The thrill of catching fish is like free therapy
The minute I get out by the water with a fishing rod, all my problems and feelings of being overwhelmed disappear. The only thing I want to do is catch fish. There is no better feeling than being out in nature like that, feeling the fresh air; and being by the water is such a nice change of scenery.
It’s a very peaceful feeling. You get a warm sensation in your stomach, and you just feel so good and happy. Being out in nature is therapeutic, and in my opinion, fishing is the best way to relieve stress and temporarily forget about your issues.
My love for fishing began when I was younger. My father would take me fishing on our river at the back of our property; he showed me the different types of lures and how to put them on, how to cast the line, and how to bait a hook with a worm: “Put it on like a sock,” he always said. My father taught me everything I needed to know about fishing. He also taught me that putting pants and socks on was a good idea to go fishing, but do you think I listened? I got nettle stings on my feet and legs all the time because I decided to stay in flip flops and shorts instead. But even though my feet would burn for two days afterwards, I still loved to go fishing.
I have always been afraid of deep water. When I was younger, my dad would always set up my fishing rod first and tell me to go start fishing while he set his rod up. But I was always too scared to go down the riverbank alone, even though he was just a few feet away. Finally, one day I decided to be a big girl and go start fishing while he was still setting up. However, the minute I got down there, I saw a school of carp swim by. The type of carp I saw looked a little too much like mini sharks to me, and I went running back to my father, scared and screaming, “I just saw sharks! I almost peed my pants!” It took me years to be able to go back down to the water alone. This story has always been one of my favourites.
As I grew older, my passion for fishing continued to grow. I caught multiple fish and my skills improved. My aunt used to live by the water in Sainte-Barbe. When we visited, we would often bring our fishing poles. We caught a variety of fish, but one of the biggest ones I’ve ever caught was from that lake. My dad and I were fishing together, and I hooked a largemouth bass; it put up a huge fight, which was hard for me because I was still a little girl. But I didn’t give up. Two guys on a boat were passing by when they saw me reeling in the monster of a fish, and they even stopped to watch.
The sad but true ending to this story is that right before we could bring it up to shore, the fish managed to unhook itself and swim away, so I never got to see it up close other than the few times we saw it jump. But to this day, bass are still my favourite fish to catch. I remember my father telling me that catching bass felt like you were fighting with a train, and I agree.
Fishing isn’t just about catching the fish. The minute you cast you get a small rush of adrenaline, just waiting for a fish to bite. When you finally do get a bite, the rush of adrenaline is amplified by so much, it’s an indescribable feeling – all you want is to reel in the fish and see what you caught. Sometimes you just catch little sunfish or perch, but you still get that rush of adrenaline. One time in Vermont I even caught a piece of a horse carriage.
Even though you don’t always catch something it’s still very therapeutic to be out in nature, to be able to smell the fresh air and be away from the rest of the world. It makes you forget about all your problems for a little while. You’re appreciating the details surrounding you with a warm, fuzzy feeling in your stomach. You’re paying very close attention to your line and trying to be ready if you feel a bite. You use your brain in different ways than you’re used to, which is a nice change. All your troubles seem very far away.
I think fishing is definitely one of the best ways to relieve stress. The adrenaline and thrill you get beats anything else. The concentration makes you forget about everything else. I have been fishing since I was very little, and I’ve loved every moment of it. I’ve spent many hours fishing with my dad and creating many memories that I’ll cherish forever. I think fishing will always be a sort of escape for me; nothing will ever replace the peace and happiness I get from being out in nature, by the water, with a fishing pole.