Thursday, March 11, 2010

How Can We Get Our Kids Into Fishing????

I recently wrote a post on kids and fishing on February 18th. To be more specific I was wondering why there are not more kids out on the water fishing these days. This really concerns me because we are losing a whole generation of children to the wilds of present-day technology. I thought it would be interesting to have my wife do a fishing survey at her school. She conducted the survey in two of her classes’ simply asking one question. How many of you go fishing? What she and I found out were not surprising to either of us. She had 26 students in each of the two surveyed classes and found out that only 5 students really went fishing. That is 5 students out of 52 students. The five students who fished told her that their dad took them fishing when they were able to go. The parent is the first link to getting the child out of the house and interested in this great sport. I would have never got into fishing if it had not been for my dad. He fished and therefore he taught my brothers and me the sport. I still have fun memories of taking my son and daughter out on their first fishing trip. They both still fish with me today when they find the time. Take a look at my slide show and you will see both of them along with my son-in-law who loves the sport as much as I do. The following links Teach Your Kids to Fish and Reasons to Take a Kid Fishing give great examples of how one can get a child interested in going fishing and what to do to make it an unforgettable trip as opposed to a boring trip. Please take a moment and complete the survey question. I will run the survey until the fall. The data that is collected will be sent to Bass Pro, Cabelas, and Grander Mountain.


Michael Agneta said...

Bill - You pose a good question, and I answered "No one to take them" in your poll. I honestly don't think that's the single answer - for example I work in sporting goods (not fishing) and all of the statistics point to the fact that kids don't play "pick up" sports as much anymore either.

I think there's just a lot of things competing for our children's time these days - school, organized extracurriculars, etc...I'm only 32, but it seems in the 20 some years since I was in their shoes, kids are just becoming little adults a heck of a lot sooner.

Wisconsin fishing said...

I do think that the voices of a lot of the people who would be impacted by such a decision were not heard, while the voices of groups that have a track record of opposing thses kind of activities were given a loud voice.

Jeff S said...

Bill - Jeff her from kyflyfishguy.

Interesting poll and question about getting kids into fishing.

My son is 15 and there are so many things pulling on his time that fishing sometimes takes a back seat.

When I compare his life and that of his peers to my life when I was 15, there are a lot more pulls on his time.

for example:
Homework - I do not recall ever having the amount of homework teachers are piling on these kids today. It does not make them any better educated than we were, it's just a lot more homework.

Sports- when I was a kid, baseball, basketball, football were the primary sports and a kid only played one at a time and a few exceptional athletes may play more than one sport. Today, in addition to the ones mentioned, there's tennis, soccer, swimming, skying, this that and the other. It's amazing between feeling they have to participate in 2 or 3 sports and the mountains of homework, fishing takes a back seat.

When I was their age (wow, never thought I would say those words) I fished every chance I could get. I wasn't good at baseball, I'm not tall enough to play basketball, and getting slammed to the ground every time I got a ball in my hand made football seem pretty uninteresting to me. So, I hunted and fished.

"Guns are Bad" Let's face it, hunting and fishing kind of go together. I hunted in the winter and fished in the summer. Today, kids are not even allowed to say the word "gun" in school for fear of being expelled for being some kind of terrorist. The school systems have institutionalized the "guns are bad" philosophy. I believe fishing has suffered from this.

"Animals are people too". This PETA influenced perception that animals have the same rights as people has crept into school and into society. Fishing may kill the fish and that is bad. That kind of thinking has hurt fishing.

This next one may get me banned from all trout fishing websites, but I believe the near religion of "catch and release" has hurt fishing. When I was younger, I kept fish to bring home for a fish fry. I looked forward to several fish fries each summer. In late fall, I looked forward to a combination fish fry / rabbit / and squirrel cook off with my hunting and fishing buddies. Up until I got too stinking busy, we would get our families together and have that annual event.

Today, one nearly has to apologize if he wants to bring a fish or two home to eat and the thought of bringing home a stringer full of fish for the table is almost enough to get one banned for life from the fly fishing club.

Remove the family support and bond of a fish fry from fishing, and it's not much different than golf or any other sport.

One last thing is the end of the 40 hour work week. Those of us who are fortunate enough to be employed are frequently working 60, 70, 80 hour weeks, 6 and 7 days a week. When one goes to work at 7 am and is getting home at 9pm and then has to work 5 or 6 hours on Saturday going fishing is one of the last things on his mind. The time for fathers and sons / daughters to just go fishing is a rare thing. Father / child time is usually running through McDonald's on the way to some extracurricular activity or schlepping the kids to one event or another.

Sorry about the long post but your poll got me thinking of why kids are not into fishing and I think it's a very complex answer with a lot of little things that all add up to one big thing and that is kids not getting into fishing.

Bill Trussell said...

Everything you have said in your replay is true. Segments of society today have lost touch with what really made this country great. Sadly our great love of the outdoors has got caught in that segment. Thanks for the reply

Bill Trussell said...

I think "No one to take them" is a logical answer. I wish the fishing industry would spend as much time getting our youth interesting in the outdoors as they do advertising their boats and tackle. I will continue this little crusade. Thanks for the comment.