Junior reflects on mental and physical benefits of fishing

October 15, 2020 — by Martin Xu and Mina Yeap

Andy fishes to relieve stress and spend time with family and friends

One sunny summer morning, junior Andy Tran went fishing with his family. As his dad got out of the car and waited for the boat line, his brother dropped the boat into the water while people were holding the line. Suddenly, he heard a huge splash. Turning around, Tran realized his dad had fallen into the water while they were about to board. 

After this, he knew it was going to be a great day to clear his head.

Whether he’s practicing volleyball, playing video games or doing his homework, Tran spends a lot of his free time away from his family. Once a week, however, he usually wakes up early to go on family fishing trips in the Bay Area. 

Tran first started fishing when he was only 9, and he remembers catching his first fish as a young child.

“I felt a rush of adrenaline as my dad helped me reel in a large stingray,” Tran said. “It was an unforgettable experience.”

Fishing is a stress-relieving sport and hobby to spend time with friends and family, he said.

“When you’re in the ocean or the bay, it’s just relaxing and helps take away a lot of your stress,” Tran said. “I love the feeling of being under the sun and relaxing with my dad; it’s fun and rewarding, especially when you do catch a fish.”

Not only is fishing greatly beneficial to mental wellness, it can also be beneficial physically. According to the Health Fitness Revolution, a website devoted to the benefits of fitness. Reeling in even a small fish engages your core, legs, arms, shoulders, and back; one hour of active fishing burns an average of 200 calories on average, which is comparable to actively swimming for about 30 minutes.

“Fishing is a workout that you don’t even realize you’re doing,” Tran said. “Although I’m only sitting around most of the time, when I finally catch a fish, it requires a lot of strength and energy to reel it in.”

Tran recalls when he first started fishing, he was almost dragged into the water by a medium-sized fish. He would often have to ask for help whenever he managed to land a fish. But, as time went on, Tran said reeling in a fish has become much easier as he has grown stronger.

Aside from being relaxing and moderate exercise, Tran said that fishing can be a great time for bonding among families and friends, as he was taught by his parents and older siblings. While his parents and brothers help him hone his fishing skills, they all enjoy quality bonding time.

Tran said that spending time with his family is refreshing from all the work he does in school, especially since he’s unable to spend much time with them in the first place. Additionally, fishing makes him feel emotionally secure and allows him to unplug from the distractions of social media.

“Fishing has helped me avoid all the stress in our lives including social media and school,” Train said, adding that he recommends that everyone try it. “It’s a great way to relax and have fun.”

Over Tran’s nearly six years of fishing, he has been to a wide variety of favorite spots. For newer anglers, he recommends fishing near Half Moon Bay in San Mateo or outside Bay Bridge.

Since fishing is a great way to have fun while safely social distancing, Andy has been able to continue his fishing hobby in the past few months.

“Fishing, for me, has always been something at the center of my life,” Tran said. “It’s an activity that brings the whole family together — in the future, I hope I can continue to do this with my family.”