Anglers lured into fishing
THE STATE JOURNAL-REGISTER
Recent statistics from the American Sport Fishing Association say about 40 million Americans fish.
More people fish than play golf and tennis combined. Hiking, biking and swimming are among the scant handful of outdoor pursuits that are more popular than fishing. The average amateur sport fisherman goes fishing 20 to 30 times a year.
If all the money spent on fishing could be folded into one company, Fishing, Inc. would be a Fortune 500 company and rank 47th in retail sales.
Recently, an article in Field and Stream magazine described 112 “Can’t Miss Killer Lures.” Top North American fishing guides were asked to name their personal favorites. The guides made their case for their selections based on their own success. The list includes lures that will catch bass, bluegill, walleye, crappie, catfish and just about anything else with fins and gills that swims in fresh water.
Unless all 112 lures are already in their tackle boxes, most of the fishermen and women I know won’t be able to resist purchasing at least one lure on that list. Hot new lures, or redesigned old ones, are to fishermen what complaints are to Terrell Owens — no matter how many of them you float out there, it is never enough, and there are more where those came from.
In spite of the fact that fishing relies heavily on luck and the weather, for the serious fisherman, no lure will ever be as hot as the one they will try next. Fishermen spend more than $900 million a year on fishing lures.
At Little Brothers Hardware, picking out a killer fishing lure was as simple as whistling down a country lane with Andy and Opie. I’d ask Uncle Stanley which lure would catch the most fish, and he’d point to a Lazy Ike, a Rapala or maybe a Daredevil or a Bomber. I’d fork over about a buck and a quarter and hike over to Dietrich’s pond to try it out. My whole tackle box was dangling off my rod tip.
It is still true that fishing doesn’t have to be complicated to be lots of fun. A resident fishing license is pretty cheap. And in this area, we can wet a line in criks, farm ponds, lakes and rivers. There are several species of fish swimming in each one.
If you haven’t gone fishing for a while, dust off that old rod and reel and give it to a kid who wants to try his hand. Show him or her how to use it.
It may be a good idea to stand right beside the kid when the bobber starts to dance — in the excitement of landing that first fish, more than one youngster has let go of the pole.