Have you ever heard people say: “Fishing is relaxing” “Fishing is addictive” or “Fishing is Fun” ? You know; all the good things. With that being said, why would someone be afraid to fish?
My name is Patricia Clement, I grew up in Brooklyn, East New York on concrete streets. As a young girl growing up in a low income urban neighborhood, I didn’t have access to a river, pond or pier. The fire hydrant on my street was my source of a fun water activity. I saw people fish on TV, but never had the chance to experience fishing, so I developed what I thought was a fear.
Ichthyophobia (pronounced: Ich theo phobia) is the fear of fish and it’s a real thing for some people. Fear of the unknown is something totally different.
I didn’t have Ichthyophobia, I was just afraid of the unknown.
What’s normal and known to some, may be out of the norm and unknown to others. I am so glad I faced my fear and learned to fish. I’ll never forget the adrenaline rush and excitement I felt when I reeled in my first fish. Although it wasn’t a keeper, the feeling was unforgettable. I now encourage others to fish for the first time, so they fearlessly face the unknown and feel what I felt.
Here’s some tips on how to face your fear as a new angler. I hope these tips will help you, they sure helped me:
1. Watch videos
There’s tons of how to video’s on YouTube and other social media handles.
2. In person observation
Go to a local pier, pond or river and just watch others fish. You don’t have to actually participate in hands on fishing to catch the experience. You can sit on a pier and read or just relax as you observe others fish. Just familiarize yourself with the atmosphere.
3. Charter Boat/Guided Fishing trips
There’s plenty of companies that will take you out on a boat fishing. These companies provide everything you will need. If you don’t feel comfortable touching live bait or a fish, guess what, some charters have a crew that will do it for you.
4. Take is slow
Maybe your first step is touching a live worm. Stop by your local bait shop and pick up a box of worms. Open it and just watch them squirm, then tap one. Guess what? You touched a worm, next pick it up. The feeling never changes. Like anything else, you’ll get used to it and will laugh at the fact that at one time you were scared to touch a harmless worm.
5. Go All in
Are you feeling fearless? If so, just go for it. That’s what I did and you can do it too. One day I just went to a bait shop and asked: What do I need to buy to go fishing? They told me, I purchased, then went to a local pier and I’ve been hooked ever since.
When it comes to facing your fear of fishing, here’s a great acronym for you:
- F- Fish
- E- Enjoy
- A- And
- R- Repeat