Fishbusters' Bulletin: Try these easy-to-keep New Year’s fishing resolutions

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

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For immediate release: December 30, 2014
Media contact: Bob Wattendorf, 850-488-0520

January 2015 Florida Fish Busters’ Bulletin
By Bob Wattendorf, with Brandon Thompson


Suggested Tweet: Check under the fish-attractor tree for holiday goodies from @MyFWC! #Florida #fishing

Try these easy-to-keep New Year’s fishing resolutions


It’s time to implement your resolutions for 2015. I bet you considered some tried-and-true, or tried-but-failed resolutions that top most people’s list. So how do you combine your fishing passion with feeling good about achieving your resolutions? Read on.

The TopTens website scored the following resolutions as among the most popular with Americans.

No. 1: Enjoy life more. That’s a no-brainer. Spend more time on the water this year, catch more and bigger fish and enjoy bragging about it. The Outdoor Foundation reports fishing is the second most popular outdoor adult activity (14.8 percent of adults participate) behind running. Fishing ranks third for youth (18.4 percent), with biking occupying second position.

Our tip, register for free at You’ll be in the running to win a $40,000 Phoenix bass boat package, and everytime you catch, document and release an 8-pound or heavier bass you’ll earn at least $100 in gift cards. Checking out the gallery will show you when, how and where anglers are catching these lifetime bragging trophies. “Like” us on Facebook at TrophyCatchFlorida and share your catches with your friends.

No. 2: Stay active. CalorieCount says you burn from 170 to about 408 calories an hour fishing, depending on whether you are sitting in a boat or wading the shoreline. Want to up the muscle burn? Try kayak-fishing, one of the most popular and fastest growing outdoor activities with an increase of 28 percent between 2012 and 2013.

No. 3: Eat healthy. Anglers are among the most natural of locavores, a trend that has been growing. For you linguists, “locavore” was the word of the year for the Oxford American Dictionary in 2007 and refers to people who are concerned about natural, sustainable foods that are grown or harvested locally. Many recreational species such as crappie, bream and catfish are abundant throughout Florida and fit this need. Department of Health fish advisories ( state, “Eating fish is an important part of a healthy diet. Rich in vitamins and low in fat, fish contains protein we need for strong bodies. It is also an excellent source of nutrition for proper growth and development. In fact, the American Heart Association recommends that you eat two meals of fish or seafood every week. While mercury in rivers, creeks, ponds and lakes can build up in some fish to levels that can be harmful, most fish caught in Florida can be eaten without harm.”

No. 4: Get organized. If you’ve seen my mess of an office, let alone my tackle box and pick-up-stix conglomeration of fishing rods, you know I need work on this. If you do too, check out the latest tackle box designs and fishing-rod socks. Also remember to ensure your fishing-get-away kit includes sunscreen, insect repellent, water and a personal floatation device, if you are boating. Finally, don’t forget to leave a float plan with someone who knows when you should be back.

No. 5: Learn something new. Ever met an angler who doesn’t want to learn something new, like where to go (check out the fishing gallery and map at, what new lure to try, the best color for local conditions, or a new technique?

No. 6: Save money. Fishing provides healthy, inexpensive entertainment and relaxation. An annual freshwater fishing license ( only costs $17. For the “average” angler, that works out to 25 cents per hour of fishing fun. To get started, a basic bream buster (a collapsible cane pole), some worms, hooks and floats can be had for around $20, and a simple spinning reel, rod and selection of artificial lures is only a little more than that. In Florida, you can normally find somewhere to fish from shore or a fishing pier within a 45 minutes drive.

No. 7: Do better in school and/or work. No kidding! Research shows people who take time to relax and connect with nature are more productive in school and at work. Want proof? check out

No. 8: Stop making New Year’s resolutions! Humph. Well, that would kind of defeat the purpose of this list, but then again, it might provide more time on the water fishing to accomplish these other resolutions.

No. 9: Help others. One of the greatest joys of fishing is mentoring others. Make a commitment to introduce an acquaintance to sport fishing, and don’t forget that stewardship is a big part of being an ethical angler. You can look into volunteering to help at a kids fishing event, lake cleanup, or with an aquatic habitat enhancement program. To volunteer with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), go to

No. 10: Spend time with loved ones/family/friends. So why isn’t this No. 1 on the list? Fishing is a fabulous way to spend time with family, friends and loved ones away from life’s stresses. It can also help create the Next Generation that Cares about the outdoors and conservation. Nature has a tendency to soothe the soul and allow for casual conversation in between bites. Most of all, fishing is about memories that last a lifetime.

This January, check out your own personal list of resolutions and see how many of them you can achieve throughout the year by simply enjoying fishing right here in Florida – The Fishing Capital of the World.




Instant licenses are available at or by calling 888-FISH-FLORIDA (347-4356). Report violators by calling 888-404-3922, *FWC or #FWC on your cell phone, or texting to Visit and select “more news,” or for more Fish Busters’ Bulletins. To subscribe to FWC columns or to receive news releases, visit


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