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Life Lessons I Learned From Fishing

Updated on September 22, 2016

I live in an area with many lakes, so needless to say, I've spent a lot of time fishing. I would not say I am an avid fishing person, nor am I good at it. I have spent a fair amount of time observing and thinking while I've been fishing, and though I haven't always caught a lot of fish, I have learned a few things while I've sat in the boat with a pole in hand. Here are a few of those lessons:

Be patient.

What else can you do as you sit in a boat waiting for a big one to take the bait? You can't tell a fish to hurry up, they do what they want.

Patience is definitely a virtue, and many of us should learn to be more patient. When your child is engrossed in telling you a story without leaving out a single detail, or when you're in a hurry and the elderly person in front of you in the checkout line chats an extra long time with the cashier (probably because the elderly person is lonely), be patient. Some people need extra time because they need to make a connection with others. A couple minutes more or less isn't going to matter much anyway.

I realize I am not a very patient person, so I probably need to spend more time sitting in a boat fishing and developing patience.

A small ripple can make a difference.

Have you ever tossed a stone in the water and seen the ripples extend outward across the surface? One assumes the further away the ripples get from the center, the less impact they have. But the fish can sense them, and the feeling of a ripple can spook the fish to dive deep.

And so it is with actions. One small act of kindness can encourage another person to act kindly, and a chain reaction starts. Similarly, if someone treats someone else poorly, the victim may lash out at another. The smallest disagreement can escalate quickly; this is how battles develop into wars. Every action leads to a reaction. Think before you toss stones or hurtful words. They do have impact, and the ripples last a long time before they fade away. It is best to make ripples in a positive way because even the smallest ripple affects someone or something.

There is an appropriate time for everything.

One does not go fishing in the middle of the day because it's probably too hot, especially if it's July. This is also not a good time to catch fish because if it's sunny, the fish see your shadow, and they will be spooked. The best time to fish? Early morning or early evening.

Life is like fishing because there are appropriate times to do things. If you jump into a situation before the time is right, the results can be devastating. Often times we want to rush forward before we clearly evaluate the situation and plan accordingly; it's like jumpin' in a boat to go fishing without a lifejacket and bait.

"The early bird catches the worm", in this case, the fish.

We all have heard the stories about fisher-people who get up at the crack of dawn to be out on the lake early, and, they usually catch fish. That's because they have a plan and follow through in a timely manner. They are up early attacking the task with enthusiasm.

In life if we get up and just get moving, goals are much easier to achieve. Nothing gets accomplished by avoiding a task. Even if a task is unpleasant, it's in your best interest to just get it done because then you can move on to do activities you enjoy.

Fishing is a fun family activity, and you just might learn something too!
Fishing is a fun family activity, and you just might learn something too!

More on life and fishing:

Don't let tall tales get too big, they'll come back to haunt you.

The story of how "the big one got away" is familiar to many of us. Many people who fish enjoy exaggerating, or even bragging, and the story gets bigger and better every time it's told.

If you talk to others and exaggerate continually, others will soon decide that what you say may not necessarily be true. They will start questioning if and when you are telling the truth Although telling a tall tale once in a while maybe okay, don't let it become a habit. Others could start to question your sincerity.

Just let it go.

When people catch small fish, they often decide to let the fish go so it can grow bigger. Sometimes, in life too, it is best to just let it go. When someone has hurt or upset you, it is easy to hold on to anger and harbor a grudge. But if you hold on to feelings of anger and resentment, they start to eat away at you, and ultimately, these feelings can destroy you. Sometimes, you need to decide to just let those feelings go so you find peace.

Fishing can be a very calming experience. It gives one time to think and reflect upon the past and think about ways to make life better. Think about going fishing; you just might learn a thing or two.


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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      A good read. And I love "Life Lessons" as a theme for some of your hubs. Well done.

    • Julie A. Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Julie A. Johnson 

      12 years ago from Duluth, MN

      dayzeebee, Many special times are shared while fishing; I'm glad you enjoyed this hub. Enjoy fishing when you get the chance. And thank you so much for your lovely compliments. I appreciate it. Keep writing! Julie

    • dayzeebee profile image


      12 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      i love the way you presented your lessons. you are truly a beautiful teacher. i'm glad i found you here. i used to go out fishing with my dad when i was in grade school and often found myself looking forward to joining him especially after he customized a fishing rod just for me. thank you for sharing....or better still..thank you for teaching.

    • Julie A. Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Julie A. Johnson 

      12 years ago from Duluth, MN


      Thanks, glad you liked it. Do you mean Solitaire? I'll have to give that one some thought. I really don't play that card game (I'll have to ask Allen to explain it to me).


    • Julie A. Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Julie A. Johnson 

      12 years ago from Duluth, MN

      Gawn fishin',

      Glad you enjoyed this hub, and I look forward to reading more of your articles.


    • profile image


      12 years ago

      I loved this essay. Can you do one for playing solitary because I just know that there are some important life lessons in solitary and I need an excuse for playing it.

    • Gawn Fishin' profile image

      Gawn Fishin' 

      12 years ago from Vancouver, BC

      Thank you Julie for being my fan, after reading this I know why. I am, and will be a big fan of yours.

    • Julie A. Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Julie A. Johnson 

      12 years ago from Duluth, MN

      Thanks Ripplemaker,

      I appreciate your kind words. Keep writing!


    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 

      12 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Hi Julie, what a beautiful reflection you have here! I truly enjoyed reading it and it made me ponder too. Thank you for sharing this one. :)

    • Julie A. Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Julie A. Johnson 

      12 years ago from Duluth, MN


      Thanks so much for the positive response. I look forward to reading more of your writing. too! Write on.


    • wannabwestern profile image

      Carolyn Augustine 

      12 years ago from Iowa

      Hi Julie, some encouraging words of wisdom and truth in this Hub. I'm looking forward to reading more of your writing. I like that you are adding something uplifting to the mix here!


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