Hunting

The angling fanatic: This is why I fish

Alyssa Lloyd is an outdoors photojournalist and angling web series host who lives to fish. Here she shares her first fishing memories, what fishing means to her and why exactly it is that she fishes.

I don’t remember my first fish, but I do recall marvelling at a particular pumpkinseed, while my dad exclaimed; ‘Hard to believe there are even more beautiful fish out there.’ That was enough to entice me for years.

“Because of fishing I’m no longer a stranger in my own life.”

But there’s really only one way to explain just how beneficial fishing has been in my life, though this gets a tad personal so bear with me.

Photo by @Alyssa.Lloyd

Photo by @Alyssa.Lloyd
Alyssa's mother with her 8lb walleye

Photo by @Alyssa.Lloyd

12 years ago, my family suffered a very close loss. Stuck in a cycle of grief, things got construed and messy. I was 16 years old when I finally picked up a rod again.

By the time I was 19, I was getting on the water regularly, either through friends, or solo trips from shore. Material things started meaning less to me, and soon enough I was allowing myself to enjoy priceless moments without guilt.

“Watching my mother reel in an 8lb walleye on her own as she grinned from ear to ear filled me with so much pride and honour in being able to share her excitement.”

Now, instead of feeling alone – like I usually am on the water – all of the white noise disappears and I feel closer to the person I lost. The persistence and determination I put into fishing grounds me. It slowly chiseled away the doubts and barriers I held myself back with all those years. Because of fishing I’m no longer a stranger in my own life.

Recently I took my mother on a women’s fishing trip for Bay of Quinte walleye. Winds were high, temperatures were low, but she stuck through it without a single complaint.

Watching her reel in an 8lb walleye on her own, as she grinned from ear to ear, as well as her having the dedication to get that fish on board, filled me with so much pride and honour in being able to share her excitement. The icing on the cake was having her with me when I reeled in my personal best walleye later in the trip.

Fishing can be incredibly valuable. You aren’t just learning about the fish, you are learning about their habitat, different types of weeds, invasive species, what their diet consists of. Not to mention how their existence has shaped our past and future on a global scale.

You’re essentially acquiring knowledge about your own environment, just by focusing on theirs.

“You need to understand that the fish do not care. They don’t care how many hours you’ve put in and they certainly don’t concern themselves with whether you’re male or female.”

Whether you’re just starting to fish, or if you’ve been fishing for your whole life, you need to understand that the fish do not care.

They don’t care how many hours you’ve put in, the amount of miles you’ve travelled, if you’re green or experienced, and they certainly don’t concern themselves with whether you’re male or female.

Being knowledgeable and approaching situations with experience helps, but it will never guarantee fish. The important part is being able to handle disappointment.

If you let it get to you, it will effect your time on the water, but if you let it fuel you, that monster fish is always just a cast away.

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