Why do people fish?

I have an uncle who love fishing. When I was young, due to my lack of vocabulary, I called him a fisherman. But a couple years went by and I learnt that the proper term is fishing enthusiast or fishing hobbyist. Fisherman is a profession anyhow and my uncle used to fish during his free time. So manage to add that one up.

Anyway, I was wondering about the reason of why people take up the sport. We are in the social media bubble and feel the urge to be entertained/served up content on a regular basis. If you are self denial then count the number of times you pick up your mobile phone a day. My uncle packs it up with a couple of friends and goes off hunting for fish. And to be fair, fishing tends to be pretty male dominated.

So why do dudes love fishing? I went trawling for answers.

Many guys tell me that fishing satisfies a primal hunting urge. It’s man vs. nature, armed with only a pole, beer and sunscreen. They think, “I just caught my own dinner (if my wife will de-bone it for me).”

And if you consider fishing a sport – and some do – then it’s a very democratic kind of activity. You don’t need to be a tall or strong or agile. You just need to be patient, or drunk . . . on the beauty of nature. It also is a slower form of sport (as compared to basketball or soccer/football) and I’m sure that some of you would debate whether it is a sport at all.

Also, fishing is a pretty good excuse not to do much which is supposed to be a relaxing time for everyone. So it’s a time to zone out and reflect about stuff.  One man explained fishing as extended periods of boredom punctuated with brief bouts of excitement – which to me describes dating. You put your bait out there; you see what bites; you catch and release, and trust there are OTHER fish in the sea. Oh dear.

Other guys think of fishing as meaningful bonding time with fathers, grandfathers and sons. A friend of mine described his time with his dad as a childhood adventure. The “adventure” was baloney sandwiches in the hot, humid bayou in a tiny boat, and very little fish-catching. Conversation rarely got deep, but it was intimate time shared.

Now there’s a reason to fish that I’ll buy hook, line and sinker.

Most men probably don’t analyze why they love fishing. Why think too hard about a simple pleasure? But it’s kind of a metaphor for a good life: Try your best, hope for the best, have days when you catch something and days when you don’t, but always, always be thankful for the sound of the water and the sun in the sky and the chance to cast another reel.

It’s been said, “Some men fish their entire lives without realizing it’s not fish they’re after.”

So, gentlemen, if you are part of the fishing crowd, have fun . . . and tight lines!

This post is dedicated to Uncle Shanker. Keep fishing.

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