The American Fisherman: How Our Nation’s Anglers Founded, Fed, Financed, and Forever Shaped the U.S.A
From the day America was born, fishing has been a part of the American soul.
For Americans, fishing is much more than a sport.
It is a lifestyle of adventure, escape, and contemplation, of peace and spirituality, and bonding with nature, friends, and family. It can be a hobby, a passion, and a full-time job.
It is a way to challenge the soul, test your limits, and put food on the family table. It’s how parents and children discover what they’re made of together.
The Biblical faith that inspired America is often symbolized by fish, as symbols of life, sustenance, and redemption, including Jesus Christ’s recruitment of fishermen as his first disciples, the story of the loaves and the fishes, and his post-resurrection appearance to Simon Peter and the fishermen at the Sea of Galilee.
George Washington was a commercial fisherman. Native Americans and European settlers were nourished on countless fish from America’s lakes, streams, and oceans. Washington and Lincoln’s troops were fortified at key moments by fish. A boatload of presidents loved fishing, including Chester Arthur, Grover Cleveland, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, Jimmy Carter, and both Bushes.
Great states like Massachusetts, New York, Florida, Maryland, Louisiana, Texas, California, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska were built in large part upon commercial fishing. After World War II, sportfishing rose to become a multibillion-dollar passion for tens of millions of Americans. Fishing has inspired great American literature, painting, and poetry.
And fishing has directly shaped the creation, life, and growth of the United States of America.
Today, fishing is America’s number one pastime. There are more than 33 million fishermen and women in America. That’s more than the number of people who play golf and tennis combined! Our numbers are growing fast—by 11 percent in the last five-year federal survey. We spend $48 billion a year on fishing gear, licenses, trips, and events. We contribute over $1 billion a year to protect the environment. In fact, American fishermen, along with hunters, are the world’s most powerful conservationists, contributing billions of dollars to keep American lakes, rivers, streams, and oceans pure and safe for aquatic wildlife. We enjoy all kinds of fishing in fresh and salt water, like spincasting, spinning, baitcasting, and fly-fishing. Some of us even like to hunt underwater with a speargun, and others prefer to ice-fish through a hole in a frozen lake.
I can think of three things that help make America great—God, guts, and gills. The American fisherman delivers all three, and is a perfect icon of the freedom, adventure, ingenuity, and devotion that define the United States of America.
So join us on a journey back to our roots, back to the rivers, lakes, and streams of our youth, back to the days when America was young, our horizons were limitless, and we were nourished by the gifts of God and nature.
Climb aboard on this voyage into the heart of the American Fisherman.
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|Epub||December 19, 2016|
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