I was recently interviewed by a publication asking for my take on the relatively new college fishing programs. Definitely something I wish would have been available when I was in school.
Aside from being a place for outdoorsman to socialize, it can help act as a catapult for those that want to enter the industry after graduation. Perhaps these programs even motivate kids that might not have gone to college if it wasn’t for the fishing clubs.
I was interviewed by a college a year or so ago about being their fishing coach. I didn’t see that one coming. Certainly neither did any of my family. Professor Ross… not sure how I feel about that one. The point being that fishing is a big business and companies are learning to target younger demographics. For the most part it is a win-win deal. An athletic director was quoted in the aforementioned article as saying that in the first year ten kids came to his school specifically because they had the fishing program.
Aside for the obvious platform that it gives the kids to start earlier and get better at their craft, I think it helps to show that fishing is a major deal and it isn’t going anywhere. After all it is a much bigger business from a dollars-and-cents standpoint than golf, yet not as widely accepted on main stream TV and other media outlets.
Will we see a day where kids are recruited to fish under scholarship? I never could have imagined having a cell phone that could do as much as it does as a kid either, so who knows.
Regardless it is a positive step forward for the outdoor industry against organizations that strive to portray what we do as almost criminal to the main-stream population. While it is cliché, it does all start with taking a kid fishing!
Capt. Ross Robertson