Is Sportfishing a Hobby?

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A hobby is something that a person does for relaxation and enjoyment. That may be an accurate description for some, but I’m thinking for others, better terms might be a diversion or perhaps obsession.

No matter what drives a person to fish, it gives them ample time to think. How many hours have you spent staring back at the spread, scanning the horizon for activity, waiting for “that” moment? Perhaps that can be construed as relaxation? I read somewhere that fishing is a form of meditation. Meditation can help you in stressful situations, increase self-awareness, focus on the present, reduce negative emotions, increase patience and tolerance and increase imagination and creativity — HOLY SH*T. We’ve been meditating for years and didn’t even know it! We should be a highly enlightened bunch. What is it that drew you in and keeps you coming back for more? The thrill of the hunt, the companionship, knowing what is possible, the “Grander” or just the rumble of the engine and the endless blue horizon?

The allure of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable. Every day on the water is filled with hope and desire. We set the spread, wait, watch, change it up, switch baits and switch colors, hoping to get it just right and seize the opportunity to set that hook.

We find enjoyment and thrill in catching fish, releasing fish and probably at times even more so in the one that got away. As they say, “Nothing makes a fish bigger than almost being caught.” For each of us, I would think it’s safe to say it’s different but similar. There is a bond among fishermen, respect and camaraderie. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter where in the world you are, the size of the boat or the size of the fish. The experiences and memories fulfill us just enough to make us want to do it again tomorrow.

For those who have been fortunate enough to turn their “hobby” into a career, it’s important to remember that it took commitment, effort, practice and training to allow them to focus and follow their dreams. Fishing is not all fun and games. It requires hard work and dedication to be at the top of your game, and we all know catching is not a guarantee. Don’t lose your passion for the hobby that led to your career path!

Tight lines, warm breezes, good friends, plenty of bait — it doesn’t get any better. Whatever you call it, just keep enjoying it. I’m certainly planning to “meditate” more often this year!

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