December 7, 2015

Guest Post - Spurky On Kids & Fishing

I don't really do guest posts on the blog that much anymore, but whenever my buddy Spurky wants to write something, the floor is his. Spurky is a top-notch angler who taught me a ton about spin-fishing for trout when I lived in Pennsylvania. He's shown me around a ton of Central PA creeks while always being the kind guide & host. I figure this is the least I can do to return the favor.

Today Spurky takes aim on video games, parenting, and teaching kids to fish...

They say that children are the future of fishing. Actually, children are the future of everything.
Back to fishing, kids now have so many distractions, and of course, the phones. Video games of fishing are all over, and when kids play these games, and then - gasp-gasp - go outside and actually go fishing, you hear that it is too hot/cold, too muddy, too dusty, and so on and on. Then if they do get a fish, well it is too small, too slimy, etc, etc. They want to go back to the video game for the trophy fish. 
I am guilty, I have a few of these games that my wife bought me. Well, I get my butt kicked on them. After all, they are pre-programmed by a person in a studio. I have a game where I could basically match the water I fish during the summer, it even had my favorite lure. So I went fishing on the game, I got a few, but took a long time to get a "decent" amount of fish. In real life in about the same time, my arm would be getting tired from catching fish of all kinds and sizes. 
Parents today, because of computers in my opinion, do not take the time to raise their kids or take them on bonding trips like fishing. At the campground, I have a seasonal site right by the waterway that I wade for hours at a time, usually 4 to 5. I see parents taking kids out fishing on the creek, seeing sights that make me cringe and sorry for the kids. 
 I have seen rods - from 12' surf rods to rods that look like ice fishing rigs. Add to that lures ranging from saltwater size to little plastic worm bits, and most have floats (bobbers) attached to the line. Mind you this is along a creek at a campground with little slow moving water. Most currents carry the float from the center of the creek to the shore in about 10 seconds, so useless.  
Numerous times I have tried to explain what to do in set up and where to fish so the kids will catch fish, but 99% of the time I get treated like a leper, so have given up trying to help other peoples' kids out. This past year I tried to help, and again the leper routine be a well, ass, I went to where I told them to go, and caught fish about every cast, including 2 smallmouth over 16". Then I hear the father saying it was luck and I was a show off. I even asked if they wanted to try and offered extras of the lure I was using, and I got, "he just wants our spot, we will stay here." Oh well. 
I was very lucky, I have a daughter who was an extreme daddy's girl who went fishing with me all the time. It made me sad to lie to her so I could go out alone for me-time and to find new spots. She won a local tourney and was a state fishing champion. She picked up everything fast and was very competitive about fishing. She went with me on trips to Lake Ontario and to the large water at Raystown. 
 Alas, when she hit 16 it dropped off to no more fishing. She would bring friends out to the camper and get very upset that I was helping her friends catch fish instead of them being with her.  
I recently started taking other kids out fishing; I love teaching kids and actually loathe going out with adult learners. Our first trips out I scouted areas to take them, and we got a lot of fish, including the first trout for the one. I am not really big into numbers, but as young adults their first trip yielded 73 fish of all species, and the second trip with a second young adult yielded even more fish, including bass over 3lbs! 
This season I got to take another young man out for trout fishing. It was not my best trip, but we did get his first trout. 
Another trip was planned with another young adult, the weather and water conditions were far from good, but they wanted to go. We hit 8 different areas with only one sunny caught. I could tell he was bored and did my best to explain why this trip was not like the others. 
I really hope the youth of America can be taught to enjoy the slow, quiet, simple things like fishing, but with all the instant gratifications on phones and computer games and such it is going to be hard. I have not given up teaching, I am going to try again next spring/summer.


  1. Really loved reading this... Thanks!

  2. Great post. Maybe a good EMP would get more kids out fishing.

  3. Amen, "Spurky", Amen........................

  4. I can relate to a lot of this. Especially the lying to your kids so you can fish by yourself part. I fished more with my kids this year than I ever have and I hope that trend continues. My son is more concerned with when we're having snacks and my daughter likes to stare at the fish finder like it's a video game more than fish. It's still quality time and I never regret going with them.

  5. Kevin,my Samantha used to play with the worms,and name them. When we were bank fishing,she would take the large fishing bag,my father bought. She carried "her" lures,but also in front pocket she carried books to read,when action was slow