A good friend of mine is a captain who spent his high school years in San Diego. He came to San Diego from Kokomo, Indiana, where he was already an avid angler. He would “pinhead” on the sportfishing boats (kind of like an unpaid intern to learn how to be a deckhand) and soak up knowledge from the crew and older anglers.
One particular angler that he learned from was an old commercial fisherman who took him under his wing. My friend would offer to buy him coffee, bring him lunch, whatever it took to gain favor and learn from this man. This angling mentor told my friend, “If you want to honor me, just teach someone else what I’m teaching you.” My friend has taught me much of what I know about fishing here in Southern California, and in turn I do what I can to teach others.
What we all understand is that by teaching others you ensure the future of our sport. The Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF) recently commissioned a study, and the results show that the state of our sport is healthier than ever. Read the top ten findings of the study in this post from the Take Me Fishing blog.
The lure of recreational fishing remains strong, according to the 2014 Special Report on Fishing, recently released by RBFF and the Outdoor Foundation. According to the report, there were 4.1 million newcomers to fishing in 2013, an increase from the 3.5 million average new anglers per year between 2007 and 2012. Additionally, women, children and Hispanics showed increases in participation.
“We’re happy to see new, diverse and young audiences take up fishing at historic rates,” said RBFF President and CEO Frank Peterson. “These numbers reinforce our initiatives to engage and retain first-time and Hispanic anglers, and validate our overall efforts to increase fishing license and boat registration sales, which contribute to state fish and wildlife conservation efforts.”
Photos: KW Big Fish (top); Take Me Fishing (above)