Editor’s Log: Taking It All In - The Fisherman

Editor’s Log: Taking It All In

There’s no getting away from the news these days. We see or hear it everywhere we go – TV, iPhone, iPad, laptop, radio — sadly, it primarily has a negative tone — financial worries, COVID, and what’s going on in Ukraine. Unfortunately, the news does not give us much to smile about.

Here on Long Island, many people struggle to keep pace with rising taxes and the escalating cost of homes. Many anglers have reduced their fishing due to less leisure time and the expense involved. Others have been discouraged by declining fishing opportunities, shortened seasons, and bag limits that do not justify the time and cost involved – you could use winter flounder as a prime example.

Other factors in play are difficult to define clearly but certainly impact fishing time. Those in the “family stage” see time (well spent, by the way) taken up by all of the activities that kids are engaged in. Attending those activities and driving sons, daughters, or grandchildren to and from them get priority over your fishing schedule, and deservedly so. While there is certainly some benefit to these structured activities, they only leave a little time for kids to be kids. I only sometimes see kids fishing on their own. The lucky ones have a parent, relative, or family friend to take them along, but only some can go fishing alone. The days of kids spending their day at a local lake or dock getting connected to nature and the outdoors have become increasingly rare.

For us adults, all things that conspire to take us away from fishing impact us in other less obvious ways. You don’t need a medical degree to know that stress is a byproduct of hectic schedules and financial issues, leading me to this rant. We all go fishing to catch fish. It’s a simple equation: if there were no fish to catch, there would be no incentive to invest time, money, and effort into the fishing game. But fishing should be much more than just going out to catch fish. Once we get past the need for fish to be present, there are other reasons to ensure we continue to fish.

I drove down to the water more than once and only took a few casts to take it all in. Being in that environment slowed the world down and refreshed my perspective on life. The same can be said of trips to the beach when catching a fish was furthest from my mind. The peace and tranquility of the water are sometimes the best medicine.

There is no better way to define quality time spent with family and friends than to fish together. Getting away from some of life’s more mundane chores with those you love or care about, even for a few hours, is tough to put a price tag on. And if you enjoy eating fish, you may return home with some fresh fillets, even if that is not the trip’s primary goal.

Probably the biggest reason to budget some time for fishing is the relief it can provide from the stress and toils of daily life in a world gone crazy with instant gratification and little downtime. Whether you go it alone or with family and friends, fishing remains the best and cheapest therapy out there.

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