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Understanding and Managing Fishing Fear or Anxiety

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While it's true that many people consider fishing to be a relaxing, calming pursuit, this simply cannot be said for everyone. There are some who will deal with anxiety or even fear about the prospect of fishing -- there may be a few reasons for this, and there are also some great resources you can utilize if you or someone you know is in this position and wants to try and conquer their fears.

At Pybus Point Lodge, we provide numerous resources as part of our all-inclusive Alaskan vacation packages, including many helpful themes for fishers of any level -- from expert anglers all the way down to beginners, including those who worry about fear or anxiety surrounding fishing. Why might these fears be present, and what are some helpful, soothing techniques to help move past them? Here's a basic primer.

Sources of Fishing Fear or Anxiety

There are a few causes that may be behind someone's fear or fishing or fish-related themes:

  • Ichthyophobia: You may not have been aware of it, but there is a specific condition called ichthyophobia, which is when a person has an irrational fear of fish or fishing. Ichthyophobia might be triggered by traumatic experiences in one's past, but it can also occur "out of the blue." Fears among those with ichthyophobia can range from eating fish to touching fish, and the condition can be debilitating.
  • Aquaphobia: This is a common phobia, and it's related to ichthyophobia in that it refers to a fear of water. This may manifest itself as anxiety about being in close proximity to water, swimming, or even taking baths or showers.
  • Fear of the unknown: For many people who have not gone fishing before, it can be a scary prospect because there are so many unknowns and surprises that could be in store. This is particularly true of new fishers who may not know what types of fish they'll catch, the quality or size of the fish they'll catch, etc.

Before we proceed to our sections covering possible solutions to these fears, an important note: No one is forcing you to attempt to conquer these fears if you have them. Some people simply do not wish to face their fears, and that's okay. If you're someone who feels your fear or anxiety about fishing is too much to handle, it's okay to take a step back for now -- there will be plenty of future opportunities to try again when you feel more comfortable, and there's no problem at all if that day never comes.

That said, if you deal with anxiety or fear about fishing and want to try and move past it, our next several sections will go over some simple tips for doing so.

Observe Someone Else Fishing

For many, especially those who have never been in a fishing setting before, it can be helpful to see someone else fishing before jumping in themselves. This is a low-stress way of getting acclimated to the environment without feeling any pressure. You can watch from afar or, if you know the person, ask if you can join them for a bit just to observe.

If you're comfortable enough (and if the person you're watching is okay with it), you can even ask questions about what they're doing as they fish. This can be a helpful way of getting more information about the process and potentially quelling some fears you may have had.

Watch Videos or Tutorials

For some people, fishing fears are really rooted in uncertainty. This uncertainty can manifest itself in a lot of different ways, from worries about being seen as incompetent to simply not knowing what to do or where to start. If this sounds like you, watching videos or tutorials online may be a good way for you to get comfortable with fishing before actually trying it yourself.

YouTube is full of useful fishing resources and videos that can help new fishers get comfortable with the process. If you're someone who learns best by seeing and doing, this may be a good solution for you.

Start Small

This one may seem obvious, but starting small is often an important and helpful tip for those who are feeling anxious about fishing. This could mean choosing to fish in a smaller body of water, using smaller bait, or anything else that feels less daunting to you.

The idea behind this tip is that it can help ease your anxiety by giving you a sense of control. When you feel like you're in control of the situation, it can be much easier to relax and enjoy yourself -- after all, that's what fishing is all about!

Consider Guided Fishing Trips

Whether in your local area or on a vacation to a wonderful location like Alaska, guide fishing trips are another great way to ease into the process of fishing. These guided trips will be staffed with professionals who can show you the ropes, help you cast your rod, and go over any other important steps in the process.

If anxiety is a big issue for you when it comes to fishing, this may be an excellent option that allows you to enjoy the experience without feeling overwhelmed.

Take a Deep Breath

Finally, it's important to remember that fishing is supposed to be enjoyable! It can be easy to forget this when you're feeling anxious or scared, but it's important to try and relax and take things one step at a time. If you start to feel overwhelmed, take a deep breath and count to 10 before making any decisions.

If you find yourself in a situation where your anxiety is causing you to overthink things, take a few minutes to calm down and let go of some of that negative energy. If you need more steps for doing this, check out our article on the best ways to manage stress.

For more on how to manage anxiety or fears surrounding fishing, or to learn about any of our Alaskan fishing or wildlife adventures, speak to the pros at Pybus Point Lodge today.

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REVIEWS

65% OF OUR GUESTS ARE RETURN CUSTOMERS

Discover why people like you can’t stop talking about Pybus Point Lodge. More than 30 years ago, the lodge opened as a simple fishing camp, drawing a devoted following in spite of basic accommodations. With new owners and experienced captains and crew, our corner of Alaska has become an unbeatable fishing and eco-tourism resort.

Andrea Tate

Incredible Experience!

Pybus Point Lodge has some of the most stunning scenery I’ve ever seen. I mean absolutely breathtaking! In addition to the amazing fishing, I hiked to a beautiful secluded lake, soaked in some hot pots, saw several waterfalls, went whale watching, saw bears and all kinds of wildlife and marine life. As a photographer, photographing a wedding under a waterfall will remain a highlight of my life.

Shirley Johnson

Pybus Point Lodge - WOW!

We had the best time! This was our first visit to Pybus, but it definitely will not be our last. The stunning scenery, amazing fishing experience, and the joy of meeting new friends – all outstanding! We did not want to leave!!! If you are thinking about this trip – don’t think any more, just book it. You will not regret it!!!

Sharon Hedding

Trip of a Lifetime!

We had such an amazing time the staff was so wonderful and the lodge was fantastic! capt Joe was so helpful and always doing what ever he could do to make each day special. a special thank you to both Scott and Jody for taking the time to make us feel like family. can't wait to go back next year

Jason Nielsen

Wonderful and Magical Place

We had an amazing business retreat to Pybus Point Lodge.  Everything was top notch... the fishing, the staff, the boat captains, the food, the accommodations, and especially the scenery. I really liked that Pybus took care of everything from start to finish. Chef John is an amazing cook. We had delicious hot meals the entire trip.  The cabins were amazing and very comfortable.  The fishing was awesome and that’s coming from a guy that doesn’t fish that much.

Brandon Foote

We brought home 100lbs of fish!

My wife and I spent a week at Pybus Point this Summer. We had a beautiful, private room overlooking the bay and our own new, ensuite, private bathroom. What an amazing place for couples to get away together. We set our own breakfast time, met our boat captain after, fished the day along, and returned to clean up and enjoy a nice dinner at the restaurant. Next time Alaska is on the trip list, Sherrie and I will go together, and it will be to Pybus Point!

Kent Danjanovich

Fun in Alaska

This was my first trip to Pybus Point. I stayed in one of their new cabins. The accommodations were incredible, the view onto the bay in the mornings was stunning. I loved the staff and the food was really very good. All of this and they have new boats to take you out onto fairly calm waters to fish. The fishing guides were great. Overall a great experience. Definitely going back.

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