Anglers Unite: Why the Fishing Community Should Be a Tight-Knit One
There are so many different types of fishing, and so many different types of anglers. From fly fishing to spear fishing, deep sea trolling to kite fishing, ice fishing to lure fishing…there’s a lot to disagree about. Seawater versus freshwater fishing. From the boat or off a pier. This equipment versus that equipment. One technique versus another. And of course, catch and keep or catch and release.
Unsurprisingly, all these differences can lead to some pretty heavy arguments within the larger angler community. For example, that last one accounts for more arguments than I can count. Both the catch and keep and the catch and release groups claim that their way is the best way to help protect and preserve fish species. Each can make claims that their way is the most ethical and humane way – and that the other way does more harm than good.
Who’s right? Who knows! Ultimately, responsible and ethical fishing goes way beyond a single angler’s choice to keep or release. The same goes for a lot of the other infighting found in the angler community – bait vs. flies, men vs. women, and so on. Instead of supporting diversity among the 44 million fishing enthusiasts in the U.S., most of us are too busy hashing it out on forums to actually find time to fish!
But what if we stopped all the bickering? How much time could we find then? Time to learn about and support ocean, river, and lake conservation… time to learn about a new style of fishing or a new piece of equipment… time to learn more about the fish that make this sport so exciting. If the angling community was a tight-knit one, my hypothesis is that we’d all be better anglers as a result. After all, the only thing that endless debating will help you get better at is debating.