Sharing anything can be a minefield, especially when posting online nowadays. Some days it can seem like you are talking into the void when asking for help or for information. Other times as soon as you post the critics descend like seagulls on fresh chips. I honestly did not know we had so many experts in our sport. Some well meaning and others that seem to just be out to chip away at others.
We have seen many articles written about the unfortunate lack of etiquette in angling today and about the problems with sharing information openly online. I personally have fallen foul of sharing marks and having them abused or over fished. And yet without taking that leap of faith and starting conversations or sharing knowledge I would not have met some of my greatest friends. There will always be an element in the fishing community that wish to take more that they will ever give. The lurkers who view but never comment – we all know the type. These people may have their reasons. They may be slightly insecure of their ability? A lot I feel are simply not prepared to risk the wrath of the keyboard warriors. “All opinions are created equal, except for mine”. This negative element I have found are usually negative in every walk of their lives – so please do not take it personally. No angler was born knowing these things, we are all learning every day.
Thankfully there are many who believe in the sharing of knowledge and are working to change the mentality and ethos of old school “I learned the hard way – so you must” and “fishing secrets” and create an atmosphere where people do not need to feel embarrassed or worried about asking basic questions. I have met some amazing skippers, guides and anglers who live for sharing and helping people. Ones so passionate about the sport and the passing on of knowledge that their enthusiasm is infectious.
Now I am not suggesting that we should all give away everything and I would never chastise anyone for wanting to keep their favourite marks private, but the knowledge is what is important. It’s the knots, or the rigs, the little lessons, the types of bites, the baiting techniques. All those little things. I myself try to share everything I can with people. Knowledge, rigs, tactics, baits and even occasionally marks. But that is because I know first-hand what it can be like to have to learn the hard way. I can only dream about what I could have accomplished had I known then what I know now. If I could have had someone guide me as I was busy learning the hard way. Buying the wrong rod and it breaking, tying the wrong knot and it failing. Fishing the wrong state of tide and blanking.
If we all shared what we know, we would all know an awful lot more. You don’t need to know a lot to be able to share it. One thing that I have picked up through my interaction on the Fishlocker page is that nobody knows everything, even 40 year veteran anglers have contacted me to say “that’s really simple but I didn’t know that”. Everyone’s experience and observations are different, that little snippet you have learned or observation you have made might seem like nothing, but could be of great value to someone else and could help them land their fish.
And that is truly what it is all about for me. We love this sport, it gives us such joy. Being able to help someone else experience that same joy because of something you have shown them. That small thing you have done will encourage that person to share, and before you know it we have changed the world of fishing. You might not see it happen. It might never be a tangible change where people ever really notice. But we are right now by doing this, we are changing the face of angling. And it is through sharing and helping each other. So the next time you are stood on the pier, or walking along the beach. The next charter you are on or time you are launching your boat. If you see a fellow angler – speak to them. Be friendly to them. We already have so much in common and if we work together sharing what we know, who knows where things may lead? We all share this passion, so why don’t we share it?