This guest post was written by Robert Montgomery, a long-time Senior Writer for B.A.S.S. Publications, founder of the Activist Angler website, and author of two books, Better Bass Fishing and Why We Fish.
I was hooked the first time that I went fishing, even though I didn’t catch a fish. Just seeing another Cub Scout pull in a bluegill with a cane pole was enough for me.
Until well into my teens, I fished to catch fish. Period. I didn’t just love to fish. I lived to fish.
That began to change in college, when I intuitively went fishing to relieve stress. But still I didn’t think about it. Nor did it occur to me to wonder why we fish as a young outdoors writer, when I met fishing guides, bass pros, and folks in the fishing industry.
But as I met people who told me stories about the intangible value of angling, I did start to wonder. Soldiers stationed in Iraq shared with me that fishing over there made them feel closer to home. A father with an autistic child revealed how his son is happier on the water. And the organizer of a fishing event for children with terminal illness told me about how a little girl screamed with joy to feel the wind in her hair as she rode in a bass boat.
I also began to realize that going fishing as an adult awakened in me so many wonderful memories of angling trips with friends and family when I was younger.
And that’s what led me to write Why We Fish, a collection of essays that explores the many reasons, both tangible and intangible, that we go fishing.
What I’ve learned in writing the book and asking others why they fish is that most really don’t think about it – until they are asked. Then they open up with a flood of wonderful reasons.
Enough of them, in fact, to fill a book.
(Why do you fish? Leave your response in the comments below!)
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