By Kade Gewanter
There are an endless number of ways folks get outside and interact with nature and all are special and engaging in their own right. My passion happens to be fishing. In my opinion, there is no other outdoor pursuit as rewarding and infuriating as tricking a wild animal into eating something that they really shouldn't. Throughout my fishing journey, I have been fortunate enough to spend time in beautiful places, catch a lot of fish, and meet exceptional people along the way. To me, fishing is a lot more than strategy and expensive gear, but is instead a series of life lessons and perspectives that have played a huge role in the person I am today.
Hobbies and passion projects tend to give back far more than the effort needed to excel in them. Below I have summarized some of the gifts I have received in exchange for the countless hours I have spent fishing.
Community is Everything
There is something special that happens when people who share a similar passion meet. Background and walk of life become irrelevant and great friendships are formed. I have gravitated to other “fishy” people my entire life and there is no other company I would rather keep. Casual boat ramp conversations or cold beers at the end of the day have led me to countless positive connections and epic experiences. Finding yourself in a community where you truly belong is something I wish all people could feel.
Life is a lot sometimes, busy professional careers, relationships, and day-to-day responsibilities all add up. Hobbies and passions give you the chance to balance all that out with something you truly enjoy doing. Marching towards a goal that is not important to anyone but myself has given me unbelievable levels of enjoyment and fun challenges, bonus points if you can do it with amazing friends. Spending a day on the water often leaves me refreshed and prepared to tackle any challenges I am faced with.
Don't Miss a Chance to Get Involved
Fishing is especially susceptible to changes in regulations that affect species, fishing seasons, and the waterways available to anglers. As I’ve matured I have learned how rewarding it is to get involved with a worthy cause and to fight for what truly makes you happy. Making a real difference in the space where you like to be is a powerful experience, and there are likely plenty of causes that could seriously use your help. The level of involvement is completely up to you, whether it is a petition signature, rally attendance, or a letter to a politician, you can always make a resounding difference.
You Can Always Work Harder
The old 10/90 rule of fishing clearly states that 10% of the people catch 90% of the fish. This has nothing to do with luck. Instead, it comes down to countless hours of research, on-water experience, and a high level of mental focus. I have been fortunate enough to be around a few members of the 10% club, and have learned that there is always one more sacrifice that can be made to ensure success in anything that you deem worthy of pursuing. Things worth doing are never easy but the view from the top is always worthwhile.