FISHING (And The FIVE LESSONS I Caught)
I wanted to finally get my hands wet at fishing so I asked Leslie, my mother-in-law and an avid angler, to teach me. My husband is also a regular at this fishing business and he would have been more than capable to give me a beginner's guide, but I really wanted to spend time with my MIL and learn a thing or two from her. Befitting her generous personality, Leslie was gracious enough to humor me for my first fishing foray.
We decided on Hermosa Beach to do some pier fishing. Although Leslie bought her own boat a couple of years ago after retirement, I knew there was no way I could hop on that sucker until I paid my dues with the reel. Did I catch a fish during my first time? Well, you'll have to read below to find out. Along the way, I also gathered FIVE nifty lessons that'll help me on my next fishing expedition (and this thing called life).
1. BE PREPARED
Before I even began my lesson with Leslie, my husband suggested I get familiar with tying a hook. Although I thought he was being way too bossy and a bit overzealous, I have to admit he was right. Just by him introducing me to hook-tying 101 gave me more confidence on what I was about to learn, even without my mastery. Thus, I was comfortable when Leslie taught me how to get the hook just right when we arrived at the pier. That little bit of preparation before the actual event went a long way.
2. LEARN FROM THOSE WHO LOVE WHAT THEY TEACH
I can't stress this enough. Whether it's learning how to jazz dance, build tree houses or fish, it's advisable to make sure you pick a mentor who loves the activity they're an expert on. I'm sure it helped that she's a retired teacher, but her passion for fishing made for a great learning experience, and her knowledge of the subject was helpful. She also didn't laugh (too loud anyway) when I referred to the rods and line as "fishing stick and string", respectively, which was very kind of her.
3. BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS
Don't get your fishing pole tangled up with another fisherman's, plain and simple. Since I was fishing next to other folks at the pier, it was important that I respected their space, as I'm sure they were respecting mine. This made me more mindful of other people around me; sort of like a lesson on fishing empathy.
4. THAT VIRTUE NAMED PATIENCE
It's freaking fishing. If you can't sit still and chill for two minutes, it's probably not the sport/hobby for you. I originally thought I would be bored but I ended up enjoying it. I also realized I have more patience than I give myself credit for, so that was enlightening. And if you're having an insane day/week/month, doing a little fishing might help your stress level drop. Unless you're a Wicked Tuna cast member, fishing is pretty much mediation with bait.
5. THERE'S A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FISHING AND CATCHING
This by far is the best lesson I learned from Leslie that day. She said that people always assume that fishing means catching but that's not necessarily the case. If you enjoy fishing, then sit still and enjoy fishing. If you are just in it for the catch, then save yourself the trouble, head to your local seafood market and buy the catch of the day there. Much like life, it's all about enjoying the journey without worrying too much about the outcome.
In the end, I didn't come home with a fish to fry (or broil and/or bake). Was I disappointed? Not at all. I look forward to another experience not worrying about catching.