My family is my inspiration. That is why it is important to me that they love what I love; getting out on the water to fish.
As a professional angler and guide, I spend countless days on the water and the road, many away from the ones that support my passion more than anyone else. However, the one thing that remains the same is they are always patiently waiting for me at home, whether I was gone for a day of guiding or a week at a tournament.
My soon-to-be wife and her children are my inspiration to chase the dream but not at the cost of missing them grow up. That is why it is important to me that she and the children have a passion for the outdoors just as I do. I am asked often what I do when I am not guiding. Well, the answer is I am still fishing not only to stay on the fish for the next trip but also to take my fiancé and kids out and get some quality time with them doing what we all love.
I have heard from many others that their wife never goes fishing with them or she has only been in their boat once in 30 years. I suppose, if one just does not like the water or has a fear of boating, I could understand but to not spend quality time with your spouse or children on the water just blows my mind.
This last year was a testament to how time on the water with each other catching or not catching fish was not wasted time but time well spent. On the occasional weekend where the kids did not have activities and we somehow managed not to have plans, it does not take her or the kids long to suggest we go fishing and as an angler, that is a no-brainer to me.
Just as guiding, one needs to remember most people just want to catch fish and they don't care what kind or how big, just as long as there is action. This is especially important with children and people who have very little experience. Crappie, bullhead and other pan fish are a great way to get people excited and hooked on fishing.
Remember, you are taking them fishing, they are not along to watch you fish. Engage with your family and teach them simple things, such as baiting a hook, how to tie on a lure and always let them drive the boat, if conditions permit.
The importance of making sure your spouse and/or children have a good time their first time fishing is paramount for your chance of returning trips.
We all wish we could go fishing whenever we wanted and our family vacations were all during the hot bite on our favorite lake, but that isn't reality. What is true, is if your spouse enjoys spending time with you on the water they are more likely to want to go again as well as encourage you to go when you can (even if it's without them) because they know how enjoyable the time can be.
Take a little time out of your busy life and share your passion with your loved ones and they, too, will appreciate your passion and create memories that will last a lifetime.