To be honest when I started, I had no interest in fishing. All I wanted to do was paddle around and look at wildlife. I also like to look into people's yards. We are in Virginia Beach and are able to kayak in areas where many very rich people have the most beautiful yards right on the water. Back when Mark and I were still dating, we went out on the water, and while he was fishing, I paddled around and did my wildlife watching and admired the beautiful real estate and landscaping.
One of the reasons I was not interested in fishing was that I knew nothing about it. The idea of catching a fish and having to kill it just did not appeal to me. I had no idea that you could catch a fish, take a picture and let it go. I believe on our third trip out together, Mark asked if I wanted to wet a line. I figured worst case would be me not catching a thing. But the fish gods smiled on me that day and let me hook into my first Red Drum. The entire experience was incredible. Even now I can close my eyes and remember all the feelings I had. The heartbeat I felt in my hands along with the low drumming of the fish. I was hooked! The tug is the drug.
One of the most frequently asked questions I hear is: “What did Mark do to get you interested in fishing?” Another is, “What can I do to get my wife to go fishing?” Let me ask you this, does it matter if she fishes? Or would you be content just spending more time with your partner? Here’s my two cents. First of all you may need to educate your significant other about fishing. Maybe just a few basic things. For instance, there being no need to have to handle bait. Offer her an artificial lure alternative. Trust me on this one, most women don’t want to handle stinky dead bait if they don’t have too.
Emphasize the fact that she will not have to kill anything! Catch, photo and release is a great way to conserve our fisheries. On the other hand depending on your style of fishing you may want to play the reward card. It is rewarding to catch a fish for the dinner table. Tell her she can catch it and you will provide the filets for her to cook. She doesn't have to do the ‘dirty’ deed.
Just don't push the fishing issue. Start by offering to take her along. I have several friends that are happy to spend the extra time on the water with their partner. Some wife’s even bring along a nook/kindle to read. Others have partners with cameras ready to shoot wildlife and even capture the trophy fish pic for you. We also have friends, where the partner crabs of the kayak. In my mind there are many ways to spend time on the water with your partner. Find a beach and enjoy a picnic lunch together, then go for a swim.
Fishing is not for everybody. Respect that and be ready to offer alternatives. Last but not least, if there is no interest on her part, let it be and just go fishing alone. You can offer to meet for dinner after. Remember take your children fishing, they are our next generation.
by Kris Lally Lozier