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Feature Article: Keep America Fishing

Keep America Fishing: 10 Resolutions to Get You Fishing

BY JOHN STILLWAGON/Special to Western Outdoor NewsPublished: Jan 16, 2018

This time of year, most of us say the same thing: “This year, I’m going to spend more time fishing.” Unfortunately, whether the reason is not enough time, no one to fish with, or not enough money, something always seems to get in the way.

Here are some “resolutions” for 2017 designed to get you out on the water. Trust me, these are resolutions you’ll want to stick to.


1. Focus on fun. While a bad day of fishing is always better than a good day at work, even the best of us get skunked once in a while. If you focus more on the fun than the size or the number of fish you’re catching, it can turn a so-so day into a memorable one.


2. Buy a license. Buying a license for the New Year can be easy to put off, so don’t delay. Take Me Fishing has a great page that makes getting your 2017 license super easy.


3. Take a kid fishing. Give a youngster a break from computers and video games and get them out catching fish. If you are taking a little one, try places that are close to home in case the weather turns bad or the fish aren’t biting.


4. Take a friend fishing. Some estimates say there are over 60 million anglers in the U.S. but only 46 million went fishing last year. That means 14 million people who wanted to go fishing didn’t get the chance. Call up a friend and get them back in the action or check out a website like FishWithMe.net to find fishing outings in your area.


5. Fish for something new. Variety is the spice of life. Try targeting a species you’ve never fished for. If you’ve never had a chance to fish saltwater, consider using ShareaFishingCharter.com . It’s a service that helps you book a spot on a charter boat without having to fill the boat yourself.


6. Create a savings plan to buy new gear. Whether you plan to set aside a dollar a day, save your spare change, or have a yard sale, there are lots of ways to save money. A swear jar works for me (a little too well.)


7. Take a class and learn something new. One of the great things about fishing is that there’s always something to learn. Many local clubs and big retailers like Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, and Field and Stream offer free classes on fly-fishing, boating safety, and using the latest lures.


8. Enter a tournament. From big organizations like FLW and B.A.S.S. and WON BASS (wonbass.com) to local clubs, there’s no better way to test your skills than a little friendly competition.


9. Don’t forget your camera. Sharing pictures of your catches with friends and family around the table or on social media is a great way to stay in touch with fishing buddies and to get young people interested in the sport. Apps likeFishidy,Fishbrain, and ProAngler make it easy to share pics of your catch and get info on hot spots in your area.


10. Support Keep America Fishing. Believe it or not, there’s a lot of politics in fishing and sometimes, an email to your legislator can make a big difference for fishing in your local community or across the country. Keep America Fishing makes it easy to advocate for the issues you care about. Best of all, it doesn’t cost a penny. When there’s an issue affecting fishermen in your area, count on us to keep you in the loop.


These are just a few ways to help you spend more time catching fish in 2017. What ideas do you have?


Happy New Year and tight lines!


John Stillwagon is Keep America Fishing Online Community Manager




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