“So, you don’t like to fish?”

By Neil Taylor, www.capmel.com

The absolute bottom line is: Fishing is fun.   The thrill of anticipation of that great catch is one thing.   Learning the skills of a craft and achieving success is another.  Yet, the joy of taking in a great day on the water, regardless of the results, is priceless.  The “initial experience” of fishing is best enhanced when it is taken with someone who possesses enthusiasm and a strong knowledge of the sport.  Someone who doesn’t like fishing probably went with the wrong person.  

With exposure to the sport (usually, but not always, in the earlier childhood years) “the teacher” is usually a parent or other relative.   Other times a professional guide is used.  The accomplished angler/teacher or guide will likely make it the experience that turns it into a lifelong hobby.  The recipe for creating lifelong fishing pals is for them to “learn it right, from the start”, with the emphasis on fun and appreciating the beauty of the ecology.   Our estuaries and shorelines are the most beautiful environmental features of this state.   Or, it could be:  For the struggling angler, getting some instruction to get “over the hump” with their limitations, also can be assisted by the help of a “teacher”.

 Good teachers have a “good program”


Starting with the basics, instructors do a little teaching before they take someone fishing.   Starting with using the equipment and some great pointers on casting which should have some emphasis on safety but also the mechanics for making long casts.   From there it’s building onto long casts with “accuracy” and learning some lure retrieves that the “teacher knows will catch fish”.    A good teacher may even stop their pupil from fishing and have the student “watch the teacher.”   Often the lessons are better learned by observation than they are “in practice.” 

At least once a month, I will get the opportunity to take an “extra” person on a charter who makes it very clear to me:  “I’m not really interested in this.”   This is a challenge and usually their attitudes change after the combined experience of taking in the beauty of nature, the thrill of the hunt, learning how to move a lure properly, the strike, the sizzle of line flying off a reel and then the capture of the fish.  It turns out to be more fun than they thought it would be. 

Odds are that once someone has had the initial experience and are “hooked”, they will start to learn more of the things that they can do on their own.  Knot tying, bait catching, fly tying, rigging of boats and kayaks are all part of the fun.    With a positive experience and learning  “what to do” and “when to do it”, the beginner stands a very high chance of making fishing their favorite hobby.  If you can’t be that “teacher”, utilize a guide.   If you can be the teacher: Enjoy the sweet sound of laughter and the excitement on their face when your new fishing buddy enjoys something you’ve already known is one of the best things in life!

Neil Taylor charters kayak fishing trips in the Tampa Bay area.
Ph: 727-692-6345

Neil Taylor

Full time kayak fishing guide, Neil was an advocate for conservation since before the time he started guiding.Outdoor writer, speaker and radio show host, Neil connected closely with Captain Mel Berman and did many positives with Mel to promote ethical angling. After Mel passed away, Neil managed www.capmel.com and eventually became that web site’s owner.
Neil Taylor

Latest posts by Neil Taylor (see all)