I don’t know about each reader obviously, but I find I am directly aligned with the sentiment expressed by many anglers interviewed during in a very recent study.  According to data comprised by the firm of Southwick Associates, many anglers dream about spending great amounts of time on the water only to find later that reality sets in. 

Life happens! 

When it comes to finding time to fish, most of us face unforeseen challenges.  In fact, in the on-line study at AnglerSurvey.com, 45 percent of participating anglers said they made it out less than they expected.  Conversely only 28 percent of fishermen say they are able to get out as much as they desire.  The remaining 27 percent say they are actually able to get out more than what’s needed to satisfy their yearning. 

What’s surprising is the number of anglers who begin each year believing “this year is going to be different.”

“There are so many ways for people to spend their free time”, says Rob Southwick, president of Southwick Associates, which designs and conducts the surveys at AnglerSurvey.com.  “Every year we see people’s best intentions to fish waylaid by other activities.

Soutwick Associates recently provided key research for “On the Fence about Fishing”.  It is basically a study of why anglers do and do not fish, and what it takes to get them on the water.  The study examined the reasons anglers fish less or quit fishing altogether.  It also examined what activities they participated in instead of fishing.  In actuality, the investigation was conducted on behalf of the American Sport-fishing Association.

The key factor cited in the report was simply that people do not have enough time to participate.  Well I certainly sympathize with that one.  Apparently I have the world’s greatest knack for getting involved with home remodeling projects just in time to have them wreak havoc with whatever sporting season it happens to be.  Add a work schedule that swallows about 55 hours a week, throw in a birthday here, an anniversary there, and sprinkle in some graduation parties plus a few good deeds here and there.  Mercy; how time does fly! 

With an estimated $1 billion on the line, and the habitat restoration anglers provide, it is easy to understand what is at stake if anglers fail to get on the water.  The very future of the activity depends on the participation habits of current anglers.  Whether you know it or not, as a current angler you influence future generations.

Go out, catch some fish and have a ball.  Emphasize fun, relaxation and quality time spent with family and friends.  Your energy will be passed to future generations if you are happy in your endeavors.  If on the other hand the only you that gets noticed by others is a television-viewing couch potato or a cell phone junkie, that is exactly the seed that will be planted. 

I know work is important and there is little doubt that today’s employees put in more hours on average, than past workers. I have no right to chastise anyone, but perhaps you could join me in a self evaluation of necessities versus wants is in order. 

The single greatest way to assure the interest in angling gets passed to others is by inviting others to join you.  The old Chinese proverb is true.  “Give a man a fish and he will for a day.  Teach a man to fish and he will be able to eat forever”.  Oh, and he’ll make the world a better place as he finds life more enjoyable.

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