The Personal Rewards of Fishing

Forestville, WI – Why do you fish, or why would you want to try fishing? The short answer is that it’s “fun”. But it’s not that simple. We’re all about science and research, so let’s take a moment to reveal the deeper meaning of the “fun” of fishing into defined areas of “personal rewards”.

We’re programmed to fish: Believe it or not, some say fishing is part of our DNA and who we are as Paleo-hunters because it fulfills our instinct of pursuing and catching our own food. Besides making us more sustainable as a human on Planet Earth (if you consume some of the fish you catch), fishing both calms and excites our senses. Some say the excitement comes from feeling that shock in your hands when a fish strikes, while others think it’s the thrill of reeling in a thrashing fish fighting on the end of your line. So fulfilling some primal and exciting interaction with something wild is a personal reward.

Create Lasting Memories: Studies show that many people equate “happiness” with creating and recalling treasured memories. That makes sense, right? When most people recall a memory of something “fun” or special in their lives, it often includes several key elements: 1) interacting with nature in the outdoors. 2) bonding with family and friends. 3) a first-time experience with something new. Fishing of course checks all those boxes. But so do a lot of things that fail to generate lasting treasured memories. 

Here’s a simple test; ask five people if they remember catching their first baseball, swinging a golf club or hooping their first basket. Chances are few or none will recall those foggy memories of their favorite “sporting pastime”. Now ask the same people if they remember catching their first fish. Betcha get a very different response. So, yeah, fishing creates lasting memories that equate to happiness for many people.

A Great Way to Unwind: Let’s admit it. Chores around the house, school homework, and the stress of growing up in a world full of ADULTS can sometimes make kids go coyote crazy with stress. The cure? Fishing is your passport to a stress-free world where you can simply enjoy being outdoors, breathing fresh air, and waiting for a lunker to bite. Some experts believe that fishing brings on a special sense of being free and alive while interacting with nature on the water. Now that’s a sure-fire combo for unwinding.

Creating Social Bonds: Look, you can Facebook your way around cyberspace until your thumbs fall off. But nothing forms stronger relationships than face-to-face time with genuine family and friends. And fishing with family and friends can cement bonds that last a lifetime. Besides, who better to help you land that big fish than your parents or peeps?

If you like “The Personal Rewards of Fishing,” be sure to check out FAF’s entire online series at Into the Outdoors, or on television in the educational blocks offered on PBS nationwide and other over the air networks. Here you’ll also find shorter, custom video segments complete with lesson plans, for sharing in classroom or fishing club settings.

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