Reeling in a big fish, establishing love of outdoors

Boy holding a taxadermy fish.

To get outdoors, my family and I do a lot of fishing and camping. I don’t personally hunt, but my husband and kids do a lot of grouse hunting and a little deer hunting. My husband and I have been fishing together since we started dating but to be perfectly honest, the camping thing was my idea. I had wanted to get an RV for about ten years, and my husband wasn’t into it at first. He finally relented and we got the RV four years ago, and he went from being “eh” to “oh my gosh, this is really, really nice.” It’s nice to get out and travel and see more than just our backyard. Our goal this year is to get down to the Stillwater area, go to Mystery Cave, and up to the Two Harbors area to do some camping.

Three years ago, we took our RV camping near Leech Lake. My husband had gone out with his mother and sister the first day, and nobody caught much. The next day, we packed up and parked our RV in the parking lot of the marina. My boys and I went out to see if we could try and find anything before we left for home. We were out for 10 to 15 minutes with all four of us fishing and my oldest son started reeling a fish in. He said, “gosh, this is a really big fish.” As the fish got closer to the boat, my husband was like, “he’s not kidding, that’s a big walleye.” My son landed a 28-inch walleye, and that was the first big fish he caught. It was within limits, so we were able to keep it and we got it mounted. Now every summer, mom and dad are trying to at least get one that big or a little bigger. I think that moment cemented my kids’ love of fishing even more, because they got to see the excitement of it.

Getting outdoors is a way to be able to re-evaluate what’s most important in life and be able to share that with your family – to show that to your kids, show that to your family so they understand that life is not always about work and school and busyness. There needs to be time to take breaks and re-center yourself.

If you want to get outdoors but you’re not sure where to get started, see if you have friends or family who are outdoors people and say, “hey, want to adopt me for the day and get me out and about?” Once you find the enthusiasm to go outdoors, that will radiate to your family as well.

- Shannon Anttila

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