Ever since I was old enough to bait a hook, I’ve been taking fishing trips with my dad. It’s been a great way for me to unwind and spend time in nature.
So, why is fishing fun and relaxing? It provides an outlet from stress. It requires light, but consistent physical activity, which releases dopamine. Fishing also leads to a concrete reward, which strengthens feelings of self-reliance and goal achievement.
Of course, these are just a few of the many benefits and applications of this hobby. Fishing trips are also great chances to help keep the local ecosystem healthy, bond with other people, or just take joy in reeling in (and maybe even cooking) a big catch!
Fishing for Personal Benefit
Before any other reason, fishing is just good for you! It’s healthy for your body to get some exercise in nature, and is healthy for your mind to get away from your everyday life once and a while and spend some time in nature.
When it comes to physical health, fishing provides a unique opportunity to stay in shape (sometimes even above the quality of a gym)! Your average exercise time on a treadmill will only burn about 250 calories. But with the walking, wading, climbing, casting, and reeling involved with fishing, you can burn between 500-1,500 calories with much less exertion!
The exercise involved with fishing also provides a different kind of workout than the one you would get from a gym. You exercise different muscles than usual because of the motions of climbing and casting. It also provides the chance to exercise some fine motor skills when it comes to baiting a hook, adjusting a line, or reeling in a catch.
Those are skills that you can’t develop in a typical gym session! The trick to physical fitness with fishing is that it is light, but constant exercise. You can stay in shape, usually without even noticing what you’re doing!
Beyond the physical benefits, fishing is good for your mental and emotional health as well. Being out in nature, often in quiet and isolated places, provides relief from your usual stress and pressures. There is little background noise, no advertisements, and no screentime.
Fishing is a good activity to pursue because it can be done alone, with a friend, or with an entire group. There are different benefits and experiences for each of these options, but each can provide a good time.
Socially speaking, fishing can be a great way to get to know people or spend time with friends and family members. If you go fishing with acquaintances or colleagues, it is also a good chance to bond with people outside of their usual settings.
There are fewer distractions in nature, and going fishing with other people tends to make them drop some of their usual guards.
Not to mention the fact that you often have a lot of downtime while you’re waiting for a fish to bite! This provides a long time for conversation or quiet reflection depending on the people in your group. Many groups have forged longtime friendships by going fishing together.
And I think that few things are more satisfying than bringing home a few fish to cook for dinner. Going out to catch our own food is a rare experience in the modern world, and it provides a unique experience.
By setting out with a purpose and coming back having achieved that purpose, we are able to feel good about our efforts and the rewards that we have gained.
There are also a lot of great food dishes to use your fresh fish for! You can simply butter and fry your fish if you’re going for simplicity, but there are countless recipes you can learn as well.
Fishing is a great way to stay in shape (almost without noticing it), lets you take a break from the stresses and noise of your average life, and provides a venue to grow closer with those you spend time with.
But this still isn’t the end of the benefits that fishing can bring! This activity is also a good way to keep the local environment healthy and can support parks and wildlife programs.
Fishing for the Environment
As strange as it may sound, fishing can be a great way to keep rivers, lakes, and streams healthy! Invasive species can overrun natural fish populations, and fishermen can be a great way to keep them in check.
Many of these invasive species don’t have natural predators in the area, so outside forces are one of the only safe ways to keep their numbers down.
Overpopulation of fish can also have a negative effect on aquatic habitats. They can overgraze plant life and drive each other out of existence. In order to keep the balance healthy, fishermen can come and regulate the numbers.
To keep everything in check, there are limits and rules involved with recreational fishing. Obviously, if fishers caught too many fish, or released the invasive species back into the ecosystem, that wouldn’t be helpful to anyone.
Be aware that most places will have a catch limit. This means that you can only catch a few fish per trip. They could also impose a species restriction, meaning that you can only keep certain kinds of fish. This helps protect species that are endangered, or at risk from other factors.
To ensure that young generations of fish also have a fair chance, it is often the rule that fish that are under a certain size should be released if they are caught.
Aside from population management and invasive species hunting, buying fishing licenses and traveling to local lakes, streams, parks, and preserves can be a great way to support wildlife protection programs. Your money and patronage demonstrate that people do care about their environment and enjoy the recreation that can be found there.
By showing your interest in fishing you provide the monetary and public support for wildlife workers to continue to run hatcheries, fish migration equipment, and conservation of these natural places and resources.
These organizations will ensure that fishing is an activity that can be enjoyed by nature-lovers for generations to come. It’s good to know that we can all be a part of supporting this effort.
Low Expense Fun
Fishing is a wonderful activity to get involved with. It has benefits for your body and mind, enables you to spend time with others (if you so choose) and provides a service to the local ecosystem and wildlife conservation efforts.
But I think that one of the best parts of all is that it is so cheap! Fishing is a remarkably inexpensive hobby to get interested in. All you really need to get started is a license, a fishing pole, some bait or flies, and a body of water.
Although some of the finer details and techniques may take
Of course, if you so choose there are many ways to spend more on this hobby. Some people like to purchase boats, wading gear, high-quality poles, and a multitude of flies and lures.
But the best part is, even if you have the most basic materials and funds, you can still enjoy this experience to the fullest. If you’re looking for a cheap activity to do in nature, fishing is a great place to start.
Fishing licenses are cheap and easy to get. Many local businesses will offer them and they are good to use for a long time (often an entire season or year).
Once you get your basic gear, it’ll also be good for a long time. Fishing gear doesn’t go out of style very fast and some solid equipment can last years! So whatever the initial cost is, it will become worth the investment very quickly.
What is bad about fishing? Not every fishing trip will result in a successful catch which can be a bummer when you’re expecting to come home with a big one. The equipment can be difficult to use for first timers. Catch and release fishing can also cause injury or disease to the fish.
Is fly fishing better than spinning or bait fishing? These different types have different applications, so different circumstances are better for one or the other. Fly fishing is good for fast moving water while spinning and bait are better for slower water flow.