4 Unexpected Gifts You Receive From Teaching Fishing

This time of year, the types of gifts you are likely to think about most are the ones that come wrapped in decorative paper and are tied up with a bow. However, when it comes to teaching fishing to a beginner and sharing your love of the sport with others, there are a few intangible gifts you are likely to receive.

Here are four unexpected gifts you may receive from teaching fishing to others:

Patience. If you don’t already have a high level of patience as a result of fishing on your own and experiencing your fair share of those slow bite days, you will learn to be patient when demonstrating new fishing techniques to kids or beginning anglers. Remember to stick to the basics when explaining new skills or concepts, and then help the beginner put those skills into practice multiple times while on the water. It may take minutes for someone to pick up a new skill or it may take days. Just remember that repetition will help with retention!

Determination. The more time you spend fishing, the more you realize that fishing (and teaching fishing to others) helps develop your sense of determination. When the fish aren’t cooperating and don’t seem to be interested in whatever type of bait you are using or technique you are demonstrating, you have to be determined enough to change it up and stick with it. For example, under certain conditions fish may only take baits if they are worked slowly, while under others they may prefer a quicker retrieve.

Flexibility. As an experienced angler, it’s important to set an example of flexibility when working with beginners. If we fish with the same lure or bait all of the time, we will not learn how to adapt to the varying conditions and habitats of different fisheries. 

Therefore, it’s a good idea to teach new anglers how to be flexible and adjust to fishing in several types of areas where there might be differences in water clarity or amount structure. Consider and provide guidance on how to accommodate for changes in weather as well.

Humility. Last, but certainly not least, is the unexpected gift of humility. No matter how experienced you are as a fisherman or fisherwoman, you are going to have those days when you either don’t catch many fish or lose a fish due to some unforeseen circumstance — the line breaks, your knot doesn’t hold, the fish throws the hook or wraps your line around structure. That’s fishing; it will ALWAYS keep you humble… no matter if you are mentoring a beginner or fishing on your own. Prepare for the unexpected.

Have you received an unexpected or intangible gift from fishing? If so, be sure to share with us by commenting on the TakeMeFishing.org Facebook page!

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Debbie Hanson

Debbie Hanson

Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, women’s sport fishing advocate, IGFA world record holder, and freshwater guide living in Southwest Florida. Hanson’s written work has appeared in publications such as Florida Game & Fish Magazine, BoatUS Magazine, and USA Today Hunt & Fish. To learn more about her work, visit shefishes2.com or follow her on Instagram @shefishes2.