Fishing with kids and the role we play

Fishing with your child has to be one of the purist moments you can share with your kid.

Fishing with your child has to be one of the purist moments you can share with your kid.  Except for the fact that he or she will be taught a new skill and be introduced to the ocean, your child will also be taught a different level of respect that few people these days understand or grasp.

If I may use my son, Boeta as an example. He has been fishing since the age of 1 year old, and now, being just 9 years old, shows a maturity that so many “adults’ still lack. He understands that removing a fish from the ocean, literally means that the fish is dead, and will not come back.  He also willingly participates in catch and release, wanting to release a fish when we have already caught one or two for the day. It’s a simple concept, or so I thought. 

To revert back to my opening statement, levels of respect can only be taught if it becomes a way of life, and in saying that, your child will mirror your actions and reactions, even if you do not realize it. 

Watershed

I remember sitting with my boy, and, having a real “father and son moment”, and taking him through the process of killing an animal, and what happens to the fish as it dies. How the colours change and the fins twitch, and inevitably, how the pupil dilates and the iris turns silver.

And at that moment he realized what life truly means, and that death is irreversible. He understood the responsibility that came with being a fisherman, not to play God and decide over life or death, but to be guardians of our resources, and respect for nature – and yourself.
 

Sitting with my boy that day, and watching that Blacktail die, -there was no guttural death bellow but instead the exact opposite, – silence. 

I remember my words to him clearly.  “Hy is nou dood”.
 

I guess it’s easy to become poetic about life and death, especially in the day and age we live in, and the constant stresses we face every day in our beautiful country. I guess the point that I am trying to get to is to simply appreciate what we have and we sometimes take for granted while fishing. 

I want people to realize the incredible honour we have to target a fish, and to literally tap into their realm where so few people ever visit.

Let’s respect and appreciate what we have around us, and allow our kids to enjoy the same honour that we have today, tomorrow.

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