Before anybody jumps down my throat here and accuses me of treason, please note that I am not saying that lure fishing is the future of fishing, merely asking some questions, raising a few points and generally reflecting upon how fishing might or might not progress. Any kind of fishing is good as long as you are out there in the fresh air fishing enjoying yourself, but anybody who works in fishing or has an interest in how fishing will keep on evolving must surely think about the different ways in which this wonderful sport must try to keep attracting new anglers and thus moving itself forward as a pastime. The way I see it is that anybody working within fishing surely has some kind of vested interest in seeing more people becoming anglers - ok, so this might be a simplistic sentiment, but sometimes I look at the trade and wonder what might be perhaps collectively done to try and attract more anglers and more youngsters especially. And yes, I am a part of the angling trade. Does the angling trade as such stand aside and admit defeat to more "modern" pastimes such as computer games and even I suppose social networking, or does the trade take the collective bull by the horns and go get 'em ?
The more I think about it, the more I am drawn towards lure fishing being an incredibly logical way to think about attracting new people into this sport. Hear me out and then please tell me if you agree or think I need my head examined - and note that I am talking lure fishing here. Not saltwater, not freshwater, just lure fishing for any species that will take a lure in any kind of water...............
First off, I believe that if people are going to go and "get" the fishing bug then they need to catch fish. Simple. I am sure you call still remember the exact details of that first fish you caught, and I believe that this kind of "fishing excitement jolt" is vital if the person experiencing it is to potentially become an angler for life. Some people get it and some people don't, but nothing beats actually catching a fish or two.
Can you imagine if it was common practice to take your kids or friends or people who wanted to have a go at fishing to a "put and take" trout fishery where you could buy a ticket and catch a few trout - but on lures ? I know that historically we have always tended to fly fish for trout in the UK, and yes, I think that fly fishing is a fabulous way to go fishing, but the simple fact is that it's easier in the short term to show somebody how to cast a lure than it is a fly - and the more that potential anglers can do it on their own (hook their own fish etc.), then surely the greater the buzz and sense of personal involvement ? I personally don't go and do this LRF fishing for example, but I love that it is happening and growing, and I reckon it's another great way to get potential anglers into fishing. Sure, I dig going bass fishing, but would I want to take a newcomer yomping down some cliff in the middle of nowhere to bear the brunt of the sea and maybe catch nothing ? Perhaps in time we might see commercial put and take trout fisheries being opened up to lure anglers, or might pigs fly ?. Lure fishing for trout in some parts of the world is huge, so why not here in the UK ? Why not commercial pike and perch fisheries like you have with carp, or would that be impossible ? Hell, why not work on developing lure fishing for carp ? To be able to go fishing with a rod and a reel and few lures is just so easy and almost anybody can do it...........but they need to catch fish. Might things change though or are we too stuck in our ways ?
Think about all the different kinds of fishing, but try to be clinical about it and distance yourself from what is your own favourite. Could it be that because lure fishing is such an involved, direct, ultimately simple to start with (cast out, wind in) and active way to fish that it could be used as the vehicle for getting more people into fishing ? And then help them along their way to finding their own particular niches. Lure fishing is so encompassing for all kinds of species and all kinds of waters that it reminds me so much of fly fishing without the technical skills required to learn how to fly cast (albeit of course that fly casting is huge fun on its own), in that in essence it's a truly universal way to fish - and the simple fact is that many kinds of fishing aren't universal. As I said, I love my bass fishing, but would that be the first kind of fishing I would take a newcomer to do ? Conversely, would I take a newcomer to a difficult carp water where you had to wait possibly hours or even days for a fish ? From the trade's point of view, the more people who fish means the more people who are buying fishing tackle, reading fishing magazines, spending money at fisheries, getting fishing lessons/tuition, paying guides etc. And from a social perspective, fishing can be healthy, cheap, constructive, socially beneficial and mentally stimulating. Surely it is time for the trade to make a stand and say that yes, this is the time to do something about it and fight back with the fact that fishing can be exciting, healthy, easy to do and huge fun. And if the trade were to get properly involved then I am sure it would drag in any other number of people, companies, organisations, public and private funding etc. Am I living in cloud cuckoo land here ?
The youngest Gilbey brother is getting married this weekend to a truly fabulous girl and it's going to be an awesome do. My two girls are bridesmaids and I have gone and hired a kilt to wear for the wedding. Am I remotely Scottish ? Nope, but because I live in Cornwall I have gone for Kernow tartan for a bit of fun. Do I look like a tit ? Well as I said on my FB page the other day, I have to say that it's actually quite liberating wearing a skirt !! Is that just plain wrong or are we blokes missing something here ? Imagine going bass fishing in a kilt, now how class would that be ? And yes, before you ask, with the likes of my family around I will be wearing something "protective" under the kilt. Have a good weekend.