One of the best things about having a good amount of knowledge and experiences on fishing is sharing those experiences with others. I believe that it is extremely important that we should share what we have learned with others and help them to be more successful on the water, because fishing can be a very communal experience.
Working at the public library in Rapid City, has afforded me the opportunity to present two annual fishing seminars for the past four years, one on shore fishing in the spring/summer and my favorite one, an ice fishing one. Thanks to some help with thinking of a title for the first one four years ago, I have dubbed the ice fishing one the "Lure of Ice Fishing Series" where I traditionally go over tips, techniques, fishing locations and some gear that works well in whatever situation a fisherman or woman might find themselves at.
This past week, I presented the fourth seminar in the series, titled "Gear Up, Catch More Fish". Instead of focusing on technique, I decided it was time to go over some gear to use to stay comfortable on the ice as well as many of the new tools and lures that have come out for this new ice season.
At past seminars, I usually get a good mix of attendees who are looking for some tips on getting into ice fishing and those more seasoned looking to check out what's new in the sport. With the all new technologies and equipment that has come out the last few years, I wanted to be able to showcase how the new gear keeps us warm and keeps the fish coming out through the hole.
After set-up was done and my wife brought me some dinner, she asked me a very eye-opening question as we sat at the table: "So, is this ALL our stuff?" I wanted to answer "of course", but I paused for a minute and looked at the set-up. I came to the realization that I have amassed a LOT of stuff for ice fishing in the last few years!
I needed one table four years ago for what I had brought at the time. Now I needed four. Between the rods, tackle bags and boxes with all manner of lures, augers, Vexilars, safety gear, shelters, tip-ups, Ice Armor suits and other accessories, it looked like an outdoor retail store set-up. All I could answer was, "wow, this really is ALL our stuff! Didn't realize I had so much until it's all in one place."
Thanks to some great advertising from the publications department at the library and some local businesses sharing the program announcement, the seminar was a huge success. I'd expected around 35-40 people as the attendance has grown from a dozen at the first one to around 30 last year, but I had 70-75 people come.
There weren't enough chairs for the room, so it was standing room only by the time I got started. I was blown away with the attendance, but loved the questions I got once the program was done. Plenty of them came from kids who attended which was great to see. I only wish the program was longer as I ran out of time before I could get to all the questions.
So if you are presented with an opportunity to share what you have learned on the water with us, be it one-on-one or in a group setting, take that chance to pass it on and hopefully you'll hear back about how much success they had using a tip or technique you taught them. It is a great reward to hear about and one that I always cherish to hear about thanks to this seminar.