History would suggest fishing is an activity for the ages.
It certainly has enjoyed unprecedented staying power with the practice dating back at least 40,000 years, a time at which fishing was an essential part of survival.
Now, whether a person calls it a hobby, sport, or craft, fishing is something the entire family can enjoy. Often passed down from generation to generation, there are many reasons to consider picking up a rod and reel and head to the nearest water.
With boredom mentioned as the second leading reason for trying drugs and alcohol in a Lake Havasu City youth survey, having an easily accessible, low-cost activity is beneficial.
In fact, many organizations have used programs such as “Hooked on Fishing, Not Drugs” as a method to help youths make better life decisions.
How cheap? Well, in Arizona a resident fishing license for individuals 10-17-years-old is $5 and 18-and-over is just $37 a year.
That’s right … quality entertainment for just 10 cents per day. For those under 10, fishing is free and there’s always Free Fishing Day in June for those wanting to try before committing to buying a license.
It’s quite the bargain when considering trout and tilapia run about $7 and $4 per pound, respectively, when purchased in a store.
The Arizona state record rainbow trout caught in the Colorado River weighed over 21 pounds and for tilapia it is about 7.5 pounds. That doesn’t include some of the monster striped bass pulled out of the Colorado River system.
Having something to do and the potential for putting dinner on the table are far from the only perks.
Angling has many health benefits, from the activity itself to the consumption of the fish.
Provided an individual isn’t sitting still with a cooler full of libations and snacks, fishing burns calories as an angler moves from one area to another trying to find the perfect spot to reel in a prize.
It also builds muscle. As much as an individual wants to pull a fish out of the water, it wants to remain in the water, so even a battle with smaller fish an angler uses their legs, back, arms, and shoulders.
Such battles create memories and bonds that last a lifetime. Parents often seek a stronger connection with their children and fishing is certainly an activity that promotes togetherness and the serenity may be the moment to address difficult subjects, such as drugs and alcohol.
Of course there’s many other potential health benefits, including a connection to the outdoors, relaxation, a healthier heart, and an increased level of vitamin D from being in the sun, which boosts the immune system and helps defend the body from diseases.
For today’s youth, among the benefits is an opportunity to put the digital world to rest for a few hours as they become absorbed in the sights and sounds only the outdoors can provide.
Take the time to expand the experience by discussing different fishing techniques, such as lures vs. baits, and spinners vs. flies, along with the different species of fish, their behaviors, and best spots to catch them.
All these benefits before actually catching a fish and preparing it for dinner must mean there’s more to come.
Consuming fish ranks among the healthiest diets. Unlike what is said of fatty meats, the fattier the fish, the better it is for overall health because of the vitamin D content. So, an angler gets two doses of the vitamin with just one outdoor adventure.
For youth, it is especially important for the development of the brain and eyes, and, for adults, it helps slow cognitive decline.
In addition, it is believed to reduce the risk of some autoimmune disease, such as Type 1 diabetes and may help reduce the risk of children developing asthma.
Now that you’ve caught a fish, look for video on how to fillet and prepare it for consumption and countless recipes are available online.
If you didn’t know, now you do.