Okay, take a glance at this picture, and then I have to warn you...

fishing boat

The Loophhole, a 26 foot fishing boat I cut my angling teeth on.

I'm about to get all preachy on you.

This picture recently came to light when I was looking for photos to help celebrate my father's birthday. And it reminded me yet again that the guy who gets credit for introducing me to what has become both a lifelong passion and a major part of how I earn my living—fishing—is Dear Old Dad. But not everyone is so lucky. Many kids grow up with non-fishing parents (the horror!) and never have the chance to experience the excitement of a bent rod or acres of fish busting water in a feeding frenzy.

Sure, my dad was (and is) somewhat less than entirely successful as an angler (sorry, Dad). It did take me a solid decade or so to unlearn a lot of the techniques and rigging he taught me, which might be best described as antiquated (again, sorry). And yes, he did give me incredibly bad advice when he suggested I miss the amazing bluefish blitz of '89 merely because finals began the same week (hey, I still graduated, didn't I?) But the fact remains: he fished, so I got to.

Here are the words you knew I was going to say: take a kid fishing. Believe me, I get cramps in my fingers by typing such a massive cliché. But I'm willing to suffer through it, because the message is so dang important. We owe it to all those poor, dejected, fishless kids out there. And besides, the payback is huge. Watching a kid catch a fish for the first time is like watching fireworks: the face lights up, hoots and hollers break out, and laughs and smiles appear on every face onboard. You will not regret it.

(Right, Dad?)


Written by: Lenny Rudow
With over two decades of experience in marine journalism, Lenny Rudow has contributed to publications including YachtWorld, boats.com, Boating Magazine, Marlin Magazine, Boating World, Saltwater Sportsman, Texas Fish & Game, and many others. Lenny is a graduate of the Westlawn School of Yacht Design, and he has won numerous BWI and OWAA writing awards.