Freshwater Fishing is a Partnership With Nature. Jake Bussolini writes “I have been fishing freshwater streams and lakes for more than 65 years, and every time that I pick up my rod and reel, feel like I am taking another journey into the mysteries of nature. The world we live in today, surrounds us with many opportunities for stressful activities. There is no other activity that I know of that can take an individual or a family into an environment where the most stressful element might be the sound of a loon, calling out to its mate, or the splash of a jumping fish on an otherwise silent lakeside.”
Spending a Saturday afternoon, sitting on the shore of a small secluded pond, like the one shown below, with your line in the water and a comfortable lawn chair for your relaxation, is like no other way to blend yourself with the wonders of nature while spending quality time breathing fresh air.
Most experienced fishermen are also conservationists in their own way. They care about the condition of the waters that they fish and also the health of the fish that they seek. The vast majority of freshwater fishermen take care to protect the fish by practicing catch-and-release, keeping only those fish that they intend to eat. Freshwater fishing has grown as a family sport, because it is easy to learn, and relatively inexpensive. All that is needed is a spinning rod and reel combination that can be purchased in most sporting goods stores for less than $50. Add to this a few hooks and bobbers for less than $5 and you are ready to go.
Sporting good stores have so many artificial lures on their shelves that it would tend to scare away a beginner fisherperson. I do not subscribe to artificial lures for beginners, because I feel that the most effective bait that has been used since fishing was first discovered is the earth worm. Worms or night crawlers are available at most stores that sell fishing bait. A small hook tied to the end of your line with a bobber about three feet from the hook, will catch you a nice fish, like the one shown below.
This young mother watched her son bring in this largemouth bass off of a lakeside dock. Both of them enjoyed the experience and then returned the fish to the lake and watched it gracefully swim away. The true enjoyment of this experience was the memory and the photo that hangs on the child’s wall.
The beauty of freshwater fishing is that it can be enjoyed by an individual, in the solitude of a secluded lake or pond, or it can be a family activity, where everyone can participate, not only in the actual fishing, but by watching the mysteries of nature unfold before your eyes. A blue Herron, walking along the shoreline, stalking its next meal, demonstrates the cycle of life where nature provides all of its creatures, the means for survival. A female deer slowly and silently walking to the water for a drink, stops and looks around before she signals to her two small fawns to follow her, again a lesson in survival.
Another great way to enjoy a day in the outdoors is to take your basic fishing equipment to a local lake and rent a small boat for a day on the water. Most lakes have at least one marina where boats can be rented at a reasonable cost and these boats usually come equipped with all of the safety equipment that you will need. This is a great way to get a day out of the house, away from the computers, ipads and cell phones. I do however recommend that at least one cell phone be taken as a safety precaution.
We all are born with an element of competitiveness inside us. Fishing tends to bring that spirit out in several ways. First, there is the element of challenge between the fish and the fisherman. This may not seem like a fair competition but I assure you, nature has taught fish every trick that there is to avoid being caught. As we fishermen always say, fish did not get large by being stupid. The second challenge is to always try to improve on your personal best catch. Like a runner, you always want to improve on your last best fish. The third element of challenge is within and between other fishermen. Fishing in groups always introduces the challenge of a small wager on the biggest fish of the day. Not the least of all of these challenges is the opportunity to put a fine meal on the table. Fish are high in protein and are always mentioned in published diets as a recommended food.
Many people have a desire to do some freshwater fishing but do not know how to get started. Nearly every major sports store holds fishing seminars for beginners or they can point you to a local fishing club that sponsors such programs. Some Community colleges have added fishing to their evening program due to its growing popularity. Most serious fishermen will always take the time to spend a few hours with you going over the basics of fishing. If you want to spend some money, there are many fishing guides on major waterways that will take you out fishing for a few hours for a fee. They supply all of the fishing gear and bait you need so it is a good investment before you start buying equipment.
There are also many books available that cover the entire range of fishing procedures. The author of this article has published four books about freshwater fishing. They can be reviewed on his web site, www.jakestakeonfishing.com. This site also links to his blog which provides timely tips about local fishing activities.