a few things out that would have never occurred to you otherwise.

Here are a few such things to anticipate once you reach the level of dedication we're talking about. 

We Always Want To Improve Our Skills

Somewhere along the path, we inevitably get the point where catching fish isn't the only challenge. We needed new challenges to keep our attention, and properly navigating these obstacles taught us even more about our skills. We learned to fish cold fronts, how to work finesse baits, and the proper hook setting procedure for using topwater offerings. The best part is, we're still learning, and that's what makes fishing so great.

We Don't Focus On One Species

dedicated fisherman
Craig Raleigh

Many of us cut our teeth on panfish before graduating to bass or trout. With experience comes knowhow, and with fishing time comes bycatch. At that point we began to study each species and target them at the appropriate time and place. Even avid bass anglers like to take the time to do something different, like go tarpon fishing, look for redfish tailing in the shallows, or even go fly fishing for northern pike.

The diversity of fish species, and the techniques used to catch them, will always keep you interested and involved.

Frozen Water Is Good Water

Because we became so dedicated to fishing, we realized long ago that the fish were still swimming under the ice. All we had to do was to cut a hole in it to keep fishing. This spawned a great cottage industry of ice fishing gear and apparel that will keep us warm, dry, and get us safely on and off of the ice for a year-long amount of fishing fun.

Standing In the Rain Never Felt Better

...Or fishing in the dark, or fishing in the heat, or any kind of fishing for that matter. We have top notch rain gear to wear so that a cloudy, wet day doesn't have to stop the fun. Instead, it can enhance it in a way that has led to some of the most memorable fishing trips we've ever had. A little discomfort or hardship does us good.

It's Ok To Go It Alone

Being on the water alone with your own thoughts is a great way to reflect and decompress from the weekly grind. Sure, fishing with friends is a mainstay of the angling world, but sometimes we just want the spot to ourselves. There is ample opportunity for some real soul searching, information absorbing, and critical thinking while fishing by yourself.

Just be sure to let somebody know where you're headed, especially if you're trekking into the backcountry or boating on a large body of water.

We Really Do Want To Share

As most fishermen know, we can be a bit cunning in the way we all discuss our favorite fishing spots or the bait that seems to work every time we go there. The honest truth is that after a certain point, hiding information from fellow anglers just seems like a waste of time. We really want to tell the story, and we eventually do.

Sharing info and pointers is all about paying it forward, and ensuring that angling as we know it can be conserved and last a long time.

The Tackle Shop Is Our Church

Posted by Island Inn Sanibel on Friday, May 14, 2021

This is the place we all go to reflect, recharge, and even pray about our favorite pastime. We look for absolution in the lures, strength and commitment in the rod and reel combos, and the resurrection of our fishing success every time we buy a year's new fishing license.

Sometimes we miss the old mail-order catalogs, but strolling into a tackle or fly shop has always been the best. Once you can truly appreciate that, you've made it to a high level of angling.

The Outdoors Never Looked More Beautiful

We may take our fishing quite seriously, but the fact is that we eventually notice the little things. Stuff like the trees on the shore or the weeds in the water represent true art in natural form. We love the way the sun shines on the water's surface and the way it leaves shadows for us to explore.

No matter when you reach this point, being a dedicated angler makes fishing as good as it can get. It also makes things move up the priority list, and adds care and concern that we might not have had earlier in our fishing career. 

Now it's a requirement to pack out our discarded line, or pull some garbage out of the water, or pay attention to and advocate for the right kind of conservation efforts.

Once we're at a certain point, our dedication to fishing reaches new heights, and we're that much better because of it.

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NEXT: FISHING SUMMER COLD FRONTS: HOW THEY CAN AFFECT THINGS, AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT

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7 Things You'll Find Out Once You Become a Truly Dedicated Fisherman