It’s a bold statement but, without the slightest hesitation, each of us would be much better off if we fished. The often lost art of the angler is more than catching a fish or even serving healthy food requirements for your home but respect for nature and moments of peace in the always connected world. Fishing, like walking in your community, mountaineering or cycling, changes our lives for the better and is well-suited for the modern physical culturist. Fishing is beyond a source for food but a source for a better way of life.
Prior to any image of me casting the perfect line, I have no great fishing tales of the one that got away, and tend to think any fish that finds its way to me has suicidal tendencies but I have find every moment in the water to be a healthy one. The food is beyond measure of quality and vastly superior to what is available in the market today. This factor cannot be ignored as factory farming, including farm raised fish, has grotesquely lowered the nutrient qualities and exposed the public to many health concerns, i.e. mercury levels. This concern is shared within typical meat supply lines as industrial production leads to highly questionable products laced with chemicals and giving good reason to support local butchers and the ethical hunting of wild game.
Getting started fishing is easier than you think and coupled with many sporting good outlets offering free classes and easy availability of second-hand equipment, there is no reason most cannot start. Prior to you trying to convince the missus that a high performance rod and reel is an absolute necessity, albeit a noble effort, the following list should help the beginner:
- First off, we may grow older but within our hearts we are all children and the fishing industry is well aware of this fact; hence, every possible gadget is available on the market. Albeit I have yet to program my betamax but most of these gadgets are of little concern for the beginner.
- Dress for the conditions as well as safety, including a hat and possible sunglasses to protect you from stray hooks. Should you be fishing from a boat, ensure you are wearing a personal flotation device at all times.
- Understand whether your region requires a license as you do not want to your first memory fishing to include a hefty fine.
- Choose a rod, likely packaged for beginners, with moderate action. “Action” refers to the flexibility, the whipping movement of your rod and need will vary upon experience, ability and type of fish in the region but for a beginner the best choice is moderate.
- Length of rod will vary depending if your first adventure is from a boat, dock or shoreline and the type of fish, but I typically suggest 9 foot length (suitable for river trout) with moderate action.
- With respects to reel, choose one that is ‘open faced’ such that can learn how it relates to your cast and manage the invariable tangles. A 3lb or 4lb monofilament fishing line will serve well.
- Live bait is typically your best choice. In time, flies and even tying your own will be of interest but right now a few maggots or worms will serve easily. Bait, on a barbless size 8 or 10 hook, such that the worm or maggot threads along but moves at the end. Further place a split shot to your line with a float that will allow your rig to drop to desired depth.
- Once you have cast your first line and have a nibble, the next step is pulling in your line and surveying your cast. From here, let’s consider catch and release and how to handle a live fish. First, ensure your hands are wet and you slowly reverse the hook from the fish. Do not place a fish on land but softly nestle in your hands or on an unhooking mat. Remove the hook in the opposite direction in entered either by hand or with a disgorger (absolute essential purchase). Once removed, bend down and gently place your hands into the water with the fish allowing it to become reacquainted and swim away.
In future editions, we can review hand positioning and basic casting but, most importantly, become involved in fishing for its many and true health benefits. Unplug from the nonsense of the always connected world, turn off all electronic devices and connect to a life worth living. Appreciate the moments, #LiveModern and cast a line.
I would also bring a few sandwiches.
Prepared by John Davies
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The information provided in this article, as well as this web-site blog is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as medical advice for any condition. Always consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. By reading this disclaimer, you hereby agree and understand that the information provided in this column is not medical advice and relying upon it shall be done at your sole risk.