--> Fishing is a wonderful sport, and its image should be positive. However, most of the times, fishermen are stereotyped as "destructive" people: people that litter (leaving trash and blood behind), destroys the environment (flips the ground for bait, overharvests fish), etc etc etc... Of course, some of it IS TRUE - this stereotype is not biased. There were fishermen practicing it, and there are still some fishermen out there that don't really care about nature, or don't have the etiquette to maintain a clean, safe, and sustainable environment. Therefore, one of the reasons (and the MAIN reason) for creating the Blog and the Facebook page is to raise our reputation by doing what is right and good for future generations to come. Like my friend Teeg (Executive manager of Recycledfish.org) would say: it all boils down to human awareness and social shaping!
How should we do this? Simple: don't litter, harvest only what is edible (be careful with Pcbs and Heavy metals); harvest only what you are going to eat (don't OVERharvest!); harvest a limited amount of fish, so the River can sustain itself; harvest only Species that are legal and common in the River; take good care of your equipment - don't leave unattended hooks or other dangerous materials on the floor; and so on! By doing these and much more, we will hopefully be admired one day, instead of being hated.
--> Fishing can be frustrating sometimes. Exploring is a part of fishing - finding spots, big fish, and so on. It's certainly part of the challenge. However, gathering knowledge before a fishing session is also certainly a smart move! The thing is: the amount of information present on the Internet is very limited. Some websites are available to tell you if certain body of water is public or private, but will not tell you what's really swimming in it. The Forums are very protective of their content, and usually end up in small groups of "trust," never releasing information for newcomers or outsiders. Why? Because people don't want to "burn their spots," "give their secret places away," etc. Why? Because SOMEONE is certainly going to go there, destroy the environment, harvest all the big fish, and the conclusion? A place without good Gamefish. And sincerely? People that think this way are not at fault - they have all reasons to think this way! Who would like to see a wonderful TROPHY fish taken away from his favorite spot? Who would like to see his spot trashed with beer cans, bait containers, etc, every time he arrives there? Nobody...right?
The Blog and the Facebook page are here to reveal information to a certain point, so we promote fishing and its locations while still giving the fisherman the opportunity to explore. We don't want fishermen to be demotivated by lack of spots, which is a problem that has been happening recently: a lot of spots are getting privatized. Also, not to mention, the Boat and Commission will probably NEVER make a list of all public and private waterways. I can't count how many times I've wasted a trip because I arrived at a private property, and there was ABSOLUTELY not enough information available online. Some websites even indicated it as public! Lesson of the day: trust some, but trust yourself above all. It's truly a shame that this list will never come out. And guys...don't ask me why, or I'll be even more frustrated! Instead, we should all go DEMAND the Boat and Commission to create a list. Don't forget: we are the ones buying the licenses (some of us, although EVERYONE should buy one to support the fishing economy), tackle, and bait; we are the ones supporting this whole fishing business. Without us, what is the Boat and Commission?!
--> Fishing is a joy - it's a healthy sport if practiced right. It can be shaped with other aspects of life, resulting in better attitudes and behaviors towards oneself and others. It boosts companionship, environmental awareness, common etiquette, humility, love for animals (fish! heh), and can even stronger relationships (i.e. father-son). It's an awesome sport for a good family time, it's an outdoors activity (watch out for the sun!), and it's a NEVER ENDING CHALLENGE. It's trying to learn and understand how fish behave - it's trying to understand a Species that is completely different from us; that lives in another realm. And every little bit of that knowledge and experience contributes for our own wisdom. It's not only a physical sport (muscles are required for dexterity and finesse), but also psychological (like playing battleship!).
I'm here to show people that fishing is a hobby as good as golfing, skiing, snowboarding, etc. Also, I want to show that this is a sport that is not only for the rich! Anyone can start at any time, and it's enjoyable and worth the experience. I always say it: adrenaline is the BEST DRUG! For people that shakes after a huge or rare catch - you guys know what I'm talking about! For those who never felt this way, I encourage it - it's a feeling of intense bliss. For those who say that fishing is boring, try active fishing and take it as a good physical exercise! Later, after seeing a fish surface to get a lure, the feeling of enticing a fish for a top-water bite will definitely get a person hooked. For those who love nature and like being outdoors with family, or with a couple beers (heh. THROW THEM IN THE TRASH!), and just chill...try passive fishing - leave your rod there, and go for it once the drag burns!
These are just a couple of the reasons why I - Leo Sheng - have created the Blog and Facebook page. I had wonderful experiences, explored new places, made new companions for life, and I'm still fighting for a better image of our sport! A better image for fishermen, overall. I want people to experience what I experienced; therefore, I pass on my thoughts through this Blog and the Facebook page. The fact that all information is FREE and open to anyone with Internet access is an extra plus. However, it doesn't end here: a lot of people don't have access to the Internet yet. That's when the "mouth-to-mouth" part comes in. We have to let those fishermen know what is good and what is bad - which actions will bring great consequences, and which actions will bring great progresses. So, let's spread the word around!
Thank you for joining me on this cause, people. Just spreading the goods around is an awesome way to represent union, and shape change in a slow, but gradual straightforward direction. We are all different and unique - we grew up upon different cultures and environments (melting pot, salad bowl, Big Mac...whatever...hah). But one thing is evident, and unites us together: our love for fishing. And that, guys, is beautiful enough in this time of corruption and great evil.
Slow, but gradual...
"There will be water if God wills it,"
Long Days and Pleasant Nights,