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Why I Fish

Over the last few years I have written many articles on fishing. Most of my articles have covered “how to” tips, advice on great places to fish, reviews of all kinds of equipment, and my experiences regarding safety and fishing etiquette. This month I want to offer you a different take. Over the years, I fielded many questions about how I got into fishing, how I started guiding, etc. These questions were simple for me to answer. My dad introduced me to fishing at a young age. I am sure this holds true for many of you. I got started with guiding because part of my passion is fed by passing along knowledge to others. I get joy out of seeing others enjoy this sport as much as I do.

As a public high school teacher for more than 20 years, teaching anglers new strategies and techniques to become more successful comes naturally- regardless of their level. Because it came naturally, I never really sat down and gave it much thought- “Why do I fish?”. Obviously, I enjoy it, but it’s time to examine what makes me enjoy it and why I do it.

I firmly believe we all have something about which we are truly passionate. That passion fuels

us to make the time to pursue it. We become passionate about things for different reasons, but I believe the one common denominator is that our passions help us escape from the everyday responsibilities of our lives. Anyone who lives on Long Island, as I do, has the potential for a ten minute "escape plan". No matter where you turn there is a body of water within ten minutes. The water is not far away, and when the angler gets there, he is a world away from the day to day. Being in this world allows me to realize that I not only love it, but need it to live my life.

Fishing allows me to disconnect from the “every day” and reconnect to the things that drive my passion- the salt air, the beauty of the beach, sunrises and sunsets, and of course, the joy of a

tight line. It allows me to get lost in my thoughts and access fond memories, such as those of a boy and his dad spending countless hours on the beaches of the south shore of Long Island- time that seemed to never end- feeling the excitement of catching my first striped bass off the beach next to Moriches Inlet. My dad was more excited than I was. He always had that excitement.

No matter what else I have done in life, Dad continues to have that special excitement to this day when I show him a picture of a nice fish recently caught. Whenever I speak to him before going fishing, he always says “go get that 50”. I really hope one day I can call him back and say, “mission accomplished”. But even if that day doesn’t come, there will be no disappointment, as I continue to enjoy every day I have in the surf.

Why do I fish? Maybe it’s more about what it is in my life that makes me the most thankful.

Thankful that I live in a place where I have the opportunity to escape the everyday hustle and

bustle of life, even if only for a few hours. Thankful for a Dad who introduced me to this great sport. Thankful for a family that supports my constant pursuit of that trophy fish.

The tides come and go, yet the memories created fishing, and the friendships formed from the shared passion last a lifetime. For me it doesn’t get any better than that! So my question for you- Why do you fish? Live Authentic! Live the Passion! Tight lines! is pleased to feature a monthly surfcasting blog from Bernie Hoyt , a NYS Certified Fishing Guide with over 30 years of experience surfcasting the legendary waters of Long Island. He is well known for his informative seminars at saltwater shows in the Northeast. Bernie offers trips along the outer beaches and inlets of Long Island, as well as Cape Cod Canal, Cuttyhunk, and other Northeast Striper locations. He is a pro-team member for S&S Bucktails, ODM RODS, and KastKing, as well as a member of the Long Island Beach Buggy Association and the Montauk Surfcasters Association. You can contact Bernie on Facebook through Bernie Bass Surfcasting Services, on Instagram @Bernie_bass and through his website at


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