Ice Fishing Heroes

Where are all the Ice Fishing Heroes?

When Heroes show up in life they come in all shapes and sizes.

The same holds true in fishing. The List of more recognizable Fishing Heroes could consist of: Television fishing hosts, high profile celebrities and professional athletes that are guests on fishing shows, fishing tournament professionals, professional fishing guides, outdoor writers and radio show hosts to name a few.

To call the above “more recognizable” may not be fair though to other, just as important, Fishing Heroes such as: Bait store owner/operators and employees, conservation officers, fisheries biologists, sporting goods employees and associates, commercial fishermen, etc.

Don’t forget Fishing Heroes like: grandpa’s, grandmas, moms, dads, husbands, wives, big and little brothers and/or sisters, “old folks” who take “young-uns” fishing or “young-uns” that take “old folks” fishing, etc.

Last but not least, Fishing Heroes such as: Farmers that are concentrating on agricultural practices that improve water quality, industries and corporations that are concerned with keeping the environment clean, individuals who get off of the couch to make a difference, etc. etc.

And I apologize because I left out a million other descriptions of people that would qualify as Fishing Heroes!

With the number of licensed anglers slightly declining every year, we as anglers can’t stand to wait for Heroes to show up. Considering the numerous opportunities for the nations youth and adult populations to be distracted by non-constructive pastimes, we all need to seize the moment, get involved and make a difference! Sometimes we can’t be full-fledged Heroes, but we can assist other Heroes and invariably, that act makes us all Heroes. Here’s how:

Introduce a Hero:

Don’t be a Hero Hog! Share! Situations where you say “Billy, I would like you to meet a hero of mine, his name is Earl and he took me fishing for the first time in my life and still doesn’t talk about the hook I stuck in his hand” Imagine a world where all of the kids wanted to grow up to be fishing stars. Where their money was spent on addictions such as lures and fishing rods. When they grew up they would give the opposite sex lines that were monofilaments or fluorocarbons. Where their music was the splash of a fish, their fans were reels that screamed from the fight and their groupies were groupers.

Seek a Hero:

Hire a guide, go to sport shows, attend seminars, visit fish hatcheries, surf the web, purchase a fishing magazine, join a fishing club, subscribe to a newspaper with an outdoor column, take the spouse shopping at your local retailer; while your visiting these fishing Hero haunts, find a hero of your own. Meet a friend who will help you with fishing skills and invariably life’s lessons. Some of the greatest psychiatrists I ever knew weren’t licensed professionals with leather couches but fishing buddies with vinyl boat seats. Down in the dumps? Go fishing with your Hero and you’ll be amazed at how you’re “feeling much better.”

Be a Hero:

There is no easier way to be a hero than by introducing someone to the sport of fishing. Make it a goal this year to take a non-angler out in your boat. If you don’t own a boat, get ‘em on the bank with you. If they really dig it, a super hero move would be to give them one of your fishing rods or better yet, buy them their own. As fellow human beings we can make a difference and be a “Super Hero” if we positively change the life of one person in our own lifetime.

Thank a Hero:

Someone you know who has done or is currently doing something to make a difference in fishing. Most (if not all) of the descriptions above would fit the bill and they would probably be honored to the point of tearing up if someone thanked them, or patted them on the back with an “atta boy/girl” gesture. In fact, after I’m done writing this, I’ll call my biggest fishing hero and make her cry! Mom’s always a little sensitive at times like these.

You Heroes out there know who you are, and we, whom you taught to fish, Thank You!

Editors Note:This article is from the Fishing the WildSide Annual. For a free copy, call (218) 547-4714.

Tommy Skarlis is one of the talented Pro Staff members of Fishing the WildSide. Co-founded by Chip Leer and Tommy Skarlis, Fishing the WildSide is an extensive effort focused on generating excitement for the great sport of fishing.