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We can all learn some very valuable lessons from young anglers. I took two young and energetic anglers fishing last week and they reminded me of some very important parts of fishing.
Lesson one: Every cast is exciting. This is a great sport and when you are positive, every cast has the potential to be the one that catches the trophy, even the last cast of the day. Just chunk it on out there and keep your eyes glued to the bobber and eventually it will go down. Then reel like there is no tomorrow. It's great fun.
Lesson two: Every fish is awesome. When you are six or less, every fish is a bona fide trophy and don't forget it. They are all beautiful creatures, unique in every way and worthy of holding, examining, smelling, looking into their mouths, feeling their slime and adoring. Every fish that was caught that beautiful morning was appreciated and admired. Every fish is fun to catch. Some jump, some slash on top, some stay deep but they all are a great battle.
Lesson three: If your pole gets pulled overboard just wait for the fish to show you where it is. Here is the scenario. A young guy needs to rest his arms now and then when the action is hot and heavy. So just put the pole in a rod holder and take a break. Naturally the fish will notice this rod not being attended and grab on to it. And it did, and it did go over the side. Soon the trout started shaking his head at the surface as if to say "HEY I'm over here!" We went over, netted the trout ( a keeper) and got the pole back too. You've just got to be patient.
Lesson four: Wipe your hands on your pants. Fish are fun to hold but leave a lot of slime on your hands, so instead of looking all over the boat for the towels, simply wipe them off on your britches. It's a no-brainer. Just like that, you are ready to catch another fish. Time's-a-wasting, so get that bait back into the water.
Lesson five: When you get a fish on, holler like crazy so the guide will get the landing net. Well duh...go back to lesson two.
Fishing is a great sport and too many people put too much false value on whether it is a keeper or not. Catfish are not trash fish - they pull hard and are great sports about it. Just let the guide handle them.
You think you are a good fisherman? Just take a couple of young anglers along next time and enjoy every fish, and your young anglers will too.