You can tell that the shack nasties have hit hard when
I am watching fishing shows on the television. It actually
started about the beginning of January. I had a couple of
magazines to read and there were some fishing shows to watch.
The dumb assumption is that this makes your not fishing
yourself better. It certainly does not work that way for me.
What I noticed then, and what I watched for several more
weeks to see if the trend stopped or changed any, is that
there is a great deal of difference between what the fishing
shows show and what some of the advertisements on TV and
in the magazines promote. How do we promote "Take a kid
fishing" with what is seen on the tube?
First the fishing shows. What I saw was high-end equipment
being used to catch fish out of boats that cost as much or
more than some cars do. It is not the type of fishing that
I see most parents taking their kids out to do. Most
parents will take a kid out to a local lake or pond and
let them throw in a line. Many of the parents will have
no more idea of what to do than that.
The TV shows the kids can watch have people out on large
bodies of water with all sort of electronic equipment that
you "must have" to catch a fish. Also how many of the shows
do you see with people fishing for bluegills or crappie?
These panfish are not the money or glamour fish that some
of the other fish are.
Second are the magazines that have the advertisements in
them. Some are for equipment, but others are the "Take
a Kid fishing" kind. Many of the articles are for places
that parents are not going to take their kids. Again
where is the inducement for parents to take their kids
out to a pond? There is rarely any information in the
magazines on how to fish from shore or what to do in
small bodies of water.
Can we be surprised that the number of people that are
fishing is on the decline? For many it seems to be an
impossible thing to take their kids fishing. They don't
have a boat, with the electronics, and they are not near
a famous body of water. That is what the shows and the
magazines give them.
How many kids will have the experience of catching a
bluegill as their first fish? I am not sure that we
want the PE classes in schools, although not bad in
themselves, to be the only exposure to fishing. I am
not sure that the idea of competitive fishing, i.e. the
bass thing, in schools will be good in the long run.
How do we get people to take their kids to city lakes
and farm ponds or small streams to get exposed to the
idea of fishing? I am not sure that I have an answer
for this, but I am sure that what the kids are being
exposed to is not going to help with the growth of
the fishing population.
When kids go out fishing with me we always start with
some casting from the shore.
I want them to know that they can control the direction
the lure is flying. It is not unusual for them to catch
a fish from the shore. This proves to them that they do
not have to be in a boat or have any fancy equipment to
catch a fish.
I do not expect the TV shows to change or for a great
change in the magazines. I am still a bit bum foozled
by the dichotomy I see between the two things.
Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick