There’s a recurring pattern I see over and over again when we host our events. It’s this pattern of going back to our roots. The reason why we began fishing. Here’s what I mean.
Often when I see heated debate it’s about what a fisherman does. From taking a big fish home to showing a specific technique or rig to eating a particular species of fish, it’s always about what one does. We’re so focused on what we do, we forget the commonality that connects us all. The reason why we began fishing in the first place.
To some it can be the thrill of the catch, the connection they have with a special person or an escape from the hardships of life. Whatever our reason for getting started, we can all relate at some point.
We can disagree on what we do but we can’t disagree on why we do it in the first place. Only then can we form a common bond and work on our differences. This takes a different model most fishing organizations miss. A FAmily culture.
I was again reminded of the FishAholics FAmily culture at the 2nd Annual FishAholics California Aqueduct Striped Bass Tournament. We had a total of 28 participants enter the tournament. Several more came who did not participate but came to hangout and support the FAm.
It was held at the CottonWood Fishing Access on the California Aqueduct about 10 minutes north of Gustine, CA.
We had some first time ‘duct anglers show up. A mother and her son looking for the thrill of the catch. An angler who traveled hours to meet the FAm for an escape from reality. A couple whose passion and commitment for fishing showed when one of them took first place.
It was dink city with several anglers catching fish but not the quality we were looking for. Several catfish were landed in the mix which kept anglers busy.
Even with a competition going on, participants were willing to stop fishing and show some of the newer anglers how to fish the area. They shared stories, eachothers knowledge and ultimately became friends as a result.
Even when tournament participants came in empty handed to the weigh in, they showed up with a smile from ear to ear. They knew it wasn’t about winning but about being apart of something greater than themselves. About being a part of a community who share a common set of values and beliefs.
Let’s not forget about our winners. They worked hard to bring in a legal catch. They were determined by fractions of an inch.
1st place & Big fish Winner: Mary Elizabeth Grillo
2nd Place Winner: Silshary Saguindel
3rd Place Winner: Brad Bethel
I think it’s a problem we see today when fishing organizations focus on their own special interests instead of finding a unifying commonality that connects us all. FishAholics has done this on a small but growing scale.
From that commonality we were able to share our experiences and form a tight knit yet active community.
When a group of canal fishermen can draw in interest from other bodies of water, other regions of the state, country and even across the world. When it brings together a culture clash of anglers from different backgrounds and ethnicities. When we bridge the gap between generations who thought they had nothing in common.
It’s not what we did that drew in interest from afar, it’s our FAmily culture that reminds anglers again why they love the sport in the first place. A FAmily of fishermen that makes this place special.
FAmily and Fishing.