People who consider themselves avid anglers are typically between 42-46 years old, according to the American Sport-fishing Association. Most of them experienced their first fishing trip before the age of 13, and some were fishing by the time they were four.
Outdoor activities during the early years help kids develop a broad sense of awareness. Parents who take the cubs shopping for their first fishing rod before buying them a smartphone are on track to raise solid societal contributors and overall good people.
Fishing for Food and Fun
Americans have been conditioned over the last 100 years to believe food comes from supermarkets and water from faucets. Archaeological evidence suggests that humans have been hunting meat for at least 2 million years. According to Science Alert, researchers at Australian National University found that humans have been catching fast-moving fish with primitive tools and techniques for more than 42,000 years.
The Chinese proverb, “Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day; teach him how to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime,” epitomizes how a skill like angling adds to children’s lives. Teaching children to fish at a young age is not only a great bonding activity but also a subliminal life lesson. Kids simply want to hang out with Dad and do whatever he is doing. But fishing early in life teaches survival skills they’ll be able to use as long as they live.
About 33 million people — only 10 percent of the American population — go fishing each year. Your kids will be part of an exclusive group who have the ability to feed themselves while simultaneously having fun.
Patience Is a Virtue
The ability to reason is what supposedly separates humans from other animals. But most of us are no better than the family dog when it comes to controlling impulses.
Psychology Today’s blog cites a 2009 study published in the journal Psychosomatic Bulletin that tested patience in thirsty human subjects. Each person was offered a small drink of water or juice now or given the option to wait up to five minutes for a much larger drink. As expected, most of the subjects chose the immediate treat instead of waiting for a bigger reward in the future
Fishing is the ultimate test of patience. Your lure sits in the water for several minutes and in some cases hours as you wait to reel in that record-breaking catfish or bass. Children, in a Freudian sense, are more id-driven than their (most of the time) more reasonable adult counterparts. Young anglers learn that good things come to those who wait. Not only does fresh fish taste better than store-bought fish, but also you caught it yourself after patiently waiting for it.
Respect the Planet
There will always be arguments for and against trophy hunting. No matter on which side of the fence you sit, the fact remains that the life of a living being is taken for reasons other than self-defense or sustenance.
The best part about fishing is that most people do it for only two reasons: sport and food supplementation. Your catch will either be a meal in the following days or will get thrown back into the water to live another day. Granted, some fish die while the hook is being removed due to sloppy technique. Therein lies another teaching moment. Proper hook removal takes practice, which can only be accomplished with repetition. That just means more fishing trips for you and the kids.
Children do not have to love angling as much as you do. The goal is to instill all the life lessons that are built into one of America’s greatest pastimes.
What else do you feel sport-fishing teaches kids?