The last few months has been interesting to say the least. No matter how you feel about the pandemic I can assure you that it has impacted you in some way. One thing I have noticed is the number of people turning to the lake as a way of social distancing. More people especially during the week have had time to get to the water and to take their friends and families with them. More people have had the opportunity to experience what we already know, that the outdoors and in our case the water provides a relief from the hustle and bustle from the world.
This pandemic has had an economic impact also, both positive and negative on our sport. Its easy to see the negative as we look around, small business owners struggling and large businesses having to shut the doors temporarily or in some cases permanently. I have also noticed that many fishing products are out of stock, the shelved are getting bare everywhere. In recent days I was told there was even a minnow shortage, I’m not sure that Covid affected them but it was still happening.
The positive is that after a couple of years of high water across the country that greatly impacted the small bait shops that we rely on, they are now busy again. This would be a huge loss to our sport if they were forced to close because of loss of customer base. Thankfully this year is a boost to them, and with all the new customers the future is looking up for them.
Possibly the greatest benefit from the increase in fishing is that the next generation of anglers may have been created from this pandemic. The kids were able to spend time with their family enjoying this abundance of time that they had never had, between work and school and extracurricular activities many folks never made time to take the kids to the lake. So hopefully something positive has come from this pandemic.
With that being said, we (the ones who are the regulars on the water) have an example to set. We have a legacy to pass on, we have a responsibility to demonstrate how we want to be treated by our example. Have a little patience at the boat ramp, offer some help as they are struggling, show courtesy on the water and strike up some conversations with the new folks that are there. Share your vast knowledge with them and help create the next generation of anglers. Yes, they look and act a little different but remember that’s what everyone said about you.
Oklahoma Crappie Anglers Club