Fishing local is wonderful and here are eight benefits that I think are valuable:
1. Fishing local allows you to get out at a moments notice
On the spur of the moment you can get out fishing. After work, after school, or when you have a few hours on the weekend you can get a line wet. Before family hockey my son and I can get out to Oak Grove Park in Centerville, Ohio, first thing in the morning and be back by 10:00 am.
2. Fishing local is a great value and not a big investment
You have the gear so all it costs you is time and maybe a few bucks for live bait. There are no big travel costs, weekend commitments, or hotels. Less time packing and more time fishing.
3. Fishing local is a great way to get kids exciting about fishing
Not only can you get out quickly but you can get also home quickly. For a kid to love something they need to know that they have a say, or you can figure out, when they’ve had enough. Staying too long is a huge risk. 1/2 hour spent enjoying fishing for a kid is epic. You want the kids to leave happy not dreading the outing.
4. Fishing local gives you a chance to try out new gear
You got the new rod, or reel so now what? Do you want to fumble around with the new gear on that once in a lifetime trip or at a local spot? Get familiar with the gear in a relaxed manner. There is really nothing to lose on the local waters so give yourself time to learn and set up the rod and reel or try out the new lures or bait. As you probably know those local spots well you can try new lures and bait and have prior experience to compare your results to.
Does the new spinner bait really work? Do you like how the reel works? How about that rod? Do you find yourself saying, “I should try that new top water bait?” On the local water is the time to experiment and get familiar with your gear.
5. Fishing local lets you support local fishing shops for bait and tackle
The folks at the local tackle store really know where the fishing’s great, what the fish are hitting and can even let you in on new local spots. If these shops go the way of local bookstores we will all lose these valuable resources. From bait to repair services and local information, there are numerous ways to support the local shop. Last time I checked you can't buy live bait on-line.
6. Fishing local helps bring others into the sport
Everyone is looking for ideas on new things to do either by themselves, or with the family. Next time someone asks you in the office what to do this weekend; point them to a local fishing spot. You probably have a couple of closed reels and rods in the garage that you can even loan them. A couple of dozen night crawlers and they are good to go.
7. Fishing local lets you meet new people
Fishing brings out the best in people. In a weird way it's almost like the collective we against the fish. I know it’s easy for me to strike up a conversation about how the fishing is when I come across someone at my local park. Nothing gets a kid excited or feeling proud when he lands that fish with someone watching.
8. Fishing local lets you really master a location
Fishing the spot over and over really let's you master the location. Why are guides successful, they fish the same bodies of water over and over. Fishing the same spot lets you see how the fish and the location change. There is a place for the challenge of finding success on a new body of water but there is also the great feeling of repeated success at a familiar spot. Keep in mind that local spot can be a local pond or an equally wonderful stream.
Hopefully these eight benefits hit a cord with you and will get you thinking about fishing local. I’m sure you can think of other benefits so please share your thoughts below.