It’s hard to hear this—but not everybody loves fishing as much as you do. Some people actually find it a little…boring.
But don’t be so quick to scorn these non-anglers. There’s a good chance they have a story of a dismal fishing trip from when they were little. Worse yet, maybe they’ve never actually had the chance to give it a go.
Compromise and comfort are the keys to converting skeptics. Here’s how to plan a fishing outing that could very well yield you a new permanent fishing buddy.
Keep It Short (For Now)
We know you could go at it all day—but your apprehensive angler might not share your stamina just yet. Don’t worry, that will come with time. But for now, plan an outing that’s just an hour or two long. The idea is to keep them engaged and intrigued; if you wait until they start to fade, you’ll have a harder time convincing them to come out with you next time. Start short and sweet.
Listen to the Weatherman
There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad gear. You know that, we know that, but your companion may not totally appreciate this mantra just yet. Pick a pleasant day for the initial trial outing—you want your non-angler to associate fishing with blue skies, sunshine, and quality time enjoying the great outdoors. If they’re freezing cold, soaking wet, or sweating non-stop in the sweltering heat, they might not be so keen on repeating the experience in the future. With time, they’ll learn how to tackle the elements—but leave that to a later date.
Mix It Up
It’s easy to combine fishing with other fun activities—maybe you do it from a canoe. Maybe you take a spin around the lake and check out some new places. Maybe you simply stop for lunch or dinner on the way home to recap your time on the water. This will help ensure your pal has a fun time, even if you don’t get any bites.
Share Your Wisdom
Fishing may be second nature to you, but your companion may not know why you use certain bait or why your spot of choice is better than another. Explain the why as you show them what to do, and share some information about the fish you’re expecting to catch. You know the saying: teach a man to fish…
Bring Back Up
If things aren’t going well—some eye rolling or yawning, maybe—don’t despair. Just bring some back up to entertain your partner if things start to go sour. A book, a magazine, a podcast—these are all good distractions that can help save the day if things start to go south.
Feast Like a King
If you’re allowed to keep what you catch—and hopefully, you catch something good—take it home and cook it up the best way you know how. Whether you’re a fan of the fish fry or you prefer to eat it with just a little butter, prepare your catch the best way you know how and convince your up-and-coming fisherman that it tastes way better when you catch it yourself.