The Growth of an Angler

The Growth of an Angler

For many anglers, fishing is a hobby. Or a passion. Or a lifestyle. Or an obsession.

It’s many things to many fishermen, yet, it doesn’t come without it’s fair share of frustration.

One day you have it all figured out… the next day… the fish remind you that you don’t know squat.

This can happen over the course of a year, a month, a week… and yes, even a single day.

The presentation or location that was productive in the morning can turn off as the sun shifts in the sky, as the weather changes, water temps cool or heat up… or as the snacks & beverages run dry…

Why does this happen?

Well, you see, the fish… they do what they want. We’re simply chasing them. Hunting them. We’re a step behind. We’re guests in their homes. It’s not the other way around.

Lake Shoreline at Dusk

So bad days, they happen. A skunk, days with no fish… yup. Happens. If it hasn’t happened to you lately, it will. It’s just a matter of time.

Accept it, but even more than that… embrace it.

If we didn’t have the bad days, the good days wouldn’t be special.

The days where you can throw anything at the water, make as much noise as you want, stomp around hooting and hollering with your wife or buddies or kids – those days would just be normal.

Normal isn’t memorable.

Normal is boring.

When you find yourself in the middle of a day where extraordinary things are happening, pause for just a second. Reflect. Drink it all up. Lock it in the memory bank.

These days don’t happen often, and they should be treasured.

boat smallmouth lake fishing kids

This week, consider this:

1. The frustration of fishing will help you become a better angler, so you can help friends & family succeed.

Trial and error can be an extremely effective teacher.

When fishing, success and failure are in your hands to a certain extent – but not completely. There are many external factors that will have an impact on your day-to-day fishing trips.

In time, you will learn what many of these factors are. You will gain experience and knowledge that you can share.

If you have buddies, a spouse, or most importantly – children – it’s this knowledge that will help you put them on fish faster, which in turn allows you to guide them towards the cultivation of a true love for the sport.

So you do your reps ahead of time. You take your licks. You get knocked down, beat up, chewed on and spit out. Do this, and learn more so you can help others avoid similar heartbreak as much as possible, especially early on in their fishing journey.

lake smallmouth fishing boat

In time, they will experience plenty of this frustration on their own… and they will also learn that frustration is good. But, to start, use your hard-earned knowledge to create happy memories that they will cherish (and hopefully chase) for the rest of their lives.

2. The frustration will show your children that failure is not an ending, just an obstacle.

We don’t quit. Ever.

Failure is not an ending, just an obstacle.

Defeat it.

As Dad, as Mom… if you don’t want to raise quitters, whiners, losers… you need to set the example. You need to show your kids that when things get tough, the answer is never submission. We don’t throw in the towel or look for something easier.

storm lake smallmouth mama fishing
Mama, setting the example for the littles fishing Rattlin’ Raps & smackin’ smallmouth bass before a big storm comes through…

We work hard, make adjustments, and get better.

Sometimes this is simply a grind. Hard work.

Other times it’s strategic. An adjustment.

Brains & brawn. Both are important in fishing and in life. Angling provides us with multiple opportunities to teach our family & friends what it looks like to overcome obstacles through our actions – not just our words.

boat smallmouth fishing sunny morning lake

So… embrace the frustration.

Embrace it, then defeat it.

Defeat it, and grow.

This cycle will repeat. It is self-perpetuating. Just when you think you have it figured out, the fish will remind you that you don’t. We’re always learning… and learning leads to growth…

The growth of an angler.

Tight Lines & Godspeed, Patriots.

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