If you already have a pole and line and a place that you can go, fishing is an inexpensive form of recreation and a great way to get free meals. It’s also a relatively easy hobby to learn, as long as you get casting down – I have tried teaching it on multiple occasions and all it takes is a little practice.
Fish are a great source of protein and are low in saturated fat. If you catch your fish straight from the water, you don’t have to wonder about where your fish came from. Fresh wild fish tastes very different from frozen, canned, and farm-raised fish. By different, I mean better. I also sincerely believe that knowing what it takes to get food on a plate by yourself is a valuable life lesson.
With all that said, here is the first white bass I’m ever going to eat. Unfortunately, the fishing was slow today and I didn’t catch anything. I was lucky that my partner landed this one and was generous enough to give it to me. One fish is barely enough to make a meal for one person but I didn’t want to waste it.
I managed to get two decent fillets out of this one. Filleting fish is probably the only other learning curve to catching fish but there are a myriad of instructional videos on the internet to help. For white bass, they recommend removing the red section of meat – apparently it doesn’t do much for the flavor – but I hated wasting all the meat so I left it on. The guts went to Gunther as a treat and the rest of the fish went into my compost bin. To store the fillets until I’m ready to cook them tonight, I put them in a jar with water and placed it in the fridge. If you have a decent catch at the end of the day, any meat that isn’t going to be immediately used and can be frozen for another night.
If you’ve never fished before, here are some steps you can take to start:
- Get some fishing gear. Don’t make things complicated – all you need is a fishing pole, some lures, some hooks, and a stringer to keep your fish on. You don’t have to buy bait – lift up a couple rocks, gather some worms, or catch crickets and grasshoppers. Fish actually prefer the latter and it’s cheaper.
- Find a place to go. Lakes and rivers are public waters and most have accesses you can fish from.
- Learn the regulations. Buy a fishing license. There are rules about what fish you can keep, how many, and what size. Learn these or you may be paying off a citation in the future.
- Just do it. Experience is the best teacher. Cast the bait in the water and wait. My advice is, if you’re a first time fisher-person, find someone who already knows the sport so they can show you the ropes. Seniors are invaluable when it comes to things like this. Plus, you will make a new friend.
In conclusion, save money on food and entertainment and go fishing.
“You know when they have a fishing show on TV? They catch the fish and then let it go. They don’t want to eat the fish, they just want to make it late for something.”
– Mitch Hedberg