Why Do We Fish?
As a person that spends far too much time thinking about stuff in general, my most recent conundrum was, ‘why do we actually fish?’ I’m sure the obvious answer is to catch fish, but if we look beyond this, what are the other reasons why many of us devote so much time, effort and energy into dangling a line. If you enjoy eating fish, then there are a multitude of supermarkets promoting fresh fish, as well as your long standing local fishmonger.
Both options offer a short cut to an easy meal- significantly cheaper than catching it yourself, too in most cases.
To suggest that this would be a primary reason to fish would also be to assume that there are fish being caught. This is often not the case and I would imagine that an angler’s success rate would be at around 50% in many instances (but not all) as far as takeable fish are concerned, purely speculation of course, but a guess I would happily go with for arguments sake.
If the above category could be referred to as ‘Eaters’ then I will call this the ‘Gamblers’.
I think there is a bit of the gambler in all of us. This undoubtedly stems from very early on in our angling career, where the anticipation of a freshly cast line was immense. What might it herald? Just what may be swimming about out there totally oblivious to the guy shivering at the waters edge just a cast away? This is the ‘what if’ element that the gambler feasts on and keeps him coming back for more, time and time again.
For the novice, this must be the biggest draw, but as time moves on and experience is gained, predictions surrounding the likely hood of an encounter with a species become increasingly predictable. The gambling element becomes distorted, but is still present to some extent and the ‘what ifs’ we once speculated on are dismissed as unlikely at best. That said, it is very wise never to say never.
The third category can be referred to as the ‘seekers’. These are the anglers that stop at nothing in their pursuit to catch what they are looking for. They invest a lot of time, effort
And fuel seeking out their target species. Be it south coast plaice, Yorkshire cod or Bristol Channel sole, these guys are hell bent on getting a result and will stay focused and confident on getting a result. This is not to say they will catch every time. No one can do that. But they will stick at it until they do and the reward will be all the greater for the effort they had ploughed in.
The final category I will call the ‘casuals’. These chaps are happy to escape the domestic jail for a few hours peace and quiet, often in the company of like thinking friends.
They will head to the coast often on a day when the sun is shining, with little consideration to the tide table. They will pitch up in front of the car park and perhaps break out a beer or two. They will edge there bets along with those in close proximity to those around them and the mood will be relaxed and fun. To catch a fish or three will be a bonus, as our man just has a ball in the great out doors with a rod in hand and escapes reality for a few hours.
So who has the right idea if there is such a thing? Far be it for me to make that call. No doubt someone much older and wiser than myself will have a few thoughts though. Personally, I think that as long as you are having fun, whichever category you may put yourself in, that is the key.
You may not consider yourself to fit the description of any of the above, which is fine, remember- these are just the whimsical observations of one angler who chooses to over burden their brain and are not intended to cause offence in the slightest!