Here's how to convince a nay-sayer they're wrong about fishing.
Have you ever met someone who loathes fishing? I think we all have at some point.
There are just some people who shudder at the mere thought of it. We think it's because they have some weird, cliché notion that fishing is a boring activity almost entirely for old guys who do nothing but sit on the bank and drink beer all day.
Well, okay, that last thing does happen. But we think we need to break down some of those negative pre-conceived notions about angling.
Here is how you can convince a nay-sayer that our sport is awesome by extolling the benefits of fishing.
Fishing has health benefits.
Seriously! Okay, maybe not if you're drinking beer and scarfing down an endless stream of potato chips while you're on the water.
But if you're a backcountry fishermen who hikes a few miles to get to that ideal fishing spot at a beautiful high mountain stream, that's great exercise!
Even if you're just sitting on a saltwater fishing charter boat, you're still getting fresh sea air and soaking up a little Vitamin D. That's far healthier than sitting indoors staring at the TV for hours on end.
For older people, fishing is a great, light outdoor activity that can help exercise key muscle groups without being too overwhelming.
Physical benefits aside, there are other benefits too, like reducing stress. Who couldn't use a little less of that these days? And how about a healthy rush of adrenaline when a fish strikes? That's the kind of healthy excitement we can all benefit from.
We didn't even mention how fish can be a healthy addition to any diet.
Truthfully, we could go on all day about how fishing is great for the health.
Fishing is a great way to spend time with family.
Honest question: Does your family even talk to each other anymore? Are your family bonding attempts reduced to a series of acknowledgement grunts? Are you sick of trying to gain eye contact while they're staring at their phone screen? This is where a good fishing experience can help.
Once your child (or teen, or younger cousin, or whatever) is hooked into a large bass or catfish, they'll have no choice but to put the smart phone down and focus on the task on hand.
Spending time in the great outdoors is a great way for the whole family to take a break from the hectic schedule of their daily lives and focus on each other for a while. It's a chance to hang out and get to know one another again.
A good family fishing trip doesn't just get the whole family away from the stresses of everyday life. It also helps you make some memories that will last a lifetime. How can any nay-sayer deny that?
Fishing contributes directly to conservation and the economy.
We always hear so much talk about hunters contributing to conservation efforts that we sometimes forget that fishing license fees and the sale of certain gear also do the same thing.
If you know someone who says fishing is stupid, point out to them how it helps to pay for the maintenance of their favorite state park, or helps state agencies regulate water quality in fisheries.
Or better yet, note how it stimulates the economy. In Minnesota alone, fishing brings nearly $1.8 billion a year to local businesses and supports nearly 55,000 jobs.
Seriously, how can any fishing nay-sayer argue with that positive impact? That should be the end of the debate.
But of course, we have some more ideas in case they're still being stubborn.
Fishing is unpredictable.
Angling is one of the most unpredictable hobbies you can take up. You know every time you go golfing that your friend Bob is going to shank that ball into the woods on hole seven, and he'll come up short on hole eleven and put the ball in the water.
Maybe that's a silly example, but you're probably getting the idea. There are so many hobbies that just get predictably boring after a while.
That's not so with fishing. You're out in the wild, in nature, and you never know what you're going to catch.
Maybe one day instead of a fish, you hook into a big snapping turtle. Or maybe on another trip, you and your buddies rescue a wild, angry bobcat from the middle of the lake. Or a shark nearly sinks its teeth into you as you try to boat it!
Okay, that last one may be a little scary, but you get the point. No two days of fishing are the same. You never know what kind of wild adventure you are in for, and that's just another reason why fishing is one of the greatest outdoor activities.
Fishing is super fun when introduced properly.
Our last hint for convincing nay-sayers that fishing is fun is to simply take them with you. Sometimes, they must see for themselves.
Now, before you do that, it's worth it to evaluate the person you are trying to convince about the hobby. Is this someone who hates the idea of sitting on a blistering dock threading worms onto a hook for bluegill? Maybe you'll want to skip that as an intro to fishing and instead focus on using a kayak and artificial lures that can be worked fast. That way it keeps their attention.
Or maybe the person is a health nut. You need to find a way to introduce it to them in a way that highlights the benefits I already talked about in this article. Really hammer home how much more satisfying a hand-caught fish meal is to one pulled out of the frozen food section at Wal-Mart.
Maybe the person thinks fishing is boring. That's easy, take them out fishing for a big, aggressive predatory species like barracuda or northern pike. Perhaps the person is a nature nut who doesn't understand how fishing will enhance their love of the outdoors. In that case, find a nice, secluded and peaceful place where they stand a good chance of seeing a moose on the shore or an eagle flying above. It may not take them long to come around.
Simply put, if you're trying to convince someone fishing is awesome by showing, you need to cater the experience to them and their likes and dislikes. If you do it properly, we're betting it will only take a few hours for them to finally come around on angling!